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    Wisconsin’s Lemon Law: Protecting Wisconsin New Car And Truck Buyers

    You recently bought a new car. It is still under warranty. But it is constantly breaking down. You take it in for repair so often, it seems like you are on a first name basis with the service people at the dealership. What to do?

    You may have protection under the Wisconsin Lemon Law. Under Wisconsin’s Lemon Law you may be able to receive a full refund or a comparable, new, replacement vehicle. If you have a “lemon” vehicle and the manufacturer fails to comply with the law you may be able to obtain a refund with the manufacturer paying your attorney’s fees. Some practical questions and answers about the law follow:

    Is my car a lemon?

    If your car or truck has been in the shop four or more times for the same problem since purchase, or if it is not functioning as warranted for 30 or more days despite attempted repairs during that first year, it is likely a “lemon” qualifying for relief under the law. The problem, or “warranty nonconformity” must substantially affect the vehicle’s use, value, or safety to qualify. All new motor vehicles sold or delivered in Wisconsin are protected by the Lemon Law, whether owned by a person or a business.

    Can I get my money back?

    If your vehicle is a lemon, you may obtain:

    A full refund, including all amounts paid at point of sale, plus tax, title and licensing fees, all interest paid on the vehicle, together with collateral costs, less a reasonable allowance for use as defined by the law; or

    A comparable new replacement vehicle. You can opt for a comparable new replacement vehicle. If a comparable new replacement vehicle cannot be found in the exercise of due diligence, the manufacturer can opt to provide the refund option described above.

    How Long Does It Take?

    The manufacturer must respond with a full refund or written notice that it will provide a comparable replacement vehicle within 30 days. Some manufacturers have alternative dispute settlement procedures which can add time to the process. Typically, a response is received within 30 days.

    How long do I have to act on a Lemon Law Claim?

    You only have three (3) years from the date you purchased the vehicle to pursue a lemon law claim. After that date, your lemon law claim is barred by the statute of limitations.

    The Manufacturer Denied My Claim – What Should I Do?

    The manufacturers and their alternative dispute settlement programs almost always deny the consumer’s claim until the consumer hires a qualified and experienced lemon law lawyer. What should you do if your claim has been denied? In order to obtain the relief to which you are entitled, you will likely need to hire a lemon law lawyer in Wisconsin to evaluate your claim and potentially file a lawsuit.

    Attorney Polich is a partner at Lawton & Cates, S.C. He has been helping consumers and winning Lemon Law cases throughout Wisconsin for over 20 years. Call Attorney Polich now at (608) 577-0858 or visit us on the web at