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Consumer Lemon Law

Tesla Lemon Law 2024 and The Tesla Buyback Program

Tesla Lemon Law Guide 2023

Tesla Lemon Law Table of Contents

Updated February 29, 2024

Our Tesla Lemon Law 2024 and the Tesla Buyback Program breakdown outline what you need to know if your Tesla is defective.

If you’re a Tesla owner or planning to become one, it’s essential to be informed about how the Lemon Law and buyback program works in your state.

Tesla is a leading name in electric vehicles and was the top seller in California in 2023. Unfortunately, they were also the brand with the most EV recalls in 2023. 

Tesla owners that have had repeated repairs for the same defect have now either done the 4-month process to get their money back minus the mileage deduction or have hired a Lemon Law attorney for free to handle their claim. 

Tesla Lemon Law 2024 and It's Recalls

The Tesla Lemon Law helps owners with their defective Teslas after multiple attempts to fix their defective EVs by the manufacturer failed. By law, you have the option to either have your Tesla repaired, replaced, or refunded. 

The latest recall is an example where the Lemon Law could help if Tesla is unsuccessful in fixing the defect. The defect reported is that the warning lights on the instrument panel are too small according to the latest recall issued by the NHTSA.

2.2 Million Teslas are affected by this recall and the fix will be done via a software update. 

Potential future Tesla recall

The NHTSA announced that it is making the steering problems a “priority investigation” by performing an engineering analysis. Smells like a recall. 

Below are the 2023 Tesla trends:

13 Recalls Were Issued in 2023

At least 2.36 million cars were affected

Tesla Delivered 1.81 Million Vehicles Globally in 2023

Tesla gained ground in Q4 of 2023 but still fell short of their projections.

Tesla Owners Say 4 Months to Get Buyback Check

Tesla owners that took the buyback route report about a 4 month turnaround before they get a settlement check.

Breaking Down The Tesla Lemon Law in California

The Tesla Lemon Law is an important factor to consider when buying a Tesla or any other brand of electric vehicle in the market, and it has a defect that can’t be fixed after a reasonable number of attempts, this law can help. It means you could get a replacement vehicle or even your money back.

The California Tesla Lemon Law refers to regulations regarding defective Tesla vehicles, primarily in California. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Applicability: California’s lemon law applies to Tesla vehicles, just like any other vehicle.

  2. Criteria: To qualify under the Tesla Lemon Law in California, the vehicle must have “nonconformities,” which are malfunctions, broken parts, or defects.

  3. Remedies: If your Tesla is deemed a lemon, Tesla can replace or repurchase it, with the vehicle receiving a branded title

Major Defects

Tesla defects must be significant affecting the car's safety, value, or use. A faulty brake system, the autopilot feature not working, faulty upper control arms or door handle and window failures.

Multiple Repair Attempts

The manufacturer or its authorized dealer must have tried to fix the same problem multiple times (usually 3 or 4)within 48 months or 50,000 miles.

Out of Service

If your car is in the repair shop for 30 days or more due to warranty problems, it might qualify as a lemon.

Warranty Period

The defect must have been adressed by the dealership at least twice during the manufacturers warranty period. Owners have up to 4 years to request a buyback under the Tesla Lemon Law.

The Tesla Buyback Program

Tesla’s Buyback Program allows Tesla to buy back a car if a customer can prove their Lemon Law Claim. To qualify, the Tesla must meet the following criteria:

Warranty

The Tesla Lemon must be under the original manufacturer's warranty.

The Defect

The defect must have been experienced during the original warranty

Attempted Repairs

The car must have been taken to a Tesla dealership for repair at least twice for the same defect 

The process starts by sending a demand letter to the manufacturer. If Tesla has not repaired the vehicle after a reasonable number of attempts, or the vehicle has been out of service for a specified number of days, the owner may be entitled to a replacement or repurchase. 

If Tesla takes possession of the vehicle, they will issue a refund of the purchase price, minus the value of the vehicle’s use before the first repair attempt. If the vehicle was financed, the manufacturer will refund the payments, down payment, and pay off the loan. 

