Published on:

A Beginner’s Guide to Texas Lemon Law

lemon laws, Texas lemon laws, what is a lemon car, lemon car, defective products, vehicle defects, how to tell if my car is a lemon, can used cars be lemons, lemon law help, what does lemon mean for a car, which cars are considered lemons, What qualifies as a lemon vehicle Texas, lemon vehicle.

What happens when you’re sold a lemon in Texas?


Basic Lemon Laws in Texas Explained

Is your new car always in the shop for no apparent reason? Do you constantly deal with check engine lights? You may be dealing with a lemon.

Every manufacturer will occasionally make a lemon, though it’s very rare. Only about 150,000 vehicles produced per year are lemons. Regardless, consumers are protected by lemon laws at the federal and state levels because you should never have to pay for a company’s mistake.

Let’s take a closer look at Texas lemon laws and what to do if you think your vehicle is a lemon.

What Is a Lemon Car?

A manufacturer will very rarely produce a lemon vehicle. A lemon car is one that is made with a serious and dangerous defect or malfunction that “substantially impairs the use of or the market value of the vehicle.”

Vehicles that can be considered Lemons in Texas include:

  • Cars,
  • Trucks,
  • Vans,
  • Motor Homes,
  • Motorcycles,
  • Towable Recreational Vehicles,
  • All-Terrian Vehicles (ATVs),
  • and Neighborhood Electric Vehicles.

As long as any of these vehicles are covered by a manufacturer’s written warranty, they could be a Lemon. Texas Lemon Law does not cover any of the following vehicle types:

  • Repossessed Vehicles,
  • Boats,
  • Farm Equipment,
  • Or Non-Travel Trailers.

How Can I Tell if My Car is a Lemon?

To be considered a Lemon under State Law, the qualifying vehicle must meet the following conditions:

  1. It must have a substantial manufacturing defect — Things like a rattling noise and radio static don’t count.
  2. The defect must be covered by a manufacturer’s written warranty — This applies to used vehicles if they are covered by the original warranty, not an extended warranty.
  3. The owner must report the defect to the dealer or manufacturer within the warranty term.
  4. The owner must give the dealer a reasonable number of attempts to repair the defect or condition — What is considered “reasonable” is further explained below.
  5. The owner must give the manufacturer written notice of the defect and at least one opportunity to cure the defect — Here’s a sample letter from the TxDMV.
  6. The defect persists and substantially impairs the vehicle’s use or market value or creates a serious safety hazard.

How Long Does the Dealer Have to Fix the Problem?

Lemon Law only applies if the dealer is given sufficient time or a reasonable number of attempts to fix the defect covered by the warranty. There are three tests: The Four-Times test, the Serious Safety-Hazard test, and the 30-day test.

  • Four-Times Test — If you have taken the vehicle to be repaired 4 times in the first 24 months or 24,000 miles (whichever comes first) and it is still not fixed.
  • Serious Safety-Hazard Test — If you’ve taken the vehicle for repair for a serious safety hazard twice in the first 24 months or 24,000 miles and it’s still not fixed.
  • 30-day Test — If your car is in repair for the same defect for 30 days or more during the first 24 months or 24,000 miles and is still not repaired (if you were loaned a comparable vehicle during the repairs, those days don’t count toward this requirement).

The mileage requirements don’t usually count for vehicles with no odometer, like TRVs.

Stuck With a Lemon? Call Carabin Shaw.

If you believe your vehicle is a Lemon, we can help you explore your legal options and give expert advice on next steps.

Call Carabin Shaw for a free, no-obligation consultation with our Lemon Law lawyers at 800-862-1260 or use the live chat to get started. We’re a trusted name in San Antonio because we put our clients first. We look forward to serving you.

Contacting a Carabin Shaw attorney is free and does not require you to work with the firm.

  1. TxDMV Lemon Law
Contact Information