NJ Lemon Law FAQ
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
We receive countless questions from consumers about the NJ Lemon Law on our 1-800-LEMON-LAW Hotline. That's why we've put together this FAQ to answer the most common questions our clients ask us when filing their claim.
- What is the Lemon Law in New Jersey, and how does it work?
- Is legal representation really free under the Lemon Law in NJ?
- How is cost-free legal representation possible?
- Who does the Lemon Law in New Jersey protect?
- Does a problem always have to occur three times (or more) to be considered a lemon?
- What if my first problem occurs after the 24-month/24,000 mile period covered under the Lemon Law in NJ? Do I still have a claim?
- Does the Lemon Law in New Jersey cover leased vehicles?
- Does the Lemon Law in NJ cover motorcycles?
- My car is brand-new or only a few days old, and I'm already having problems with it. Should I just return it to the dealership?
- What is the proper procedure for opening a Lemon Law claim in New Jersey?
- Does the Lemon Law in NJ cover used vehicles (cars, personal trucks, motorcycles)?
- What is NOT covered by the New Jersey Lemon Law?
- Do I need representation from a Lemon Law attorney to file my claim?
- Where can I find more answers to my questions about the New Jersey State Lemon Law?
If you believe your vehicle is a lemon, you should know that legal representation is completely FREE under the Lemon Law in NJ. Win or lose, you won't pay a cent, with no risk involved whenever you contact our firm.
What is the New Jersey Lemon Law, and how does it work?
The New Jersey Lemon Law protects consumers who purchase vehicles such as cars, personal trucks or motorcycles, with non-conformities (defects that impair the use, value or safety) that a manufacturer-authorized dealership cannot repair within a reasonable number of attempts. In New Jersey, your car must have been to the shop 3 or more times for the same issue or 20 or more calendar days for one or more issues.
Outcomes can include a complete repurchase of the defective vehicle, a brand new vehicle, or significant monetary compensation to reflect the diminished value of the vehicle as a result of the problem, plus continued ownership of the vehicle.
Is legal representation really free under the Lemon Law in NJ?
Absolutely! Legal representation under the Lemon Law in New Jersey is 100% cost-free with no risk involved whenever you work with us.
How is cost-free legal representation possible?
We're able to offer cost-free legal representation under the fee-shifting provisions of the Lemon Law in NJ. If you prevail in your case, the manufacturer is required to cover all attorney fees and legal costs, in addition to any remedy you are owed.
If you submit your Lemon Law claim and we accept your case, you won't pay anything out of pocket, win or lose. These fee-shifting provisions give you – the consumer – equal footing when pitted against a multi-billion dollar automobile manufacturer.
Who does the New Jersey Lemon Law protect?
The Lemon Law in New Jersey protects consumers who have purchased a vehicle that suffers a repetitive defect or non-conformity that first occurs within the first two years (24 months) or 24,000 miles spent with that vehicle – whichever comes first.
A manufacturer-authorized dealership only has three attempts to repair the vehicle before the consumer can file a claim.
Does a problem always have to occur three times (or more) to be considered a lemon under the Lemon Law?
Not always. If your vehicle is in the shop for 20 days or more within the first 24 months or 24,000 miles of owning the vehicle, we can file a claim under the Lemon Law in the state of New Jersey. These 20 days do not need to be consecutive, nor for the same problem, so long as they fall within the aforementioned timeframe.
In addition, if your car is not fixed after one repair attempt for a problem that could cause death or serious bodily injury, you may have a potential claim.
If you find yourself in a situation where you think your vehicle may fall under your state's Lemon Law statutes, we welcome you to send us your information for our consideration. We handle each case on an individual basis and have made exceptions in the past.
What if my first problem occurs after the 24-month/24,000 mile period covered under the NJ Lemon Law? Do I still have a claim?
You might. If you're having an ongoing problem with your vehicle, and your car is still under the manufacturer's warranty, we can still help you under the Federal Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act. Under this law, consumers can receive significant monetary compensation to reflect the diminished value of their vehicle as a result of the problem, plus they get to keep the vehicle.
Much like Lemon Law, legal representation is 100% cost-free under the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act.
Does the Lemon Law cover leased vehicles?
Yes. Just like purchased vehicles, leased vehicles are covered under the NJ Lemon Law.
Does the Lemon Law cover motorcycles?
Yes, the Lemon Law in NJ covers motorcycles with the same degree of protection provided to cars and personal trucks.
My car is brand-new or only a few days old, and I'm already having problems with it. Should I just return it to the dealership?
No. While problems can occur immediately, even in brand-new vehicles, you must follow proper procedures if you hope to open a claim under the Lemon Law.
What is the proper procedure for opening a Lemon Law claim in New Jersey?
The proper procedure for opening any Lemon Law claim includes:
- Making an appointment with a manufacturer-authorized dealership to have your car examined and repaired.
- Obtaining a repair invoice when you pick up your car, personal truck, or motorcycle.
- Checking the invoice, making sure it properly outlines all problems disclosed to the service manager.
- Maintaining a personal log of all repair visits.
- Please keep a copy of all invoices – this is important and will help your case move along more smoothly.
While we understand that dealing with a defective vehicle can be incredibly frustrating, you should NEVER, under any circumstances, drop your car and keys at a dealer and say, "I don't want this car any more." This can be considered a "voluntary repossession," and it could damage your credit score.
If you are having problems with any vehicle, consult a Lemon Law lawyer immediately.
Does the Lemon Law cover used vehicles (cars, personal trucks, motorcycles)?
While there is a New Jersey Used Car Lemon Law, it only applies to dealerships. The NJ Used Car Lemon Law does not apply to manufacturers or warrantors.
Typically, we prefer to represent consumers under the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act. As mentioned earlier, this law provides the same cost-free representation as the New Jersey Lemon Law, protecting consumers with used cars who have repeated problems under an original or extended manufacturer's warranty.
Additionally, if a dealer misrepresents a car at the time of sale, not disclosing lemon or salvage history and/or lying about accident history, you may have rights under the New Jersey Unfair Trade Practices Act. If this has happened to you, email us as soon as possible and we will be happy to review your claim.
What is NOT covered by the New Jersey Lemon Law?
The Lemon Law in NJ does not cover commercial vehicles and the living facilities of motor homes.
Do I need representation from a Lemon Law attorney to file my claim?
While it's possible to file a claim through the Better Business Bureau (BBB), through the NJ Consumer Affairs office, or on your own, it is strongly recommended that you instead work with an experienced attorney.
In fact, many consumers prefer to pursue their claim with an experienced lawyer, as all fees and legal costs are completely covered under the Lemon Law in New Jersey. There's no risk involved when consulting an attorney regarding your claim, and in many instances, cases can be settled more quickly in pre-litigation, without the need to file a lawsuit.
Both the NJ Consumer Affairs office and the BBB are very selective in the cases they will accept, often turning away strong, legitimate claims. Likewise, the decisions made by the NJ Lemon Law Unit are legally binding – if you lose your case, there may be no way to appeal.