Understanding NY Lemon Law
Answers to Frequently Asked New York Lemon Law Questions
- How does the New York Lemon Law work?
- Does a problem always need to occur three times to be considered a lemon?
- What happens if I fall outside the 24 months/18,000 miles before my first problem exists? Does this mean I do not have a claim?
- How does the law offer cost-free representation?
- Are leased cars covered under the NY Lemon Law?
- Are motorcycles covered under the NY Lemon Law?
- I have had my car for only a few days and already I am having problems with it. Can I just return it to the dealership?
- Are used cars covered under the NY Lemon Law?
- I have so many more questions about the New York Lemon Law. Who can I ask?
How does the New York Lemon Law work?
The New York Lemon Law covers drivers whose vehicles suffer a nonconformity or defect within the first 24 months or 18,000 miles, whichever comes first, that can't be repaired after repeated attempts (normally 3-4) by the manufacturers authorized dealership. These cars can be purchased, leased, registered, or transferred to New York.
Does a problem always need to occur three times to be considered a lemon?
Not necessarily. If your car is in the shop 30 days or more within the 18,000 miles/24 month period, consecutive or not, we can file a claim under the NY Lemon Law.
Likewise, if you are experiencing paint problems, the same kind of problem (electrical, water leak in the back versus water leak in the front, front brakes and then back brakes and then front brakes again), or if it is a significant problem that has occurred twice, we welcome you to submit your information for our consideration. We handle each case separately and we have made exceptions in the past.
What happens if I fall outside the 24 months/18,000 miles before my first problem exists? Does this mean I do not have a claim?
No. If you are having continuous problems and your car is under a manufacturer's warranty, we can still help under the Federal Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act. Please let us know about your repairs; we will have someone from our firm contact you and explain your rights. The representation is still completely cost-free.
How does the law offer cost-free representation?
The New York Lemon Law contains a fee-shifting provision which means that, if the consumer prevails, the manufacturer must pay all attorney fees and legal costs on top of what you receive.
If you submit a claim to Kimmel & Silverman and we accept your case, you will not pay anything out of pocket, win or lose. The fee-shifting provision gives you equal footing when battling against a multi-billion dollar automobile manufacturer.
Are leased cars covered under the NY Lemon Law?
Yes, cars that are purchased and leased are both covered.
Are motorcycles covered under the NY Lemon Law?
Yes. Motorcycles were added in 2004.
I have had my car for only a few days and already I am having problems with it. Can I just return it to the dealership?
No. Problems can occur immediately, but if you are interested in opening a New York Lemon Law claim, you must follow proper procedures. That means making an appointment to have your car examined and repaired, and securing a repair invoice when you pick up your car. Make sure the invoice properly outlines all of the problems you disclosed to the service manager.
We also suggest you keep a personal log of your repair visits and PLEASE HOLD ON TO THE INVOICES. This does not mean that we can't help you if you don't have the invoices (we can subpoena them if necessary), but it does make your case move along smoother.
DO NOT JUST DROP OFF YOUR CAR AND KEYS AT A DEALER AND SAY "I DON'T WANT THIS CAR ANYMORE." THEY COULD COUNT IT AS A VOLUNTARY REPOSSESSION AND IT COULD NEGATIVELY AFFECT YOUR CREDIT! IF YOU ARE HAVING PROBLEMS, CONSULT A CONSUMER ATTORNEY, BE IT US OR SOMEONE ELSE.
Are used cars covered under the NY Lemon Law?
We represent consumers with used cars under the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act. As mentioned earlier, this law, which provides the same cost-free representation as the NY Lemon Law, protects consumers with used cars who have repeated problems under an original or extended manufacturer's warranty.
Also, if a dealer misrepresents a car at the time of sale, lying about accident history or not disclosing lemon or salvage history, you may have rights under the New York Unfair Trade Practices Act. If this has happened to you, email us as soon as possible, and we will be happy to assist you.