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Florida

Florida Lemon Law

Florida Lemon Law Chapter 681

Florida Lemon Law 681.10 Short title. – This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the “Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act.”

History.–s. 1, ch. 83-69; s. 1, ch. 85-240; s. 19, ch. 88-95; s. 4, ch. 91-429.

Florida Lemon Law 681.101 Legislative intent.

History.–s. 2, ch. 83-69; s. 1, ch. 84-55; ss. 1, 19, ch. 88-95; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 1, ch. 97-245.

Florida Lemon Law 681.102 Definitions. – As used in this chapter, the term:

History.–s. 3, ch. 83-69; s. 2, ch. 84-55; s. 2, ch. 85-240; s. 1, ch. 86-229; ss. 2, 19, ch. 88-95; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 2, ch. 92-88; s. 2, ch. 97-245; s. 2, ch. 98-128; s. 21, ch. 99-164.

Florida Lemon Law 681.103 Duty of manufacturer to conform a motor vehicle to the warranty.–

History.–s. 4, ch. 83-69; s. 40, ch. 85-62; s. 3, ch. 85-240; ss. 3, 19, ch. 88-95; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 3, ch. 92-88; s. 3, ch. 97-245; s. 1, ch. 2002-71; s. 20, ch. 2002-235.

Florida Lemon Law 681.104 Nonconformity of motor vehicles.

Any other affirmative defense allowed by law may be raised against the claim.

History.–s. 5, ch. 83-69; s. 3, ch. 84-55; s. 41, ch. 85-62; s. 4, ch. 85-240; s. 2, ch. 86-229; ss. 4, 19, ch. 88-95; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 4, ch. 92-88; s. 4, ch. 97-245.

Florida Lemon Law 681.106 Bad faith claims.

Any claim by a consumer which is found by the court to have been filed in bad faith or solely for the purpose of harassment, or in complete absence of a justiciable issue of either law or fact raised by the consumer, shall result in the consumer being liable for all costs and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred by the manufacturer, or its agent, as a direct result of the bad faith claim.

History.–s. 6, ch. 83-69; s. 19, ch. 88-95; s. 4, ch. 91-429.

Florida Lemon Law 681.108 Dispute-settlement procedures.–

- a) Name and address of the consumer; - b) Name of the manufacturer and address of the dealership from which the motor vehicle was purchased; - c) Date the claim was received and the location of the procedure office that handled the claim; - d) Relief requested by the consumer; - e) Name of each decisionmaker rendering the decision or person approving the settlement; - f) Statement of the terms of the settlement or decision; - g) Date of the settlement or decision; and - h) Statement of whether the decision was accepted or rejected by the consumer.

History.–s. 7, ch. 83-69; s. 4, ch. 84-55; s. 5, ch. 85-240; ss. 5, 19, ch. 88-95; s. 17, ch. 91-110; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 5, ch. 92-88.

Florida Lemon Law 681.109 Florida New Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board; dispute eligibility.

  1. If a manufacturer has a certified procedure, a consumer claim arising during the Lemon Law rights period must be filed with the certified procedure no later than 60 days after the expiration of the Lemon Law rights period. If a decision is not rendered by the certified procedure within 40 days of filing, the consumer may apply to the division to have the dispute removed to the board for arbitration.

  2. If a manufacturer has a certified procedure, a consumer claim arising during the Lemon Law rights period must be filed with the certified procedure no later than 60 days after the expiration of the Lemon Law rights period. If a consumer is not satisfied with the decision or the manufacturer’s compliance therewith, the consumer may apply to the division to have the dispute submitted to the board for arbitration. A manufacturer may not seek review of a decision made under its procedure.

  3. If a manufacturer has no certified procedure or if a certified procedure does not have jurisdiction to resolve the dispute, a consumer may apply directly to the division to have the dispute submitted to the board for arbitration.

  4. A consumer must request arbitration before the board with respect to a claim arising during the Lemon Law rights period no later than 60 days after the expiration of the Lemon Law rights period, or within 30 days after the final action of a certified procedure, whichever date occurs later.

