Jaguar Land Rover has been forced to pay a fine of $26,500 by the State’s Department of Consumer Protection for a lemon law violation brought by a consumer who bought a malfunctioning Range Rover Velar S.
The consumer, represented by Lemberg Law, had filed a Lemon Law complaint. This requested a full refund for the vehicle, which had multiple malfunctions. Jaguar Land Rover failed to comply after multiple notices and warnings. So, Lemberg Law applied for reparation to the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP).
It didn’t take long for Connecticut Attorney General William Tong to announce in a press release that Jaguar Land Rover of North America would pay $26,500 for its failure to comply with the State’s Lemon Law.
Connecticut Lemon Law
Connecticut has an automobile warranty statue that is commonly known as the Lemon Law. It helps owners who find themselves with defective (lemon) vehicles that are under two years old or with fewer than 24,000 miles on the clock.
The Automobile Warranty Statute provides a low-cost arbitration process that enables vehicle owners to resolve disputes with manufacturers.
In 2021, Connecticut amended its Lemon Law statute. It now allows the DCP to levy fines up to $1,000 per day against manufacturers who don’t comply with arbitrators’ decisions within specified deadlines.
The Jaguar Land Rover Case
The consumer in this case filed a Lemon Law complaint. This was after the Range Rover Velar S. suffered from a coolant pump failure and a faulty infotainment touch screen. The touch screen had blacked out several times and caused the running lights and rear camera to malfunction.
The arbitrator ruled that the consumer was entitled to a full refund within 30 days of his decision, no later than January 26, 2022. But despite multiple warnings and notices, Jaguar Land Rover didn’t comply until March 1. This, clearly, was not within the specified deadline.
Comment by Attorney General Tong
According to Attorney General Tong, the consumer who made the claim was sold a lemon by Jaguar Land Rover that was “riddled with multiple failures from the start.”
“This consumer filed a complaint and Jaguar Land Rover was ordered to provide a full refund. Jaguar dragged its feet.”
As he said, when a Lemon Law arbitration award is issued in Connecticut, these deadlines are the law. “We will not hesitate to protect consumers against manufacturers who ignore their obligations.”
Comment by DCP Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull
Ms. Seagull backed AG Tong’s statement saying that the DCP had repeatedly notified Jaguar of their duty to comply with the state’s Lemon Law program by providing the consumer with a refund by the date that had been specified by the arbitrator.
“When a manufacturer fails to comply with deadlines set by the arbitrator, consumers are harmed by not receiving the benefit of their award, which often means making additional lease or loan payments during the delay.”
Her strong message was that “there will be consequences for a car manufacturer that does not timely comply with a Lemon Law arbitration award.”
Key Figures in the Jaguar Land Rover Case
Assistant Attorney General Jon Blake and Consumer Protection Section Chief Mike Wertheimer assisted the Attorney General with this matter.
Lemberg Law represented the consumer in this case.
Achievements of Lemon Law in Connecticut
Connecticut’s Lemon law program, the first of its kind in the United States, was founded on June 4, 1982. June 4, 2022, marked its 40th anniversary.
Since then, as the DCP press release states, the Lemon Law program has returned almost $70 million in refunds and replacement vehicles to Connecticut consumers. In the 2020-2021 fiscal year, the program closed 59 cases, and returned almost $2 million to consumers in refunds or returns. In 2021, 77 consumers applied to the program for assistance.
You can also contact the Lemberg Law on our Helpline at 844-928-4443. It won’t cost you anything because the law says that manufacturers must pay legal fees for lemon law cases.