TALLAHASSEE, FL – Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced Italian automaker Fiat has agreed to honor the Lemon Law rights of Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep buyers when Fiat effectively takes control of Chrysler. The Sale Order was approved yesterday.
“I commend Fiat for acknowledging the importance of Lemon Law protection for consumers,” said Attorney General McCollum. “Fiat’s decision is a significant victory for auto owners in Florida and nationwide.”
Florida’s Lemon Law applies to new or demonstrator vehicles sold or long-term leased in the state of Florida and gives manufacturers a reasonable number of attempts to repair substantial defects in a motor vehicle. If a manufacturer fails to do so, it is required to buy back the defective vehicle and either pay a refund to the consumer or provide a replacement vehicle. Consumers are protected under the Lemon Law for 24 months after the date of delivery of the vehicle. Anyone who experiences problems with a new vehicle during that period should immediately take the vehicle to the manufacturer’s authorized dealer.
State attorneys general had questioned whether Fiat would be required to honor Lemon Law rights for vehicles sold or leased by Chrysler prior to Fiat taking control of the company. After negotiating with a group of state attorneys general – including Florida’s Attorney General – Fiat agreed to honor the Lemon Law rights consumers had under Chrysler before the buyout.
Additionally, Florida Statutes allow the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to enforce Florida’s dealer protection laws, including provisions which address dealers’ rights in the voluntary termination of a franchise. Last week, Attorney General McCollum directed a letter to the Vice Chairman and President of Chrysler, based on complaints received from Florida dealers, requesting that Chrysler recognize its obligation to dealers in Florida that decided to terminate their franchise agreements.
The Attorney General’s Office also filed an objection to a motion filed by Chrysler in U.S. Bankruptcy Court which attempts to terminate existing dealership agreements under the Bankruptcy Code.
A copy of the letter is available online at:
and a copy of the motion to object is available online at:
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