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Lemon Law (WA)

rustybh1

Member
Oct 16, 2019
22
12
Bow, WA
Considering initiating the WA Lemon Law arbitration process. I have a 2020 MS LR and over the past 12 months have had the following issues:-

Both front half shafts replaced.
Water ingress affecting a wire harness connection that put the car in limp mode
Front wheel speed sensor failure that put the car in limp mode
AC temp sensor failure
Front drivers seat replaced

And yesterday while have BOTH side repeater/cameras replaced (1 because it was falling out, the other because the camera was bad) the mobile service tech found a damaged electrical connector that he has had to "hardwire" to the repeater while I wait for a new harness to be ordered and installed.

What do you think? Worth a shot?
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
6,656
12,510
California
Lemon laws vary state to state but generally require you to demonstrate that the dealer/manufacturer has failed to resolve the SAME issue multiple times.

Have you read your state AG’s pages on Washington’s lemon law?

General Lemon Law | Washington State

Looking at that, I think you’d have an uphill climb to get a judgment in your favor based on the relatively minor issues you’re describing and the fact that Tesla is repairing the issues in good faith and they don’t appear to be recurring.

“Your vehicle may qualify as a “lemon” if it has one or more significant defects that have been subject to a “reasonable number of attempts” to diagnose or repair the problem(s) covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. The law covers only defects that “substantially impair” the use, value, or safety of the motor vehicle.”
 

galvatron

Member
Mar 15, 2020
121
77
WA
Depends what your end goal is... do you want to return it and buy the same car again? Remember this is Tesla, and we know they all have quality control issues.

Also, the Lemon Law usually applies when it is a "safety" defect that has been been repaired multiple times... meaning attempting to repair the same defect multiple times. In your case, it looks like your issues were different and were resolved each time... it's just a lot of different issues. I don't think lack of quality control qualifies under the lemon law when they are different parts being fixed.
 
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PCMc

Member
Jul 1, 2016
185
146
Columbus, IN
You may have already, but if not, probably a good idea if you thoroughly review the information on the WA Attorney General site relate to lemon law.

General Lemon Law | Washington State

They have a specific page which details what you need to do before requesting arbitration, including that you first must write the manufacturer and request that they repurchase the vehicle as stated below:

The written request to the manufacturer for repurchase or replacement should include:

Make, Model, Year, and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN; 17 digits)
An explanation of the problem(s)
Name(s) of dealership(s) where diagnosis/repair attempts have been made, including dates of attempts.​

You should send the letter to the manufacturer by certified mail with a return receipt requested. This will verify the date that the manufacturer received your letter. If you are near the 30 month arbitration deadline you should consider sending your letter by overnight express. KEEP A COPY OF YOUR LETTER AND THE RETURN RECEIPT IN YOUR RECORDS.​
 
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1windy

Member
Jul 27, 2014
377
139
suffolk
I am in NY and went through this with an Audi Q8 last year. My issues weren't necessarily"safety" but all around disfunction with my vehicle. Was a horrible experience. I would not hesitate to look for a lemon law attorney, most give free consultations, and will be brutally honest in your chances for a positive outcome. Be aware though most good attorneys say free representation if you win. This is where the fun begins. Most manufacturers will make an attempt to replace the vehicle, but it is ultimately your choice. If I were to request that I have to pay the fees because I "settled" and did not win in court. This was true with 3 well known lemon law attorneys in my area.
I chose to get a refund which Audi voluntarily gave to me, once again I paid for the fees since we didn't go to court. I could've gone to court, but didn't see the benefit of risking a 90+ K thousand dollar win. It cost me a little north of 4K to agree, plus Audi gave me $1500 toward legal fees and a coupon for $2500 towards a new vehicle.
I took the cash and got out. Also got all of the financing, and taxes back. I was extremely happy to "lose" $2500 to get rid of that vehicle.
My attorney did say Audi was on of the better manufacturers to deal with, and Jaguar/Range Rover one of the worst. Never asked about Tesla. He said manufacturers can be very difficult to deal with if they choose to be. Keep in mind the process is long, mine took just over 3 months to get a positive result from Audi. Then it was complicated and extended due to the more Gretchen the witch shutting down her state causing Audi to delay cutting the appropriate checks.

Good luck not a fun process but for me a necessity one.
 

3ngineer

Member
Nov 26, 2019
90
13
Mass
Considering initiating the WA Lemon Law arbitration process. I have a 2020 MS LR and over the past 12 months have had the following issues:-

Both front half shafts replaced.
Water ingress affecting a wire harness connection that put the car in limp mode
Front wheel speed sensor failure that put the car in limp mode
AC temp sensor failure
Front drivers seat replaced

And yesterday while have BOTH side repeater/cameras replaced (1 because it was falling out, the other because the camera was bad) the mobile service tech found a damaged electrical connector that he has had to "hardwire" to the repeater while I wait for a new harness to be ordered and installed.

What do you think? Worth a shot?
Agree with previous comments that it needs to hit the reasonable attempts at repair of the same defect, not just having multiple defects, UNLESS it has spent 30+ days out of service. Myself and another member here went through lemon law processes in WA recently and both were awarded repurchase/replacement. Feel free to message me with questions, but recommend reading the previously linked overview on the Attorney General's webpage for Lemon Law.
 

D.E.

Uncorked
Oct 12, 2016
761
980
Ann Arbor, MI
There is information in old threads about Tesla refusing to sell another car to a person who’s caused a legal fuss resulting in a buy back. I don’t suggest this should stop you but if you do eventually get the car returned, another Tesla now or in the future might not be an option.
 
