Most, but not
all, states demand that defective vehicle owners submit to the
arbitration process before they file a lawsuit. Unfortunately, most
folks have no idea what arbitration is and how it helps auto lemon
Law Arbitration: Why It Was Designed
The two most expensive items people will ever purchase are a home and
car. The costs of both generally exceed more than $20,000 and, when you
pay that much for a vehicle, you certainly want a vehicle that’s both
safe and reliable… for years. Of course, people pay for what they get
and they either have the vehicles until one of two things:
- They’re tired of it
- It’s beyond drivable
There are, on some occasions, where people have purchased a vehicle
that left a nasty metallic taste in their mouth or a pit at the bottom
of their stomach because it didn’t even live up to the standards
stipulated in the manufacturer warranty when it was bought.
In fact, the manufacturer is supposed to handle those issues themselves
but they rebuffed you, for whatever reason.
This is the reason for a lemon law – they’re designed to help and
protect people from defective automobiles when manufacturers refuse to
cooperate or don’t agree that a problem exists. It wasn’t too long ago
that consumers, who wanted to use the lemon law, had to hire a lawyer
and file a lawsuit. To say this process isn’t drawn-out, costly and
tedious is an outright lie because it’s every bit those. And, because
of this, some states and manufacturers have permitted the use of
arbitration to deal with any lemon law cases.
Happens During The Arbitration Process
Now, arbitration allows both sides (manufacturer and owner) to present
their case to one or more persons. These persons will render a decision
based on the facts presented that’ll favor either the consumer or the
manufacturer. It’s not unheard of for the manufacturer to choose the
panels. After all, most manufacturers have arbitration programs in most
states. Some states, however, will create an arbitration
panel all their own, separate from the manufacturer’s program.
Whatever the case may be, these folks must be impartial and have no
direct bonds to the manufacturer. In several cases, the panel
members are either present or former auto dealers or mechanics.
An arbitration hearing doesn’t generally cost more than $50 for the
owner. Very reasonable… if you consider how much an attorney will
charge you to deal with the lemon law case. The system is created so
the panel will make a decision quickly and the owner gets relief
without time being wasted.
The majority of states hold arbitration hearing results to be binding
to the manufacturer, not the owner. If the arbitration panel decides in
favor of the owner, the manufacturer can do one of two things:
- Replace their vehicle with another
- Refund them the money of their vehicle
If the decision comes back in favor for the manufacturer, the owner
keeps his/her right to file a lawsuit.
Really, arbitration works very well for both owners and manufacturers,
as cases are dealt with in a timely fashion. What do you really have to