Seven Mistakes When You Have a Lemon in Alabama

Posted over 5 years ago. Applies to Alabama, 1 helpful vote



Failing to obtain written service reports.

Written service reports document the problems you are having. Always, always get a service report before you leave the dealership. Keep copies for your records.


Failing to make sure that the customer's actual complaint is on the service report.

Don't just get a copy of the service report. Make sure your complaints have been documented on the service report, and if they haven't, or if they have been written wrong, make the service technician correct it.


Specifying the problem (be general).

If you are having an electrical problem, say you are having an electrical problem. Don't say, my window won't roll up or my automatic lock won't work. If it turns out it is not the window or lock, you have pigeon-holed yourself into a narrow problem. For best results, say you are having an electrical problem which is causing your window to not roll up.


Waiting to send letter of non-conforming condition.

Don't wait! In Alabama, you must send the appropriate letter within the first year or 12,000 miles of the car, whichever occurs first. The letter must go by certified mail to the manufacturer (not the dealer). If you miss this step, forget your lemon law claim in Alabama.


Failing to include the proper information in the letter of non-conforming condition.

The statute is very specific about what has to be in the letter of non-conforming condition. Make sure you have ALL of the items necessary. If you miss one, forget your claim under the Alabama Lemon Law.


Continuing to take the vehicle in after the third attempt at repair.

The manufacturer gets three chances to repair the defect. After that, you send the notice, and they get a FINAL repair attempt. If you give them four attempts at repairing it, then send the notice, you still have to give them a FINAL repair attempt. Why give them extra attempts when the law doesn't require it?


Not allowing a final repair attempt and assuming the dealer is the manufacturer.

The dealer is not liable under the Alabama Lemon Law, and the dealer is typically a franchisee Make sure your notice goes to the manufacturer, not the dealer. The proper address is usually in the warranty manual. Also, make sure you give the manufacturer a final repair attempt. Even though you have allowed the dealer to repair the car, you MUST give the manufacturer that final attempt.

Additional Resources

Firm Lemon Law Site

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