Auto Lemon Law
Why Use the Auto Lemon Law?
It is a common question. You have purchased a brand new car, one that is supposed to work properly. If it doesn't work properly, why doesn't the manufacturer just take it back and give you another one? Why do you have to use the Lemon Law to fix this problem?
If life was that simple, there really would be no reason for the Lemon Law or the Federal Breach of Warranty Laws we work with. The Lemon Law is in place to enforce manufacturers to take responsibility for their actions, whether it be paint peeling, a knocking engine, a faulty transmission, a leaky sunroof, or problems with the door locks.
This is a David vs. Goliath situation. You are one person going up against a billion-dollar organization. The Lemon Law provides a common ground where your voice will be heard and your situation will be reviewed. While most people do not want to go the litigious route, the law provides a very feasible solution to your automobile problems.
There are automotive Lemon Laws in all 50 states that cover all passenger vehicles, including cars, trucks, and sports utility vehicles (find your state's Lemon Law statute).
In addition to LemonLaw.com, there are other websites which provide auto Lemon Law information. A list of these websites can be found on our Lemon Laws & Consumer Statutes page. A list of Lemon Law firms in the United States can be found on our Lemon Law Firms page.
When Does the Auto Lemon Law Apply?
State Lemon Laws apply to new cars, leased or purchased in most states, which suffer a nonconformity. A nonconformity is defined as a "defect or condition which substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of the vehicle." The Lemon Law applies to an automobile which can't be fixed after a reasonable number of repair attempts.
What determines a reasonable number of repair attempts? It depends on your state's statute. In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, two states we handle, we use three warranty attempts as a guideline. In PA, the first repair must be made in the first 12 months or 12,000 miles. In NJ, the first repair must be made in the first 24,000 miles or 24 months. In Delaware, the first repair must be made in the first year, regardless of mileage.
As you can see, each law is different. It is important that you review your state laws carefully or contact a local Lemon Law lawyer to find out if your vehicle qualifies.
The Lemon Law also sometimes applies to vehicles which are in the shop for extended periods of time within the first year, regardless of whether it's one constant problem or a series of problems. The Pennsylvania Lemon Law for example, covers cars in the shop 30 days in the first year. The New Jersey Lemon Law applies to cars in the shop 20 days in the first year.
Remedies Under the Auto Lemon Law
Remedies under the auto Lemon Law are based upon the severity of the situation. You could be looking at a new car, or full buyback, or perhaps a partial refund or extended warranty along with continued ownership of the car. In most cases, the legal representation under the Lemon Law is cost-free.
In the states we handle, the laws have fee-shifting provisions where, if the plaintiff prevails, the manufacturer must also pay all attorney fees and legal costs. If we accept your case and for some reason you do not prevail, there is no charge.
We are very pleased to offer 100% cost-free Lemon Law representation, and there are other firms across the nation who provide this service, as well.
It is also important to note that, even if your automobile falls outside the state Lemon Law, there is a chance that you could still seek remedy under Federal Warranty Statutes. Additionally, Unfair Trade Practice Laws are in place which protect consumers against automobile dealer fraud, odometer rollback, and used cars with lemon or salvage titles. It does not hurt to ask about your rights. Feel free to email us with any questions, and we will direct you to the right source.
Our firm handles Lemon Law claims in the following states:
The Lemon Law can be confusing and is open to numerous interpretations. If you have questions about the Lemon Law or your consumer rights, don't hesitate to reach out to our legal team.