Lemon Law / PA Lemon Law
The Pennsylvania Lemon Law applies to new passenger vehicles purchased or leased and registered in Pennsylvania, or purchased or leased elsewhere but registered for the first time in the State. To qualify, a vehicle must be back to the shop repeatedly for the same issue or for an extended period of time for any number of issues.
Think you have a lemon in Pennsylvania? We will be glad to discuss your situation and determine if you have a PA Lemon Law claim. Call 1-800-LEMON-LAW or click below for help.Get FREE Help Now!
If you don't qualify under the Pennsylvania Lemon Law, don't lose hope! You could still receive monetary remedy under federal law via the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. If your car, truck, ATV or motorcycle has been in the shop three or more times for a single problem under an original or extended manufacturer's warranty, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act may apply, including the same cost-free legal representation. This law will go after the manufacturer for significant compensation to reflect the diminished value of the vehicle as a result of the problem. This federal help is also available for PA motorcycle owners.
Kimmel & Silverman has more experienced lawyers on staff than any other law firm and we handle every make and model. We've successfully represented more than 150,000 consumers since 1991 and are proud to be the oldest, largest, and most successful lemon law firm in the Keystone State. We have recovered more new cars and buybacks than any other lemon law firm in the state.
Kimmel & Silverman is also the ONLY lemon law firm to be named Pennsylvania Super Lawyers every year since its inception! Founding partners Robert Silverman and Craig Thor Kimmel, along with Managing Attorney Jacqueline Herritt have been repeatedly honored for their work, representing the top 5% of all attorneys in the state. In addition, many of our associates have been honored as Pennsylvania Rising Stars, and we've been named "The Best Lemon Law Firm" by Philadelphia Magazine and in a Philadelphia Inquirer Readers’ Choice Poll.
Our efforts as Pennsylvania lemon law lawyers have been featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Scranton Times, the Erie Times, the Allentown Morning Call, and many other newspapers and magazines. Our attorneys have appeared on newscasts, television programs, and radio talk shows throughout the state.
Our attorneys handle PA Lemon Law cases in every court throughout the Pennsylvania and our ASE-certified experts travel to our clients for inspections as well. With full-service Eastern PA headquarters located in Ambler, PA, right outside Philadelphia, and our Western PA headquarters located in Pittsburgh, almost all work is done over the phone and through email to ensure minimal disruptions for our clients.
For nearly three decades, Kimmel & Silverman has helped tens of thousands of Pennsylvania drivers through our 1 800 LEMON LAW hotline and here we have collected answers to some of the most common questions we receive.
If you think you're driving a lemon, contact us now for legal advice related to your specific lemon law claim. We can quickly evaluate your claim, and there are never any costs to you for our services.
If you think you're driving a lemon, contact us now and find out how we can help. We can quickly evaluate your claim, and there are never any costs to you for our services.
The Pennsylvania Lemon Law covers new automobiles that are purchased or leased and registered in Pennsylvania. It also covers new vehicles that are registered for the first time in Pennsylvania but purchased elsewhere.
It's important for consumers to be aware that, because of fee-shifting provisions in the Pennsylvania Lemon Law, legal help with claims should always be cost-free to the consumer, regardless of whether the consumer prevails in their claim.
For a vehicle to qualify as a lemon in Pennsylvania, it must satisfy the following criteria:
Representation from our firm is completely free to consumers. The law has a fee-shifting provision, which means that if you prevail, all legal fees and associated costs are paid by the manufacturer of the faulty vehicle on top of what you receive or as part of any settlement offer. If for some reason, you do not prevail, there is no cost. This means you can make a claim 100% cost-free.
Not always. If your car is in the shop for 30 days or more during the first 12 months or 12,000 miles (whichever comes first), you may also have a claim under the PA Lemon Law rules. These days do not have to be consecutive so it is important that you have these days referenced in your repair invoices.
Some new cars may stall for no reason, shake and shimmy at high speeds, refuse to start, overheat, or break down entirely, leaving the owner both stranded and frustrated on the side of the road next to a plume of smoke pouring from what was supposed to be a reliable, critically acclaimed sedan.
