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RULE §215.202Filing of Complaints

(a) Lemon Law Complaints.

  (1) Complaints for relief under the lemon law must be written and filed with the department by hand delivery to the department's headquarters building in Austin, by mail to the address of the department, or by e-mail or facsimile transmission to a department-designated e-mail address or facsimile number. Complaints may be submitted in letter or other written format, or on complaint forms provided by the department.

  (2) Complaints should state sufficient facts to enable the department and the party complained against to know the nature of the complaint and the specific problems or circumstances which form the basis of the claim for relief under the lemon law.

  (3) Complaints should provide the following information:

    (A) name, address, and phone number of vehicle owner;

    (B) identification of vehicle by make, model, and year, and manufacturer's vehicle identification number;

    (C) type of warranty coverage;

    (D) name and address of dealer, or other person from whom vehicle was purchased or leased, including the name and address of the lessor, if applicable;

    (E) date of delivery of vehicle to original owner; and in the case of a demonstrator, the date the vehicle was placed into demonstrator service;

    (F) vehicle mileage at time vehicle was purchased or leased, mileage when problems with vehicle were first reported, name of dealer or manufacturer's, converter's, or distributor's agent to whom problems were first reported, and current mileage;

    (G) identification of existing problems and brief description of history of problems and repairs on vehicle, including date and mileage of each repair, with copies of repair orders where possible;

    (H) date on which written notification of complaint was given to the vehicle manufacturer, converter, or distributor, and if the vehicle has been inspected by manufacturer, converter, or distributor, the date and results of such inspection; and

    (I) any other information which the complainant believes to be pertinent to the complaint.

  (4) The department's staff will provide information concerning the complaint procedure and complaint forms to any person requesting information or assistance.

  (5) The filing fee required under the lemon law should be remitted with the complaint by any form of payment accepted by the department. The filing fee is nonrefundable, but a complainant who prevails in a case is entitled to reimbursement of the filing fee. Failure to remit the filing fee with the complaint will delay commencement of the 150-day period referenced in paragraph (7) of this subsection and may result in dismissal of the complaint.

  (6) The commencement of a lemon law proceeding occurs on the date of receipt of the filing fee by the department or its authorized agent.

  (7) If the hearings examiner has not issued an order within 150 days after the commencement of the lemon law proceeding in accordance with paragraph (6) of this subsection, department staff shall notify the parties by mail that complainant may file a civil action in state district court to seek relief under the lemon law. The notice will inform the complainant of the right to continue the lemon law complaint through the department. The 150-day period shall be extended upon request of the complainant or if a delay in the proceeding is caused by the complainant.

(b) Warranty Performance Complaints (Repair-Only Relief).

  (1) Complaints for warranty performance relief filed with the department must comply with the requirements of subsection (a)(1) - (3) of this section.

  (2) No filing fee is required for a complaint filed for a warranty performance claim.

  (3) If the defect in the motor vehicle that is the subject of the warranty performance complaint was reported to the manufacturer, converter or distributor or its authorized agent prior to the expiration of the warranty period, a complaint may be filed with the department in accordance with this section.

  (4) If the defect cannot be resolved pursuant to §215.205 of this subchapter (relating to Mediation; Settlement), a hearing will be scheduled and conducted in accordance with this subchapter and Occupations Code, Chapter 2301.

  (5) The final order authority will issue an order on the warranty performance complaint. A party who disagrees with the order may oppose the order using the procedures described in §215.207 of this subchapter (relating to Contested Cases: Final Orders).

  (6) Department staff will provide information concerning the complaint procedure and complaint forms to any person requesting information or assistance.

Source Note: The provisions of this §215.202 adopted to be effective July 5, 2012, 37 TexReg 4950; amended to be effective March 11, 2014, 39 TexReg 1728

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