Used Car Lemon Law Passed In Philly

July 03, 2008
By: LemonLaw

While Pennsylvania has always had a Lemon Law for new cars, Philadelphia has now instituted a Lemon Law for used cars sold in the city. Mayor Nutter has signed Philadelphia’s first Used Car Lemon Law Bill, sponsored by Councilman Darrell L. Clarke. The Used Car Lemon Law ensures that purchasers of used cars in Philadelphia have the opportunity to have the car inspected by a licensed mechanic with 72 hours of purchase. If a major structural defect is found, the consumer has the right to have to return the car for repair or a full refund.

Here are the details:

**A purchaser of a used car may return their vehicle within 72 hours after purchase if it is unable to pass safety or emissions inspections or found by a certified inspection mechanic to have an undisclosed major structural defect (The mechanic MUST put his findings in writing.)

**Upon return of the car, the dealer has 10 days to either fix the car, entirely at their own expense, or refund the consumer’s money.

**Dealer must also provide a copy of any written warranty to the purchaser within 15 days of payment for the warranty, and shall perform all repairs covered under the warranty promptly. At the time of purchase, the dealer MUST disclose in large capital letters whether the warranty is provided by the dealer, the manufacturer or a third-party warranty.

**If you purchased a used car and feel the dealer is not upholding their responsibilities, contact the Philadelphia Office of Consumer Affairs at 215-686-7598. They will take complaints and determine their merit. Repeat offenders face possible suspension or revocation of their Automotbile Sales License and/or Business Privilege License.

Find out more about the Pennsylvania Lemon Law.

Kudos to Mayor Nutter, Councilman Clark and Lance Haver at the Consumer Affairs Office for making this happen.

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31 Responses to “Used Car Lemon Law Passed In Philly”

  1. #1 Concerned says:

    Would the Lemon Law still help me? My dad and I bought a used car in Northeast Philly, the car ran fine when we bought it. Three days later everything started to go; the exhaust, fuel line and radiator. We have had the car for just under a month, we had to get all the above repaired and I have not been able to drive it for most of the month. It now stalls, we had an estimate on the repairs and it would cost over what we paid for the car. Would our car be protected under the Lemon Law? We bought it the weekend of Halloween this year.

    Concerned and hopeful

    • #2 LemonLaw says:

      I would start by contacting the Councilman who sponsored the bill. Good luck.

      • #3 Tye Smalls says:

        I purchased a used 2000 Maxima from North East had it for 14days and my engine blew. I still owed $280 on the car I dont have the title yet and my temporary tag had 15 more days on it. I took it to a machanic who stated it had the mystery oil BLUE DEVIL in it which was to hold the engine over for a short while so they could sell the car. I have all this documented on my estimate receipt from the mechanic. Will I be covered or should I get a lawyer before having the car towed there monday. Its a saturday night and I just recieved all this info from the mechanic.

        • #4 LemonLaw says:

          I would contact the State’s Attorney General office to see if they can be of service.

          • #5 Gary T says:

            Does it count if it is sold as is? We purchased a van from a dealer and not even 24 hours later the engine stopped working.

            • #6 LemonLaw says:

              At this point, you would need to call Councilman Clark’s office. The Law did not get as far as we hoped.

              • #7 Alberto says:

                I bought a car less than 6 months ago. It has been in and out of the shop. They have fixed most of the problems. It has over a 100 thousand miles on it. I am paying each month for it I know it has alot of miles on it but I bought it with the idea that it would work. I don’t know what to do they keep wanting to fix and fix it and until the repair shop says its not fixable the dealership won’t do anything. Is it to late to do anything with the car or should I get a lawyer involved. I still have months and months of payments to pay.

                • #8 LemonLaw says:

                  Sadly, it appears the mileage is a problem but contact your state attorney general’s office.

                  • #9 duana t says:

                    I bought a car and waited two week for the title and the car. When i finally got the car ten hrs later it stop working. Now he won’t talk to me and said its nothing i can do. What rights do i have and what if anything can i do??? Plz help

                    • #10 duana says:

                      I bought a car and waited two week for the title and the car. When i finally got the car ten hrs later it stop working. What can i do he said he cant do anything

                      • #11 LemonLaw says:

                        You do not mention where you live. Contact your local Attorney General’s office.

                        • #12 Laj says:

                          I purchased a used car and within 6 months I started haven problem and put over $2500 into it. Now the transmission is gone on top of other major repairs needed that’s going to Run me over $3000. the repairs cost is stressing me out I need to know .what to do.

                          • #13 LemonLaw says:

                            Laj: If you are int he Philadelphia area, I would reach out to the Councilman.

                            • #14 Edwin Porrata Jr. says:

                              I purchased a car in Philadelphia in October of 2011, but I live in NJ. When I purchased the vehicle, I asked for the warranty multiple times. The dealer said yes you have an extended warranty. After being there for over 5 hours of paper and being exhausted. I signed what I needed to and left with my vehicle happy.

                              Less than a month later, my alternator went dead and lucky for me they fixed it. On February 2012, my transmission went dead and when I went to a mechanic in NJ, they told me that this is not the original transmission. Center City Toyota gave me a Car Fax that did not explain any transmission exchange or fixing. Also, they said I did not have warranty. I went over the contracts I signed and I did not have warranty. They also said that I would have a new license plates mailed to me… never received those and I paid for them too.

                              Now it cost $3,400.00 and Aamco in Cherry Hill had my car for 12 days and when I finally got it back its doing the same damn thing. My car is now in the damn shop. Waiting without patience, please help.