  5. The division shall screen all requests for arbitration before the board to determine eligibility. The consumer’s request for arbitration before the board shall be made on a form prescribed by the department. The division shall forward to the board all disputes that the division determines are potentially entitled to relief under this chapter.

  6. The division may reject a dispute that it determines to be fraudulent or outside the scope of the board’s authority. Any dispute deemed by the division to be ineligible for arbitration by the board due to insufficient evidence may be reconsidered upon the submission of new information regarding the dispute. Following a second review, the division may reject a dispute if the evidence is clearly insufficient to qualify for relief. Any dispute rejected by the division shall be forwarded to the department and a copy shall be sent by registered mail to the consumer and the manufacturer, containing a brief explanation as to the reason for rejection.

  7. If the division rejects a dispute, the consumer may file a lawsuit to enforce the remedies provided under this chapter. In any civil action arising under this chapter and relating to a matter considered by the division, any determination made to reject a dispute is admissible in evidence.

  8. The department shall have the authority to adopt reasonable rules to carry out the provisions of this section.

History.–ss. 6, 19, ch. 88-95; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 6, ch. 92-88; s. 5, ch. 97-245.

Florida Lemon Law 681.1095 Florida New Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board; creation and function.

The statistics compiled under this subsection are public information.

History.–ss. 7, 19, ch. 88-95; s. 18, ch. 91-110; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 7, ch. 92-88; s. 55, ch. 95-211; s. 6, ch. 97-245.

Florida Lemon Law 681.1096 RV Mediation and Arbitration Program; creation and qualifications.

History.–s. 7, ch. 97-245; s. 33, ch. 2001-196; s. 2, ch. 2002-71; s. 21, ch. 2002-235; s. 2, ch. 2005-141.

Florida Lemon Law 681.1097 Pilot RV Mediation and Arbitration Program; dispute eligibility and program function.–

History.–s. 8, ch. 97-245; s. 34, ch. 2001-196; s. 3, ch. 2002-71; s. 22, ch. 2002-235; s. 3, ch. 2005-141.

Florida Lemon Law 681.110 Compliance and disciplinary actions.

The Department of Legal Affairs may enforce and ensure compliance with the provisions of this chapter and rules adopted thereunder, may issue subpoenas requiring the attendance of witnesses and production of evidence, and may seek relief in the circuit court to compel compliance with such subpoenas. The Department of Legal Affairs may impose a civil penalty against a manufacturer not to exceed $1,000 for each count or separate offense. The proceeds from the fine imposed herein shall be placed in the Motor Vehicle Warranty Trust Fund in the Department of Legal Affairs for implementation and enforcement of this chapter.

History.–s. 6, ch. 85-240; ss. 8, 19, ch. 88-95; s. 4, ch. 91-429.

Florida Lemon Law 681.111 Unfair or deceptive trade practice.–

A violation by a manufacturer of this chapter is an unfair or deceptive trade practice as defined in part II of chapter 501.

History.–s. 7, ch. 85-240; ss. 9, 19, ch. 88-95; s. 4, ch. 91-429.

Florida Lemon Law 681.112 Consumer remedies.–

- 1) A consumer may file an action to recover damages caused by a violation of this chapter. The court shall award a consumer who prevails in such action the amount of any pecuniary loss, litigation costs, reasonable attorney's fees, and appropriate equitable relief. 
- 2) An action brought under this chapter must be commenced within 1 year after the expiration of the Lemon Law rights period, or, if a consumer resorts to an informal dispute-settlement procedure or submits a dispute to the division or board, within 1 year after the final action of the procedure, division, or board. 
- 3) This chapter does not prohibit a consumer from pursuing other rights or remedies under any other law.

History.–ss. 10, 19, ch. 88-95; s. 4, ch. 91-429.

Florida Lemon Law 681.113 Dealer liability.–

Except as provided in ss. 681.103(3) and 681.114(2), nothing in this chapter imposes any liability on a dealer as defined in s. 320.60(11)(a) or creates a cause of action by a consumer against a dealer, except for written express warranties made by the dealer apart from the manufacturer’s warranties. A dealer may not be made a party defendant in any action involving or relating to this chapter, except as provided in this section. The manufacturer shall not charge back or require reimbursement by the dealer for any costs, including, but not limited to, any refunds or vehicle replacements, incurred by the manufacturer arising out of this chapter, in the absence of evidence that the related repairs had been carried out by the dealer in a manner substantially inconsistent with the manufacturer’s published instructions.

