Buying a car in Charleston is not just any other purchase; given the money spent and the amount one typically relies on his or her personal vehicle to complete his or her daily routine, it is a transaction for which one requires certain consumer protections. The state’s Lemon Law does allow for legal recourse when one cannot get a car dealer to honor its promises, yet is it something that should be cited every time an issue arises with his or her vehicle? On the contrary, one cannot seek action under the Lemon Law unless certain steps have been taken.
Indeed, according to The Better Business Bureau, West Virginia’s Lemon Law does not go into effect until one has first tried to resolve his or her dispute through the proper third party. In this case, “third party” typically refers to the vehicle warrantor (be it the vehicle’s manufacturer or the dealership that sold it).
Of course, there are exceptions to this standard. The warrantor must be compliant with federal rules detailing the requirements of written warranties. Per Section 703.2 of the Code of Federal Regulations, a warrantor must include the following (in clear and concise language) in its written warranty:
- Information detailing its dispute settlement mechanism
- The contact information consumers need to communicate with representatives of said mechanism
- A statement requiring the consumer to work with said mechanism prior to resorting to any other form of remedy or redress
- Any applicable further information that a consumer might need to know about working with the mechanism
A warrantor must also provide a vehicle owner with timely notification in response to a claim submission of the availability of its dispute resolution process. It is only when a warrantor fails in meeting these obligations that a consumer can then cite the Lemon Law.