                              • #15 LemonLaw says:

                                Edwin: Reach out to Councilman Clarke. He may be able to provide options to help you.

                                • #16 LemonLaw says:

                                  Krissi: With used cars, we can only help if you have a manufacturers warranty. Is that the case here? Check out for more information.

                                  • #17 danielle says:

                                    My mother purchased a car from an auciton the other day. the car needs almost $3000 in repairs including wheel baring, breaks, front seats and there are leaks somewhere in the car. does the lemon law apply for this circumstance?

                                    • #18 LemonLaw says:

                                      @Danielle: Sadly, it does not.

                                      • #19 Isaac Briggs says:


                                        • #20 LemonLaw says:

                                          Sadly Isaac, the Used Car Law did not materialize. Reach out to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office.

                                          • #21 Jose Lopez says:

                                            I financed a 2004 Dodge Caravan from a used car lot, the vehicle has extended warranty.
                                            The day I drove off the lot the auto was fine, 2 weeks later the shocks go bad a few days later the power steering pump goes also. I had A license mechanic run check on it, He said the car was fine. Now the car brake pump and alternator went bad as well. I’m currently paying a monthly payment on this car and can’t afford to pay for repairs. Is there some kind of help the lemon law can offer me?

                                            • #22 LemonLaw says:

                                              @Jose: Sadly, due to the age, it would not fall under of the laws we work with. Reach out to your state attorney general’s office to see if they can assist with any remedy or recourse.

                                              • #23 Tom b says:

                                                I bought a used car in Philadelphia about 3 months ago two days after I bought it it stalled I called the dealer and he said he would give me a battery when I went there his secretary said they didn’t know anything about it I bought a battery and it ran good but now it stalled again so i’m guessing theirs an internal issue killing the battery is there anything I can do if there is a serious issue

                                                • #24 unique joseph says:

                                                  I purchased a used car from a dealership. They sold me a vehicle with an engine that blew on me driving down the highway. Under my warrenty they replaced the engin, but I didn’t know is that they replaced the new engine with an old transmission. The transmission was rusted. I took it to a head mechanic at a dealership which said that there is nothing that could be done and that they basicly glued the parts in the engin together to keep the moter running longer. Now my warrenty is up and I am stuck with I am stuck paying a car note which the vehicle is no longer in my possesion. I feel that dealership neglected the maitenance on the vehicle when it was under warrenty. I feel cheated and bamboozeld. The only solution the dealership offered me was to start another car loan with them. My answer is NO. Why would I want to do bussiness with a dealership that sold me a vehicle with rusted parts in side of an engin. I am lost and do not know what to do. Dealerships should not be able to get away with selling these vehicles to people.

                                                  • #25 Maren says:

                                                    I purchased a car from a dealer without warranty in Philly. After 100 miles of driving the engine went out. The car is a 2009 Subaru Outback XT and we bought it 24 hours ago but are residence of IL. Can anything be done?

                                                    • #26 LemonLaw says:

                                                      @Maren: I would reach out to the PA attorney general’s office for that answer.

                                                      • #27 mike says:

                                                        People get you cars fixed and stop crying, bottom line! If your toilet gets clogged do you call the guy who sold you the house,,,NO!
                                                        The dealer did not build these vehicles and you have every right to have your vehicle checked out by your own mechanics or other people you trust. The dealer provides a service to you nothing more or less. Nobody twist your arm and demands you purchase a vehicle anywhere. Owning a vehicle is expensive, they need to be serviced and repaired from time to time. Especially vehicles over 100k miles…Why do you thing there are more mechanic shops and parts store in your neighborhood they auto dealers. BECAUSE CARS BREAK DOWN. Mostly do to neglect of the owners of the vehicles. Also stop listening to people tell you imports are better cars. I see more Honda’s and Nissan’s broke down on the side of the road then any other brand. Don’t be fooled by commercials and Japanese based guides like consumer reports… They are Japanese based and will always favor foreign cars… Take it from a me a tow truck driver who picks these vehicle up of the street on a daily basis.

                                                        • #28 LemonLaw says:

                                                          Mike: I appreciate your perspective. But you have to know that many cars break down because of a manufacturer defect.

                                                          • #29 Dominic Harris says:

                                                            I have a Chrysler 300 that I brought last year with the check engine light on & it had old inpection stickers on it ! Took it back to the shop I got it from & they past it with new inpection stickers ! I took the car to there shop multiple time for the check engine light & they would always tell me it’s nuffin wrong with it ! Recently got new inpection stickers from them in July with the check engine light on & they passed me then my engine went bad last there anything I can do??

                                                            • #30 thapelo kalaben says:

                                                              I have purchased a car 9th December 2015 deal sealed and signed with the bank. I took the car home 18 Dec 2015 after repairs , 2 days later the car packed on me 21 Dec 2015. My trade car has been taken in , Dealer is willing to ” take a look at the car” , however I now have to ride the bus . what is he dealers obligation.

                                                              • #31 marty piccola says:

                                                                I have given a $2,750 deposit to a Philly used car dealer 1 week ago today. I test drove said vehicle, negotiated the price and paid the deposit. I found the car online stating it has 130,000 miles. The actual odometer reading is 159,000. I have a printout of the advertised mileage. The dealer stated he did NOT have the title and would be getting it shortly so we could complete the transaction. How long does the dealer have to get the title, complete the transaction and let me take the car? Thank you!

                                                                • State: NJ

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