This is the last of a series entitled “Lemon Law: 5 Things You Should Know.” It is written by Sergei Lemberg, who is an attorney who specializes in lemon law. His site, Lemon Justice, offers detailed information about lemon laws, as well as an interactive Lemon Meter for consumers who want to see if their vehicle qualifies as a lemon.

If you have a defective vehicle and have taken it in for repair on several occasions, it’s time to ratchet the conflict up a notch and go directly to the manufacturer. In fact, many state lemon laws require that you send the automaker what’s called a “demand letter,” and give them one last opportunity to repair the vehicle.

Before sending your demand letter, it’s important to know what your state requires. In many states, the Attorney General has a sample lemon law demand letter that you can use. LemonJustice.com also has sample demand letters.

Essentially, the demand letter states that you are exercising your right under your state’s lemon law, and are requesting either a vehicle buyback or a refund (your choice). Typically, you need to outline the problems the vehicle is having, where you purchased the vehicle, and where and when you’ve taken it in for repair. Most states require that you send the letter via Certified Mail. It’s very important to follow the letter of the law; it you don’t, it could undermine your position if you need to take the automaker to court.

There’s no doubt that exercising your lemon law rights is an exercise in conflict engagement. However, it’s a challenge that you can meet head-on and one that you can ultimately win.

For previous posts in the series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4