Understanding The Basics of Wisconsin Lemon Law

by : Kevin Bishop

Knowing the lemon laws is not enough. In USA, lemon laws take numerous forms across states. In fact, when you are plagued by a problematic vehicle it is always the best policy to hire the help of a lemon lawyer who specializes in the particular lemon laws of your state.

The Wisconsin Lemon Law came into effect from November 3, 1983 and is applicable to new vehicles (car, truck, motorcycle or motor home, to be precise), rented vehicles and all used vehicles that have been bought within the warranty period.

A quick glance at the major points of the Wisconsin Lemon Law throws up the following. In the first place, a vehicle is classified as "lemon" in Wisconsin if

- It has been bought or rented in Wisconsin,
- It is showing signs of strain within the first year of purchase
- It is showing signs of breaking down before the guarantee period has terminated,
- Within the first year of purchase or within the warranty period, four tries by the manufacturer has failed to fix its problems,
- It was non-functional for 30 days (need not be consecutive) during the first year of acquisition or within the warranty period.

An interesting facet of the Wisconsin Lemon Law is that it makes a difference between minor and major malfunctions. You are eligible to apply for compensation or refund or replacement claim under the lemon law only if your vehicle has a serious, that is a major malfunction. So it's no use crying foul if your car has a broken headlight or something equally inconsequential.

And speaking of the major and minor malfunctions, it is always worth knowing the nonconformities of the Wisconsin Lemon Law. They are:

- Conditions that do not affect the use, worth or safety of the vehicle,
- Items not covered by the manufacturer's warranty,
- Situations like poor acceleration of a vehicle with a small vehicle or when heavy steering has been employed on a vehicle without power steering,
- Conditions arising out of incorrect maneuver, misuse, neglect or unauthorized alterations to the setup.

Usually claimants have one or more sore points about lemon laws, but even the most stern claimants cannot help but praise the Wisconsin Lemon Law, which sets no deadline to file your lawsuit; instead the court will decide whether your case is too old to take up.

Under the Wisconsin Lemon Law, you are entitled to a quite a handsome compensation package. It may consist a reimbursement of the vehicle's purchase price plus collateral costs (less a reasonable allowance for use) or a similar new vehicle plus the collateral costs. These collateral costs include repair outlay on the nonconformity and alternative conveyance expenses.

If the manufacturer, who has apparently not taken your claims seriously, doesn't respond to your relief appeal within 30 days and you win at the court, you can pocket double damages, cost of the lawsuit and a lion's share of the lawyer's fees, plus any relief that the court thinks you are entitled to.

With the Wisconsin Lemon Law there are not many chances of your money going down the drains if you are found ineligible to compete for the lemon law. Your problematical vehicle, if it qualifies, can always find refuge by filing for a claim for misrepresentation, breach of warranty or breach of contract, among a host of others.

The Wisconsin Lemon Law is very considerate towards the plight of the one with the defective vehicle and especially shields from the cunning offers of the crafty vehicle manufacturers. Thus, if the manufacturer hands you a lengthy and pricey damage deduction list when you go to him for a refund or compensation, you can gleefully quote the Wisconsin Lemon Law. According to law, you are not liable to pay for normal wear and tear, such as minor dents, scratches, pitted glass, grubby carpets or slight stains.

Under the Wisconsin Lemon Law, justice is never denied nor delayed.