Do I Have
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How You Can Use the Hawaii Lemon
Law to Get Rid of Your Lemon Motor Vehicle
you have to understand the Hawaii Lemon Law and what it covers
- then you have to know how to use it. This AVVO How-To guide
can help you get rid of your lemon motor vehicle in
Step 1: What can
the Hawaii Lemon Law do for me if I have a lemon
If you�ve got a lemon, it can make the
manufacturer replace or buy it back if your vehicle had a
defect that substantially impaired the use or value or safety
of the vehicle and that was not, or could not, be fixed in a
Step 2: What kind
of vehicles are covered by the Hawaii Lemon
Normal cars and trucks and motorcycles and other
vehicles that are used for consumer-type purposes such as
personal or family or household use. Rv�s and motorhomes are
covered up to 10,000 lbs gross vehicle weight. But mopeds and
scooters are not covered by the Hawaii Lemon Law, although
they are covered by the federal Lemon Law (the Magnuson Moss
Step 3: Is a used
vehicle covered by the Lemon Law?
Only if you acquired the vehicle within two
years or within the first 24,000 miles after it was originally
sold to the first consumer.
Step 4: How do I
know if I have a lemon?
The manufacturer's dealer is only allowed a
limited number of chances to repair defects in your vehicle.
If one or more of the following circumstances occurs within
the first two years or 24,000 miles of operation, then the
manufacturer (through its repairing dealer) is automatically
presumed to have made a reasonable number of attempts to
repair the vehicle, and you've got a lemon. A lemon motor
vehicle in Hawaii is one where: the same defect has been
worked on 3+ times and did not get fixed, or it's been out of
service for a total of 30+ business days, or there has been at
least one attempt to fix a dangerous defect and it didn't get
fixed on the first try. You only have to fit one of the three
possible presumption definitions. The federal Lemon Law also
requires the dealer to fix any defect at all within a
reasonable number of attempts and also within a reasonable
amount of time too.
Step 5: I think I
have a lemon, so what do I do now?
Start negotiating. Contact the manufacturer
directly. Write a short and simple letter, an email, send a
fax, make a phone call. And send copies to the dealer too.
Your letter should just say you think you have a lemon, it�s
their fault, and tell them what you want (a new vehicle or
your money back, etc). If the problem has not been fixed and
you meet any one (or more) of the definitions of a lemon
vehicle, then ask them to replace it or buy it back. You get
your choice. Make notes of everything that you say to them and
they say to you, so you have a record in case you need it
later. If they don't resolve it satisfactory to you, then you
may want to complain to the Hawaii Director of Commerce and
Consumer Affairs or contact a private
Step 6: The
manufacturer wants to charge me for my mileage (a "usage
fee"), do I have to do that?
Yes, but the amount is negotiable. In Hawaii the
only deduction allowed is for vehicle damage you cause or the
reasonable value of your mileage, but it is all negotiable so
you can expect they may ask you to do that in order to get a
quicker settlement. It's up to you to decide how much you are
willing to do.
Step 7: Should I
file for arbitration? What if I don't want
Most car and truck manufacturers have a
settlement process that is sometimes called "arbitration" and
you can use their process if you want and you don't have to
hire a lawyer to do it, but you may. If you don't want to go
through the factory's "dispute resolution process" (that's
also what they sometimes call it) you don't have to but you
should talk to an experienced Lemon Law attorney about the
advantages and disadvantages of it. If you aren't satisfied
with the offer the manufacturer makes, or with the result of
the arbitration (if you try it), then you should discuss your
case with a Lemon Law attorney and find out just how strong
your case may be. But act quick before you lose your Lemon Law
Step 8: Do I have
to hire a lawyer?
No, but you probably would do better if you did.
There have been some studies done and they all come back the
same way: you get paid more when you have a lawyer on your
side. Why? You have to realize that when you try to negotiate
with a manufacturer you will be dealing with professional
negotiators who are paid to settle with you for as little as
they can (and they are hoping it will be nothing at all if
they can get away with it). This isn't going to be easy for
you. They often tell you what they think the law is and why
your case doesn't fit it - and if you don't know the law then
you probably don't know how to argue back with them. So how do
you get ready for a lawyer? First decide what it is that you
want and what the minimum is that you will settle for. Next,
get all your paperwork together and write out a diary of
everything that happened from beginning to end and then talk
with your Hawaii Lemon Law attorney.
Step 9: How can I
find free info about the Hawaii Lemon Law?
For online information go to
www.AlohaLemonLaw.com for more information or legal
Step 10: What
lemon law lawyer will decide whether to file a lawsuit or
attempt to negotiate "pre-suit" (which means without filing a
lawsuit). If they don't make an offer that you can live with
then you can expect that a lawsuit will likely be necessary.
Your lemon law attorney can discuss the court process with you
in detail and tell you how long it may take and what you can
expect out of it. Most importantly, you should discuss with
your attorney things like your continued use of the vehicle,
what to do if more defects arise, the desirability of hiring
an independent expert witness, and what you can do to help win
Hawaii Lemon Law can help you get rid of your lemon vehicle
but you should work with your lemon law attorney closely to
get the best result. Here are some more resources you can turn
to for more information, answers, and help.
Vehicle Manufacturer's phone
and fax numbers list
Recalls and Repair Bulletins: find out what the
federal government knows about your vehicle that you don't by
What's your car worth right now? Click here for
Click here for Free online form to organize your
out about secret manufacturer warranties they don't tell you
about by clicking here
Law Complaint Letter "Generator" to use
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