According to previous Tesla owners, this process takes around 4 months from start to finish so be patient. 
Tired of driving a lemon? Call us

Tesla Recalls, Investigations, and Complaints

Tesla is dealing with being a new car company as their cars are being affected by design problems, engineering defects and software glitches.

Let’s review some Tesla recalls and complaints for their Model S and other models that have been submitted after a reasonable number of repair attempts.

Tesla Model X

According to the NHTSA, the 2023 Tesla Model X has 5 recalls, 3 investigations, and 21 complaints so far this year.

The Model X recalls include, forward-facing camera misaligned, a seat belt may detach from pretensioner anchor, rearview image may not display, full self-driving software may cause a crash and a passinger air bag may deploy incorrectly.

Some Model X include vehicle speed control components not functioning properly, exterior lighting not working, and the car steering functionality defects.

2023 Tesla Model X Recalls

Tesla Model S

Lemon Laws in various states have been used for the 2023 Tesla Model S. The NHTSA has released 3 recalls for forward-facing camera misaligned, potential seat belt detachment, and self-driving software that may cause a crash. We’ve all seen the videos.

2023 Tesla Model S Recalls

Tesla Model Y

The 2023 Tesla Model Y has 7 recalls already released by the NHTSA and 421 complaints which is an impressive number. We predict that lemon laws will be used for these Model Y as well and Tesla buyback options will be offered.

The original manufacturer’s warranty has not successfully repaired some of the complaints reported so far but what Tesla has been able to fix includes The forward facing camera problem, pyrotechnic battery disconnect issue, and the steering wheel disconnecting from the steering column. All can be fixed by your local dealership.

2023 Tesla Model Y Recalls

How Does Each State's Tesla Lemon Law Apply?

According to Tesla’s Owners Rights Notification document, Lemon Law applies to all types of Teslas. There are differences in the law by state, like the California Lemon Law, but the regulations remain similar. Tesla has grouped together the states that have similar laws and provides a summary for each group.

We reviewed each group and provided an overview of what Tesla’s stance is or what they prefer you do. For cases like these, it’s best to call us and we can connect you with a Lemon Law attorney in your area that specializes in cases like these.

Tesla Lemon Law for Arizona, New Mexico, Alabama, Oklahoma, Michigan Oregon, Mississippi, South Carolina, Missouri, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

If you live in states like Arizona, New Mexico, Alabama, and a few others, the law applies to people who buy vehicles that have defects that Tesla repaired and failed. If your new vehicle has issues and Tesla can’t fix it after trying many times, or if your car can’t be used for a certain number of days, you can start a lemon law case and have the legal fees covered by the manufacturer.

But before you ask for a new car or your money back, Tesla suggests you follow these steps:

There’s a group called the National Center for Dispute Settlement. They help solve problems between car owners and companies like Tesla.

If your state’s law gives you rights that are different from the national law called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, you don’t have to use this group and an attorney or law firm can start the conversation directly with Tesla.

If you want to use the Tesla Lemon Law, you need to tell Tesla about your car’s problem. Compose a letter explaining the manufacturing defects and send it “certified mail.” Tesla at times offers to pay attorney’s fees if the original manufacturer’s warranty is not enough.

Law offices in your area can explain further.

Tesla Motors, Inc.

3500 Deer Creek Road

Palo Alto, California 94304

Attention: Vehicle Service

Phone: 1-877-77-TESLA (1-877-778-3752)

After sending the letter, you have to give Tesla at least 3 chances to fix your vehicle. Three attempts to repair the same defect are enough to build a strong Lemon Law claim. Do the research and look for law offices close to you that focus on lemon cases.

Tesla Buyback Louisiana and Utah

If the vehicle does not conform to its applicable warranties and Tesla has not repaired the vehicle after a reasonable number of attempts, or the vehicle has been out of service for a specified number of days, you may be entitled to a lemon law buyback or a “Tesla buyback”.

Should you seek a replacement or repurchase under the Tesla Lemon Law, you must use the dispute settlement program prior to initiating court action. The dispute settlement program is a third-party arbitration service administered by the National Center for Dispute Settlement. You can also seek a free consultation with a lawyer who handles lemon law cases.

