Florida Lemon Laws

Lemon laws in Florida are governed under Florida Statutes, Title 39, Chapter 681, Section 681.10 et seq.  This Chapter is known and cited as Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act.

Nonconformity is defined in Section 681.102 as a defect or condition that substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of a motor vehicle.  The lemon law rights period or the period within which the manufacturer or its authorized service agent should make repairs at no cost to the consumer is 24 months, after the date of the original delivery of motor vehicle to the consumer.

Section 681.103 prescribes the duty of the manufacturer to make repairs necessary to conform the vehicle to the warranty, at no cost to the consumer if made during the term of the manufacturer’s written express warranty.  Consumer has a remedy if the manufacturer, or its authorized service agent, cannot conform the motor vehicle to the warranty by repairing or correcting any nonconformity after a reasonable number of attempts.  The consumer has the option to choose from the two remedies available.  The remedies are:

  1. The manufacturer should repurchase the motor vehicle after refunding the full purchase price to the consumer.  A reasonable offset for use of the vehicle will be reduced from this amount or
  2. The manufacturer should replace the motor vehicle with a replacement motor vehicle acceptable to the consumer.  In this case the consumer should make a payment of reasonable offset for use.

The refund or replacement must include all reasonably incurred collateral and incidental charges.  The consumer’s right to choose a refund rather than a replacement motor vehicle is unconditional.

Fla. Stat. § 681.102

Definitions
As used in this chapter, the term:
***

(10) “Lemon Law rights period” means the period ending 24 months after the date of the original delivery of a motor vehicle to a consumer.

***

(16) “Nonconformity” means a defect or condition that substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of a motor vehicle, but does not include a defect or condition that results from an accident, abuse, neglect, modification, or alteration of the motor vehicle by persons other than the manufacturer or its authorized service agent.

****

Fla. Stat. § 681.103

Duty of manufacturer to conform a motor vehicle to the warranty
(1) If a motor vehicle does not conform to the warranty and the consumer first reports the problem to the manufacturer or its authorized service agent during the Lemon Law rights period, the manufacturer or its authorized service agent shall make such repairs as are necessary to conform the vehicle to the warranty, irrespective of whether such repairs are made after the expiration of the Lemon Law rights period. Such repairs shall be at no cost to the consumer if made during the term of the manufacturer’s written express warranty. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to grant an extension of the Lemon Law rights period or to expand the time within which a consumer must file a claim under this chapter.

Fla. Stat. § 681.104

Nonconformity of motor vehicles
(1) (a) After three attempts have been made to repair the same nonconformity, the consumer shall give written notification, by registered or express mail to the manufacturer, of the need to repair the nonconformity to allow the manufacturer a final attempt to cure the nonconformity. The manufacturer shall have 10 days, commencing upon receipt of such notification, to respond and give the consumer the opportunity to have the motor vehicle repaired at a reasonably accessible repair facility within a reasonable time after the consumer’s receipt of the response. The manufacturer shall have 10 days, except in the case of a recreational vehicle, in which event the manufacturer shall have 45 days, commencing upon the delivery of the motor vehicle to the designated repair facility by the consumer, to conform the motor vehicle to the warranty. If the manufacturer fails to respond to the consumer and give the consumer the opportunity to have the motor vehicle repaired at a reasonably accessible repair facility or perform the repairs within the time periods prescribed in this subsection, the requirement that the manufacturer be given a final attempt to cure the nonconformity does not apply.
(b) If the motor vehicle is out of service by reason of repair of one or more nonconformities by the manufacturer or its authorized service agent for a cumulative total of 15 or more days, exclusive of downtime for routine maintenance prescribed by the owner’s manual, the consumer shall so notify the manufacturer in writing by registered or express mail to give the manufacturer or its authorized service agent an opportunity to inspect or repair the vehicle.
(2) (a) If the manufacturer, or its authorized service agent, cannot conform the motor vehicle to the warranty by repairing or correcting any nonconformity after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer, within 40 days, shall repurchase the motor vehicle and refund the full purchase price to the consumer, less a reasonable offset for use, or, in consideration of its receipt of payment from the consumer of a reasonable offset for use, replace the motor vehicle with a replacement motor vehicle acceptable to the consumer. The refund or replacement must include all reasonably incurred collateral and incidental charges. However, the consumer has an unconditional right to choose a refund rather than a replacement motor vehicle. Upon receipt of such refund or replacement, the consumer, lienholder, or lessor shall furnish to the manufacturer clear title to and possession of the motor vehicle.


Inside Florida Lemon Laws