Despite multiple repair attempts by a manufacturer-authorized dealership, the problem rears its head again and again, quickly mutating an exciting investment into a devastating disappointment.
There's a word for these problematic automobiles: "lemon."
Generally speaking, a "lemon" is a product with a defect or condition that substantially impairs its use, value, and/or safety. As one might imagine, when it comes to cars, these problems can often be more than just an annoyance – they can be life-threatening.
While you would be entitled to compensation under the PA Lemon Law rules, you may have rights under the Federal Warranty Statutes. If you your vehicle is still under warranty and you experience repetitive repairs for the same issue, we can pursue your case under the Federal Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act. Like the Lemon Law in PA, this statute gives you 100% cost-free legal representation. This is a monetary statute where we would work to recover compensation to reflect the diminished value of your vehicle as a result of problems incurred and repairs performed. You would maintain ownership of the vehicle; the vehicle would NOT be branded in any way, shape, or form; all warranties would remain in effect; and the money is non-taxable.
Used cars are only covered under the auto Lemon Law in PA if the car has a lemon title that wasn't disclosed by the dealer prior to purchase. If a dealer misrepresents a vehicle at the time of sale, you may also be covered under the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices Act.
Otherwise, used cars are not covered under the automobile Lemon Law - but we can still help. If you have a manufacturer's warranty, original warranty, or extended warranty on your vehicle, we can represent you under the Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act in an effort to obtain monetary compensation.
In either case, contact us and we'll look into your claim free of charge.
Yes, leased cars are covered under the PA auto Lemon Law as of February 2002.
In his capacity as legal consultant to The Pennsylvania House of Representatives Consumer Affairs Committee, 1-800-LEMON-LAW founding partner Craig Thor Kimmel assisted with PA House Bill 767, which expanded protection to lessees, an additional 20% of new car drivers in Pennsylvania.
No, motorcycles are not covered under the PA Lemon Law - but we may still be able to help. We represent Pennsylvania motorcycle drivers through the Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. If your bike is still under warranty and you're having repetitive issues, please get in touch with us and we'll review your claim.
Whatever you do, do not return or abandon the vehicle at the dealership. We understand that issues in the days or weeks following purchase are very frustrating and stressful. It is essential you follow the correct procedure for a claim. Contact us immediately and we'll help you out.
Abandoning your vehicle at the dealership could be seen as a voluntary repossession, which might damage your credit or claim.
Kimmel & Silverman is also the ONLY lemon law firm to be named Pennsylvania Super Lawyers every year since its inception! Founding partners Robert Silverman and Craig Thor Kimmel, along with Managing Attorney Jacqueline Herritt, have been repeatedly honored for their work, representing the top 5% of all attorneys in the state. In addition, many of our associates have been honored as Pennsylvania Rising Stars, and we've been named "The Best Lemon Law Firm" by Philadelphia Magazine and in a Philadelphia Inquirer Readers’ Choice Poll.
Our efforts have also been featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Scranton Times, the Erie Times, the Allentown Morning Call, and many other newspapers and magazines. Our attorneys have appeared on newscasts, television programs, and radio talk shows throughout the state.
If you are driving a potential lemon, we understand that your situation can be stressful and frustrating. It is important for you to keep calm and maintain a record of all repair invoices, receipts, and interactions you've had with the manufacturer and authorized dealer.
Each time you take your lemon car or truck in for repair, be sure to ask for a copy of the repair invoice. Make sure each repair invoice accurately describes your problem with the vehicle, as well as any work completed to fix the defect. The invoices should also detail mileage in, mileage out, and days out of service. Make sure you review the repair ticket before you leave the dealership to ensure it is accurate, and keep these invoices in a safe place.