History.–ss. 11, 19, ch. 88-95; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 9, ch. 97-245.

Florida Lemon Law 681.114 Resale of returned vehicles.

- 1) A manufacturer who accepts the return of a motor vehicle by reason of a settlement, determination, or decision pursuant to this chapter shall notify the department and report the vehicle identification number of that motor vehicle within 10 days after such acceptance, transfer, or disposal of the vehicle, whichever occurs later. 
- 2) A person shall not knowingly lease, sell at wholesale or retail, or transfer a title to a motor vehicle returned by reason of a settlement, determination, or decision pursuant to this chapter or similar statute of another state unless the nature of the nonconformity is clearly and conspicuously disclosed to the prospective transferee, lessee, or buyer, and the manufacturer warrants to correct such nonconformity for a term of 1 year or 12,000 miles, whichever occurs first. The Department of Legal Affairs shall prescribe by rule the form, content, and procedure pertaining to such disclosure statement.
- 3) As used in this section, the term "settlement" means an agreement entered into between a manufacturer and consumer that occurs after a dispute is submitted to a procedure or program or is approved for arbitration before the board.

History.–ss. 12, 19, ch. 88-95; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 8, ch. 92-88; s. 10, ch. 97-245.

Florida Lemon Law 681.115 Certain agreements void.

Any agreement entered into by a consumer that waives, limits, or disclaims the rights set forth in this chapter, or that requires a consumer not to disclose the terms of such agreement as a condition thereof, is void as contrary to public policy. The rights set forth in this chapter shall extend to a subsequent transferee of such motor vehicle. History.–ss. 13, 19, ch. 88-95; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 9, ch. 92-88; s. 35, ch. 2001-196.

Florida Lemon Law 681.116 Preemption.

This chapter preempts any similar county or municipal ordinance regarding consumer warranty rights resulting from the acquisition of a motor vehicle in this state.

History.–ss. 14, 19, ch. 88-95; s. 4, ch. 91-429.

Florida Lemon Law 681.117 Fee.

- 1) A $2 fee shall be collected by a motor vehicle dealer, or by a person engaged in the business of leasing motor vehicles, from the consumer at the consummation of the sale of a motor vehicle or at the time of entry into a lease agreement for a motor vehicle. Such fees shall be remitted to the county tax collector or private tag agency acting as agent for the Department of Revenue. If the purchaser or lessee removes the motor vehicle from the state for titling and registration outside this state, the fee shall be remitted to the Department of Revenue. All fees, less the cost of administration, shall be transferred monthly to the Department of Legal Affairs for deposit into the Motor Vehicle Warranty Trust Fund. The Department of Legal Affairs shall distribute monthly an amount not exceeding one-fourth of the fees received to the Division of Consumer Services of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to carry out the provisions of ss. 681.108 and 681.109. The Department of Legal Affairs shall contract with the Division of Consumer Services for payment of services performed by the division pursuant to ss. 681.108 and 681.109. 
- 2) The Department of Revenue shall administer, collect, and enforce the fee authorized under this section pursuant to the provisions of chapter 212. The fee shall not be included in the computation of estimated taxes pursuant to s. 212.11(1)(a), nor shall the dealer's credit provided under s. 212.12 apply to the fee. The provisions of chapter 212 regarding the authority to audit and make assessments, the keeping of books and records, and interest and penalties on delinquent fees apply to the fee imposed by this section.

History.–s. 16, ch. 88-95; s. 22, ch. 90-203; s. 14, ch. 97-99; s. 54, ch. 2002-218.

Florida Lemon Law 681.118 Rulemaking authority.

The Department of Legal Affairs shall adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the provisions of this chapter.

History.–s. 15, ch. 88-95; s. 219, ch. 98-200.