BBB Auto Line - What It Is and How It Works
The United States Better Business Bureau (BBB) Auto Line dispute resolution program offers consumers and car manufactures a way to address a warranty dispute without the need to go to court. The BBB Auto Line process consists of efforts by BBB Auto Line agents to help you come to a resolution of your dispute by opening the lines of communication and offering an informal arbitration that follows the dictates of state lemon laws and federal lemon laws. The informal arbitration is conducted by a third party, usually an attorney or other experienced arbitrator, who acts as an impartial evaluator of the dispute and assists parties with their out-of-court settlement.
Role of the Arbitrator
The role of the arbitrator is to examine evidence, listen to testimony and make a fair decision concerning the dispute by following the BBB Auto Line rules and taking into consideration state lemon laws and federal lemon laws. The arbitrator presents his or her decision in written form, presents a settlement agreement to the consumer, and asks the consumer to either reject or accept the terms of the agreement.
While it is not necessary to consult with a lawyer before your BBB Auto Line arbitration, contacting a consumer lawyer experienced in federal and state lemon law claims will help you properly prepare for a BBB Auto Line arbitration or settlement conference. Regardless of whether you consult with a consumer lawyer or not, you’ll want to show up for your arbitration with the following documentation:
- Your sales contract or lease agreement.
- Your car’s warranty information.
- Your car’s repair, service and maintenance records.
- Any correspondence between you, the dealers, representatives of the manufacturer, or agents of the manufacturer.
- Any other documents that could potentially support your claim, including photos, technical information etc.
These documents will form the foundation of your claim, so make sure you collect as much evidence and documentation to prove that your car qualifies as a lemon car. And remember that for every piece of evidence or documentation you present, the manufacturer’s representative will have the same opportunity to present counter evidence or documentation during his or her presentation; so, be thorough in your production of evidence. During the arbitration, you’ll want to present your documents and other evidence to the arbitrator and cover the following specifics:
- Presentation of a detailed record of the car’s problems, upon which your claim is based.
- The reason you think the problems you’ve been having with your car are the manufacturer’s responsibility.
- The reason you think you have not done anything that specifically contributed to the problems you are having with your car.
- Why the issues with your vehicle represent a substantial impairment of your use of it, a substantial depreciation of the value of it, and/or any safety issues that driving the car raises.
- Discuss your record of the reasonable opportunities you have offered the car’s manufacturer and its dealers, representatives, or agents to repair your car.
Once a consumer is presented with a decision by the arbitrator, he or she has a specific number of days to accept or reject the decision. If the arbitrator’s decision is accepted, the manufacturer must comply with the terms of the agreement unless the agreement violates state or federal lemon laws. As for the consumer, he or she must also comply with the terms of the decision and give up his or her right to sue the manufacturer for any issues that were resolved at the arbitration, unless the manufacturer fails to comply with the terms.
While it is always preferable to settle your lemon car claim amicably, sometimes legal assistance from a consumer lawyer may be required to settle your lemon car claim. Research the information on this site to find out more about a variety of consumer issues, including state lemon laws and federal lemon laws and locate an experienced consumer rights attorney that could assist in resolving your complaints.
Last Modified: Wednesday, April 10, 2013