By: Alisa Sullivan, WAMS ADR Program Director
Washington Arbitration & Mediation Service has administered the Washington State New Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board (Lemon Law) since its inception in 1988. Designated under statute to settle new vehicle disputes between consumers and manufacturers, the Arbitration Board is an independent, neutral agency that conducts arbitration proceedings as a prerequisite to court. Washington is one of a handful of states with a designated Arbitration Board, as others require the consumer to utilize the manufacturer’s arbitration program prior to filing in court.
In its twenty-five year history, the Lemon Law program has received over 6,025 requests for arbitration from consumers looking to have their vehicles repurchased or replaced by the manufacturer. Of those requests, 2,210 cases have resulted in an arbitration hearing, 1,894 have settled with the manufacturer prior to hearing, and 686 requests have been withdrawn by the consumer. It is estimated that the Lemon Law program has resulted in settlements or awards worth about $104,537,440.
Kudos to the dedicated neutrals who have made the Washington State program a successful, impartial process.