Owning a motorcycle is an exciting experience. However, as with cars, motorcycles may be subject to mechanical problems. These problems can be challenging to resolve.
When a problem recurs and isn’t fixed promptly, the rider may be entitled to compensation through lemon law protections.
How to Determine if Your Motorcycle is a Lemon
The purchase of a motorcycle is an exciting time. However, if your new bike needs to be in the shop for repairs for the majority of your ownership, you could have a lemon on your hands. Fortunately, Lemon Law and the Song Beverly Consumer Warranty Act protect purchasers of motorcycles that need to be replaced or refunded for defects.
While state laws differ as to what makes a lemon, most consider a motorcycle a lemon when it has had recurring problems that are difficult to fix or have a significant impact on the value or safety of the bike. Additionally, you must report any issues with your motorcycle as soon as possible and keep track of all repair attempts and the number of days your bike has spent in the shop.
A lawyer can determine if your bike qualifies for a refund or replacement under the law. They will also be able to guide you through the arbitration process, which may include providing documentation of all repair attempts, work orders, and any technical service bulletins that may apply to your particular problem. The goal is to provide sufficient proof to force the manufacturer to replace or repurchase your motorcycle. Manufacturers do not voluntarily take this step, so you need an experienced legal advocate to fight for your rights.
How to File a Lemon Law Claim
Whether your motorcycle is a Harley Davidson chopper or a Honda sports bike, it is essential to take action against the manufacturer if you believe you have purchased a lemon. As with automobiles, most states have laws that allow consumers to take legal action if their new motorbike experiences multiple problems that cannot be repaired. These are known as non-conformities, and they threaten your safety, deprive you of the use and enjoyment of your bike, and may cause substantial impairment in value.
The initial step to file a lemon law claim is to record the issue with your motorcycle and any efforts made by the manufacturer to resolve it. Keeping detailed repair records and recordings of conversations with the dealer and manufacturers is vitally important. A seasoned attorney can assist in identifying and documenting issues that meet the requirements for a lemon law claim and filing the necessary paperwork on your behalf.
After filing the claim, the attorney will help negotiate a settlement with the manufacturer. This is typically done informally through arbitration rather than litigation, which will be less time-consuming and less expensive for both parties. A Florida lemon law attorney will strongly advocate for you throughout this process. However, the manufacturer will look at many factors to settle your case. These will include the number of repairs, days out of service, and if the problems are severe enough to warrant a refund or replacement motorcycle.
How to Negotiate with the Manufacturer
Like automobile lemon laws, motorcycle lemon law protections vary by state. But, in general, you can qualify for a refund or replacement if you take your motorcycle to the dealer to fix a problem more than twice (for safety defects) or four times (for other problems). Also, your motorcycle must be out of service for 30 days or more.
Because you must document your attempts to get the bike repaired to file a claim, you must keep records of repair orders and other documentation. Unfortunately, motorcycle repair shops often provide less documentation than those that work on cars and trucks.
Additionally, you must be willing to fight for your rights to obtain a settlement. In some states, the manufacturer must pay your attorney’s fees if you successfully settle your lemon law case.
Because of the complex nature of lemon law claims, you must seek legal assistance. A seasoned attorney can assist in determining if your bike is a lemon and identifying the required documentation for filing a claim. Moreover, your lawyer can help you negotiate with the manufacturer and ensure all arbitration and court proceedings comply with state laws. Then, you can receive the refund or replacement that you deserve.
How to File an Arbitration Decision
If the manufacturer refuses to repurchase or replace your motorcycle, you can file an arbitration claim with the state’s Lemon Law program.
For a motorcycle to qualify as a lemon, it must have one or more problems that substantially impair its use and value. Recurring brake issues, engine sputtering, ignition problems, fuel pump troubles, and other similar defects might qualify. If you need to know whether your motorcycle needs help meeting these guidelines, talk to a lemon law lawyer specializing in motorbikes. These professionals can identify potential problems that may be eligible for the law and help you gather the evidence to pursue a case against the manufacturer.
If your claim is approved, an arbitrator will schedule a hearing to evaluate the matter. During the hearing, you and the manufacturer will have an opportunity to present testimony and supporting documents. The arbitrator will listen to your case and decide within five days following the hearing. The decision will include a summary of both sides’ arguments and the arbitrator’s findings. You can reject the decision and appeal the matter to a superior court if you disagree.