We invest a significant amount of time and money into finding a car perfect for our needs and our family. However, no matter how hard we work to prevent it, there is a chance we could end up with a defective vehicle, commonly known as a “lemon.” A vehicle must meet a few requirements to be considered a lemon – by answering the following questions, you may be able better identify whether or not your car is a lemon and if you are entitled to the free legal help the lemon law provides.
What exactly is a “lemon”?
While lemon laws vary from state to state, the lemon law generally applies to cars, personal trucks and motorcycles, both purchased and leased, which suffer a nonconformity; a defect or condition, which substantially impairs the use, value or safety; that cannot be repaired after repeated attempts (normally three) by an authorized manufacturer’s dealership. In each state, the lemon law outlines specific mileage and age parameters. For instance, in New Jersey, this nonconformity must first occur within the first 24 months or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. Oftentimes, the lemon law can also come into play if your vehicle is in the shop for an extended period of time, or with a serious defect which could cause bodily harm or death that is not fixed after one repair attempt. Again, these laws vary from state to state, so it’s important to understand your specific state’s lemon laws.
- Did you purchase your car new or used?
- Has your car’s nonconformity attempted to be repaired by an authorized manufacturer’s dealership and has failed to be repaired?
- Has this nonconformity been repaired repeatedly under a manufacturers warranty?
- Has your vehicle spent a considerable amount of time in the shop? 20 days or more?
- Can this defect cause bodily harm or death and was it unable to be fixed after one repair attempt?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the following questions, you may have been sold a lemon. If you believe your vehicle to be a lemon, it’s important to contact a lawyer experienced in your state’s lemon law.