Tesla Buyback Alaska

The law covers a lemon vehicle or Tesla model that after a reasonable number of repairs still does not run right. If the new vehicle qualifies as a lemon, then a law firm can provide a free consultation to explore what your options are.

But before you ask evoke Tesla Lemon Law for a replacement vehicle or your money back, you need to do a couple of things:

1. You have to tell Tesla about the problem with your vehicle. You should write them a letter and send it by “certified mail.” You need to do this before 60 days after your car’s warranty ends or within one year from when you first got the vehicle, whichever comes first.

Tesla suggests reaching out to the National Center for Dispute Settlement. Usually that will take longer than hiring a lemon law attorney.

Lemon Law Arkansas for Tesla

If you bought a Tesla vehicle and its manufacturing mistakes are not repairable, your car falls under defective vehicles and a Tesla lemon law process can be initiated.

You can start the Tesla lemon law claim by doing the following:

You can hire a Tesla lemon law attorney or reach out to the National Center for Dispute Settlement. The Arkansas Attorney General recognizes them as a trusted source. Usually, manufacturers cover the legal fees per the law which makes it a win-win to talk to an attorney that handles Lemon Law claims.

To ask for help under the law, you need to:

1. Write a letter to Tesla to tell them about your car’s problem. Make sure to send the letter by “certified” or “registered” mail.

2. After sending the letter, the manufacturer needs at least 3 attempts to fix your Tesla lemon.

California Tesla Lemon Law

In California, the “California Lemon Law” or the “Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act.” is a law for California consumers who purchase a lemon vehicle that qualifies for a California lemon law buyback.

If you bought a Tesla vehicle in California and it’s defective, and Tesla hasn’t been able to fix it even after repeated repairs, California’s Lemon Law might help you. It could mean that Tesla has to replace your new car or return your money. There will be a mileage offset adjustment off for the miles you drove before the vehicle had problems.

The California Lemon Law has some specific rules:

1. If within the first 18 months or 18,000 miles (whichever comes first), Tesla tried to fix the defect at least two times but couldn’t, or if you couldn’t use your vehicle for more than 30 days because of it being in the repair shop, then the California Lemon Law can apply.

2. If you want the California Lemon Law to help you in the situations mentioned above, you need to start your Lemon Law claim by writing a letter to Tesla to tell them about your car’s problem or contacting us for a free consultation on how to get your case started. 

Tesla prefers consumers not to retain a Lemon Law attorney and use the National Center for Dispute Settlement. They or a Lemon Law lawyer can help you with your Tesla Lemon Law buyback process.

If you want to know more about the California Lemon Law or how to solve problems with Tesla, you can look at the warranty paper that came with your car. Or you can call or write to Tesla for more info.

Tesla Colorado

In Colorado, the Tesla Lemon Law is legal and you are free to start a Lemon Law claim if your Tesla is a defective vehicle.

If you bought a defective Tesla car in Colorado and have taken the vehicle to Tesla which hasn’t been able to fix it even after trying at least 3 times, then the Colorado Lemon Law can help you. It could mean that Tesla has to replace your Tesla model or return your money.

To ask for help under the Colorado Lemon Law, you need to:

1. Write a letter to Tesla to tell them about your car’s problem. There’s a special form in the next page of the booklet you got that can help you with this. Make sure to send the letter in a special way called “certified mail.”

2. After telling Tesla about the problem, you have to give them a chance to fix your car.

If you have questions or worries about your Tesla car, you can call or write to them using the contact details they gave you.

Tesla Connecticut

Connecticut Lemon Law for Tesla vehicles is legal. The law targets people who buy vehicles that have purchased a defective vehicle that the manufacturer’s warranty covers but has not been able to correct after multiple repair attempts.

Your options once you file a Tesla Lemon law claim are a replacement vehicle, repairing your existing vehicle, and your money back.

To start a Tesla Lemon Law claim, you should write a letter to Tesla to tell them about your car’s problem. This is the first step to use the Connecticut Lemon Law.

Tesla Lemon: Delaware, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Tennessee

In states like Delaware, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Tennessee, the Tesla Lemon Law is legal and provides protection if a faulty Tesla model is purchased.

Start by either hiring a Tesla Lemon Law attorney or go directly to the NCDS for help. Either option is a legal recourse for your lemon law case.

