Volkswagen Lemon Law cases don't set precedent

Posted at 6:07 PM, Jan 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-22 00:34:28-05

More Florida drivers say they plan to file Lemon Law claims after a south Florida man won a ruling against Volkswagen. However, one victory against the auto maker will not necessarily lead to another.

A day after a Jupiter man won a Lemon Law claim against VW over dirty diesel, many are hoping for a precedent -- but that may not be the case.

The Lemon Law excludes thousands of VW owners from filing a claim against the auto giant. The law applies only to cars purchased new, and claims must be filed within 24 months of purchase. Morgan and Morgan attorney Patrick Barthle points out the lemon law board decides each case on its individual merits.

So, Wednesday's win for a South Florida VW owner may or may not lead to more ordered buy backs for other VW drivers.

Even if you go through the entire arbitration, VW would have the right to appeal -- and that could mean a trial.

Meanwhile, diesel drivers like Debbie Derochemont who don't qualify feel trapped in a car they don't want, and can't get VW to buy back for anywhere near what they paid for their rides in the first place.

So far, 500 VW drivers in Florida have turned to Morgan and Morgan with the hope of court ordered restitution. It is shaping up to be a long, hard legal battle with motions being filed over whether cases should go to arbitration, or which could have state or federal courts hear the cases.

Drivers who go the legal route could wait as long as two years for a trial or settlement.