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3ngineer

Member
Nov 26, 2019
90
13
Mass
There is information in old threads about Tesla refusing to sell another car to a person who’s caused a legal fuss resulting in a buy back. I don’t suggest this should stop you but if you do eventually get the car returned, another Tesla now or in the future might not be an option.
Maybe if they settled out of court, or in states besides what I've researched, but in WA at least they can be forced to give you another vehicle. I requested repurchase and they are letting me purchase a Y after going through lemon buy back. However, they didn't show up to the hearing or respond to my complaint via official legal processes as required, so maybe it wasn't much of a fuss for them so they don't take such offense?
 

1windy

Member
Jul 27, 2014
377
139
suffolk
There is information in old threads about Tesla refusing to sell another car to a person who’s caused a legal fuss resulting in a buy back. I don’t suggest this should stop you but if you do eventually get the car returned, another Tesla now or in the future might not be an option.
I had a lot of trouble with my "16 Model S after having a flawless experience with a "14. My experience couldn't have been more opposite. You name it it went wrong with the '16. The top service tech told me he never had a vehicle act as mine did, documented by multiple videos, and verified by them. Five new screens, random noises and functions not working. I asked for the vehicle to be replaced and of coarse they refused, saying that's why we have a warranty. But in less than a year, it was in their shop for almost 6 months, still they refused. The top tech guy fought for me and eventually it was repurchased. I paid 101K after taxes. I got the 7500 tax credit and they bought it back for 92K. I was so disturbed by the experience I took the money and ran. My wife really wanted another one and I took advantage of the sale price in Oct/Nov. and have been pretty happy with the new one.
Not sure if the time since buyback helped but I had no issues making the latest purchase.
 

outdoors

Always roaming
Aug 10, 2014
1,658
2,850
in the moment
There is information in old threads about Tesla refusing to sell another car to a person who’s caused a legal fuss resulting in a buy back. I don’t suggest this should stop you but if you do eventually get the car returned, another Tesla now or in the future might not be an option.

Many times it has to do with who is handling the case. Some of these can be downright nasty experiences between both parties from a friends past experience. She was banned from dealership and from automaker as part of settlement. There was language with ability to purchase, but forgoing all legal claims forever even on future purchases in regards to warranty and lemon law claims. It was a full buyback to the penny after three years. Pre social media. Had it been today. Many people would have been fired.

So as in many things I think it depends.
 

3ngineer

Member
Nov 26, 2019
90
13
Mass
Many times it has to do with who is handling the case. Some of these can be downright nasty experiences between both parties from a friends past experience. She was banned from dealership and from automaker as part of settlement. There was language with ability to purchase, but forgoing all legal claims forever even on future purchases in regards to warranty and lemon law claims. It was a full buyback to the penny after three years. Pre social media. Had it been today. Many people would have been fired.

So as in many things I think it depends.
Was this with Tesla or another automaker?

Waiving warranty & lemon law rights for future car, that would be a little crazy [edit: for the manufacturer to require]. I'm surprised that's even legal. I wouldn't buy again even if given the chance in that case.

Sorry to hear your friend went through all that. No one should have to go through all that just to get a working vehicle.
 

3ngineer

Member
Nov 26, 2019
90
13
Mass
I had a lot of trouble with my "16 Model S after having a flawless experience with a "14. My experience couldn't have been more opposite. You name it it went wrong with the '16. The top service tech told me he never had a vehicle act as mine did, documented by multiple videos, and verified by them. Five new screens, random noises and functions not working. I asked for the vehicle to be replaced and of coarse they refused, saying that's why we have a warranty. But in less than a year, it was in their shop for almost 6 months, still they refused. The top tech guy fought for me and eventually it was repurchased. I paid 101K after taxes. I got the 7500 tax credit and they bought it back for 92K. I was so disturbed by the experience I took the money and ran. My wife really wanted another one and I took advantage of the sale price in Oct/Nov. and have been pretty happy with the new one.
Not sure if the time since buyback helped but I had no issues making the latest purchase.
Were you eligible for lemon law and chose not to go down that path? Or just let the technician fight for you before using the lemon process?
 

outdoors

Always roaming
Aug 10, 2014
1,658
2,850
in the moment
Was this with Tesla or another automaker?

Waiving warranty & lemon law rights for future car, that would be a little crazy [edit: for the manufacturer to require]. I'm surprised that's even legal. I wouldn't buy again even if given the chance in that case.

Sorry to hear your friend went through all that. No one should have to go through all that just to get a working vehicle.
Another automaker. Sorry wasn't clear. The one doing cheating that had a giant global fine...... It was pretty slam dunk. Documents were presented showing deleted service appointments that didn't appear at dealership yet she had invoices. Then behavior from a few bad seeds in service did some personal things.

I think the fact that it was a settlement means they can do just about anything. She wanted over and done with. To the penny minus registration and title fees.

Keep the paper files folks. Always do or save all the PDF's.

They really don't want to ever deal with you again. They probably have some algorithm that shows that if you sue once you'll probably do it again I don't know.
 

1windy

Member
Jul 27, 2014
377
139
suffolk
Were you eligible for lemon law and chose not to go down that path? Or just let the technician fight for you before using the lemon process?
I never went down the lemon law avenue as the tech really took over. I considered myself very lucky. Even though lemon law exists it can be a nightmare. I went through it with an Audi Q8. One of the first ones out, a total nightmare. They made me go through a lot of hoops, and put up roadblocks to voluntarily repurchase. Once I hired an attorney they folded like a cheap suit. Still took over six months from start to finish, and cost $4250. Some attorneys say its free if they win, and it may be but that is if you go to court, most settle out of court, and that's when the lawyer gets their pay. Who would risk court when they offer you a buyout. I got 100% back including interest payments. They also gave me $1500 toward legal fees and offered 2500 toward a new vehicle. I refused.
 

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