You need to write a letter to Tesla to tell them about your car’s problem. Make sure to send the letter by “certified mail.” After telling Tesla about the problem, you have to give them a chance to fix your car.

The motor vehicle manufacturer’s warranty provides all the contact information you need.

District of Colombia Tesla Lemon

If you own a Tesla Lemon in DC, you can file a lemon lawsuit or go to the Board of Consumer Claims Arbitration to solve your problem out of court.

In DC, you need to report your Tesla model defect within the first 18,000 miles or 24 months, whichever comes first in order for the car lemon law to protect you.

Florida Tesla Lemon 

The Florida Lemon Law claim falls under the Florida Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act. This act facilitates a lemon law buyback that can be negotiated through lemon law attorneys or the NCDS.

A Lemon Law lawyer can expedite the process if the manufacturer’s warranty fails to correct the defective Tesla. 3 Unsuccessful repair attempts are enough attempts to build a lemon law case.

The first step is to notify Tesla of your potential lemon law case by registered mail. There is a special form you can use for this in a booklet called “Consumer Guide to the Florida Lemon Law“.

Georgia Tesla Lemon

Attention Car Owners in Georgia, within the first two years or 24,000 miles of getting your new Tesla, there’s a special protection time called the “lemon law rights period.” If your Tesla isn’t working as promised and Tesla hasn’t fixed it even after several tries, or if you couldn’t use your car for a certain time, Georgia’s “Lemon Law” steps in.

Plus, if you ask, Tesla will give you any reports or computer checks they did when looking at or testing your car. And every time Tesla checks or fixes your car during this special protection time or under the car’s warranty, they’ll give you a detailed list of what they did.

If you want to use the Georgia Lemon Law to help with your car problems, you need to:

1. Write a letter to Tesla to tell them what’s wrong with your car. This letter needs to be sent by certified or registered mail.

As in other lemon law cases, you can hire an attorney and not have to worry about the legal fees since manufacturers usually pick up the bill for their defective Tesla vehicles.

Tesla Lemon Law FAQs

The Tesla lemon law is designed to protect consumers who purchase a Tesla vehicle that repeatedly suffers from defects. If a Tesla vehicle is found to be a “lemon,” the owner may be entitled to a refund, replacement, or cash settlement, depending on the circumstances and the specific state’s lemon law provisions.

A Tesla may be considered a “lemon” if it has a chronic defect that affects its use, value, or safety and the issue persists despite multiple repair attempts at the dealership. The vehicle must also still be under the original manufacturer’s warranty. Some common issues include electrical system problems, faulty suspensions, and quality control issues.

If you believe your Tesla is a lemon, it’s essential to keep a detailed record of all repair attempts and communications with the dealership. You should also consult with a lemon law attorney to understand your rights and potential remedies.

If your Tesla is determined to be a lemon, you may have the option to have the manufacturer repurchase or replace your vehicle. The process typically starts by sending a demand letter to the manufacturer. If the claim is valid, Tesla may offer to buy back the car, replace it, or negotiate a cash settlement.

While Tesla is known for its innovative and high-quality vehicles, there have been instances of recalls and reported defects. Some recent recalls include issues with the main computer in some Model S and X vehicles, faulty suspension issues, and concerns over manufacturing defects in the Model Y.

Tesla values customer satisfaction and aims to address any legitimate concerns customers have about their vehicles. If a customer is unsatisfied with their Model S or any other Tesla vehicle, Tesla’s service team will make efforts to resolve the issue, even going above and beyond in customer service.

In California, the statute of limitations for a Tesla lemon law claim is four years from the purchase date.

Yes, used Teslas may be covered under the lemon law if they come with specific warranties, such as a Transferred New Car Warranty, Lemon Law Buyback Warranty, or a Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Warranty.

Some Tesla owners have reported issues such as malfunctioning door handles, blurry backup cameras, paint finish and rust problems, touchscreen failures, and vehicle shutdowns while driving. However, it’s essential to note that many of these issues are isolated incidents.

If you believe you have a valid Tesla lemon law claim, it’s recommended to consult with a specialized lemon law attorney who can guide you through the process and help you understand your rights and potential remedies.

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