Think you may have a potential PA Lemon Law or breach of warranty claim? There are three quick ways to find out:
Kimmel & Silverman has successfully represented over 150,000 consumers throughout the United States since 1991. Needless to say, we've seen plenty of lemons over the course of the last 30+ years. To be clear, not every client is entitled to a full refund, a replacement vehicle or a certain cash amount, and not every case settles quickly. Every case is different, and there is no guarantee of a particular result, time for a result or of settlement, or success in a claim at all.
You can read about some of our recent successes by clicking here.
We have secured more Lemon Law repurchases than any other Pennsylvania Lemon Law firm.
Other clients have received brand new vehicles. These are known as MSRP to MSRP swaps, where the clients receives credit for the sticker price of their vehicle and it’s applied to the sticker price of a brand new vehicle from that manufacturer. All of the equity from the old car is transferred to the new car, so it is basically a trade without the normal depreciation encountered by the consumer.
One Pennsylvania client received $5,000 and kept their Chevy Malibu when making a claim for a rattle in steering and whining in brakes; a settlement was reached in 27 days.
Another Pennsylvania driver's Audi Q7 had an HVAC problem. After failing to find success in dealing with Audi directly, they sought legal aid, eventually receiving $8,250 and continued ownership of the vehicle.
Lemons are not limited to any particular year, make or model. Is it possible to avoid buying one? It's nearly impossible to tell whether a car will be a lemon down the line.
Researching the history of a specific make and/or model can help provide consumers with a rough idea about general reliability, but that is never a guarantee of future performance. Even the best and most reliable models have a certain number of lemons in their ranks.
While nobody should have to deal with the stress and hassle of a lemon, it's an unfortunate risk that will always accompany buying or leasing a vehicle.
Thankfully, the Pennsylvania Lemon Law and Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act provide consumers with great protections by taking many of these defective vehicles.
Thankfully, the Pennsylvania Lemon Law and Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act provide consumers with great protections by taking many of these defective vehicles off the road and ensuring consumers get either their money back, a free, comparable new replacement vehicle, or substantial monetary compensation.
Title 73 Chapter 28, Sections 1951-1963
§ 1951. Short title.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the Automobile Lemon Law.
§ 1952. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"DEALER" or "MOTOR VEHICLE DEALER." A person in the business of buying, selling, leasing or exchanging vehicles.
"DEPARTMENT." The Department of Transportation of the Commonwealth.
"MANUFACTURER." Any person engaged in the business of constructing or assembling new and unused motor vehicles or engaged in the business of importing new and unused motor vehicles into the United States for the purpose of selling or distributing new and unused motor vehicles to motor vehicle dealers in this Commonwealth.
"MANUFACTURER'S EXPRESS WARRANTY" or "WARRANTY." The written warranty of the manufacturer of a new automobile of its condition and fitness for use, including any terms or conditions precedent to the enforcement of obligations under the warranty.
"NEW MOTOR VEHICLE." Any new and unused self-propelled, motorized conveyance driven upon public roads, streets or highways which is designed to transport not more than 15 persons, which was purchased or leased and is registered in the Commonwealth or purchased or leased elsewhere and registered for the first time in the Commonwealth and is used, leased or bought for use primarily for personal, family or household purposes, including a vehicle used by a manufacturer or dealer as a demonstrator or dealer car prior to its sale. The term does not include motorcycles, motor homes or off- road vehicles.
"NONCONFORMITY." A defect or condition which substantially impairs the use, value or safety of a new motor vehicle and does not conform to the manufacturer's express warranty.
"PURCHASER." A person, or his successors or assigns, who has obtained possession or ownership of a new motor vehicle by lease, transfer or purchase or who has entered into an agreement or contract for the lease or purchase of a new motor vehicle which is used, leased or bought for use primarily for personal, family or household purposes.
§ 1953. Disclosure.
The Attorney General shall prepare and publish in the Pennsylvania Bulletin a statement which explains a purchaser's rights under this law. Manufacturers shall provide to each purchaser at the time of original purchase of a new motor vehicle a written statement containing a copy of the Attorney General's statement and a listing of zone offices, with addresses and phone numbers, which can be contacted by the purchaser for the purpose of securing the remedies provided for in this act.
§ 1954. