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Some Information About Boat Lemon Law

Despite the fact that the Consumer Protection agency files many complaints from dissatisfied boat buyers every year, Pennsylvania, Florida, and New York are the only states currently considering lemon law enactment for boats and other water craft. Every state however, has set forth lemon laws to protect the purchases of automobiles. And like automobile lemon laws, a boat lemon law would help buyers resolve continuing problems with their boats, or the extended non-use of a boat due to repairs and/or problems. But unlike car lemon laws, boat lemon laws would hold boat manufacturers responsible for warranty defects, rather than both manufacturers and dealers.

When enacted, boat lemon laws will set out to protect the rights of boat buyers from warranty defects that stop the safe use and value of a purchased boat. If a warranty defect can not be repaired after 3 tries, or if the boat can't be used because of multiple repairs for 45 or more days, boat lemon laws would require the boat's manufacture to supply the buyer with a replacement boat, a working engine, or a full refund. But to protect boat makers from trivial law suits, the Pennsylvania, Florida, and New York states will make a provision in their boat lemon laws to fine those who file claims intended to take advantage of boat manufacturers.

Like the automobile lemon laws, warranty defects addressed by the boat lemon laws will need to be reported by the dissatisfied customer to the boat maker (via certified mail or return receipt requested) within a specified time. With or without clearly written boat lemon laws, a dissatisfied customer may have to bring their case to a small claims court if a warranty defect is not satisfactorily resolved. Legal fees may apply. Contact your local consumer or attorney general's office, to learn how to bring a case to a small claims court.

Once there are boat lemon laws in every state, dissatisfied consumers may no longer be under obligation to keep a bad boat under an explicit or implied "as is" contract. And like state automobile lemon laws, state boat lemon laws may work together with federal laws to further protect the boat buyer, outline the procedures for taking a boat maker to court, and ultimately grant the buyer access to a full refund with any legal fees incurred. If boat lemon laws parallel the current automobile lemon laws, dissatisfied boat buyers should expect to work first with a boat manufacturers' internal arbitration program, and then later, the court system if neither party can come to an agreement through the arbitration program. In a worst case scenario, boat manufacturers may try to prove that the buyer damaged the boat from abuse or an accident.

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