Myth #10 – If I buy a used car from a dealer, which breaks down, I may sue the dealer under the lemon law.
Written by Sharon K. Campbell

Each state has its own lemon law. In Texas, the lemon law applies only to the purchase of new vehicles. The lemon law remedy is an administrative remedy and is a remedy against the manufacturer of the vehicle. To make a claim under the lemon law in Texas, the claim must be filed in Austin. Although it is possible to recover, in addition to repair costs, some consequential damages, attorney fees are not recoverable. The motor vehicle may order the manufacturer to buy back your vehicle or replace it. The decision of the board is not binding on the consumer, only on the manufacturer. That means if you lose at the hearing, you may still file suit and the ruling of the hearing is not held against you. If the manufacturer loses, it may not sue or appeal. More details about the lemon law remedy under Texas law may be found on the website for the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.

Although you may file an administrative claim under the lemon law, the lemon law does not provide a remedy for filing suit.

There are remedies against car dealers and, in some cases, finance companies, for buyers of used cars. The most commonly used remedy is under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act. If a seller has represented a car to have certain benefits which turn out not to be accurate, or fails to disclose previous wreck damage, a claim may be made. The Deceptive Trade Practices Act is a private cause of action which provides for recovery of damages, court costs and attorney fees and, in some cases, exemplary or additional damages.

Sharon K. Campbell, Attorney at Law
3500 Oak Lawn Ave
Suite 110
Dallas, Texas 75219

Phone: 214-351-3260
Fax: 214-443-6055

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The results of all legal matters depend on a variety of factors unique to each case; past successes do not predict or guarantee future success. The information contained in this website should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the creation of any attorney/client relationship.