Louisiana Lemon Law
What is a “Lemon Law”?
Lemon Laws are consumer protection laws enacted to protect consumers from defective vehicles. There technically is no “Lemon Law” in Louisiana but there are a set of statutes that provide for penalties when a dealer or manufacturer fails to comply with a warranty on new motor vehicles. There are other state and federal laws that may also apply to your case.
Does the law just apply to cars?
No. In addition to cars the law applies to boats, ATVs, RVs, and motorcycles as long as the vehicle is not used exclusively for commercial purposes.
When do my problems have to start?
Generally, your problems have to start and the vehicle has to be brought to an authorized dealer within one year of the date or purchase.
How many chances do I have to give the dealer to repair my car?
While there is no set number, it is presumed that the vehicle is defective if it has been repaired four times for the same problem within the first year of purchase.
How many days does my vehicle have to be in the shop?
While there is no set number, it is presumed that the vehicle is defective if it has been in the shop for 45 days or more for the same problem within the first year of purchase. The period is 90 days for a motorhome.
How long do I have to bring a Lemon Law claim?
A consumer has the longer of three years from the date of purchase or one year past the expiration of the warranty to bring a Lemon Law claim.
Can I bring a claim if I lease my vehicle?
Yes. Under the Lemon Law a consumer includes people who purchase or lease a vehicle.
Can I bring a claim on a used car?
Lemon Law statutes typically do not apply to used vehicles and for that reason we do not handle claims involving used vehicles. Unfortunately, we are only able to handle claims involving vehicles that were purchased new by the consumer.
What remedies are available to me?
The Lemon Law provides for replacement of your vehicle or repurchase by the manufacturer. However, that usually doesn’t happen until after a full trial and the litigation process can take months or even years. Most of the cases we handle resolve with the consumer keeping the car and accepting a cash settlement. But we do get our share of vehicle replaced or repurchased and you will never be forced to accept a cash settlement if you want to go to trial.
Will I get my car replaced?
If you go to court and win on a Lemon Law claim the manufacturer has the option of replacing your vehicle with a new one or repurchasing it by refunding the full purchase price plus any other costs paid at the time of sale, less a reasonable usage deduction. The law does not say what a reasonable usage deduction is but in our experience it is around .30 cents per mile.
Who pays my attorney fees?
The law provides that if a vehicle does not conform to its express warranty and a consumer obtains a judgment in court the consumer is entitled to reasonable attorney fees. Practically speaking, most of the cases we handle settle without going to court and our fees are paid by the manufacturer. We have never asked a consumer to pay attorney fees out of pocket and we don’t get paid unless we get your vehicle replaced or repurchased or we negotiate a cash settlement that you agree to.
How much do you charge in attorney fees?
We handle most cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning we don’t get paid unless you get paid. Attorney fees are typically 1/3 of the total amount recovered or a set amount that we negotiate with the manufacturer. If we go to trial we may bill our time on an hourly basis at $200 per hour. The fee we make at trial will be either 1/3 of the total amount recovered or the amount of fees that the court orders the dealer or manufacturer to pay, whichever is higher.
Who pays for the court costs and other fees?
If we are able to negotiate a resolution to your case without filing suit we will pay all of the costs and fees. If it is necessary to file suit we will advance the costs and fees.
Where can I find the Louisiana Lemon Law statutes?
See the links below for the Louisiana statutes commonly known as the Lemon Law:
Louisiana Revised Statute 51:1942 - Manufacturer's Duty to Repair
Louisiana Revised Statute 51:1943 - Express Warranties
Louisiana Revised Statute 51:1944 - Motor Vehicle Replacement or Refund
Louisiana Revised Statute 51:1945 - Transfer of Title
Louisiana Revised Statute 51:1945.1 - Mandatory Disclosure of Nonconformity
Louisiana Revised Statute 51:1946 - Other Remedies
Louisiana Revised Statute 51:1947 - Attorney Fees
Louisiana Revised Statute 51:1948 - Manufacturer's Duty to Reimburse for Replacement Vehicle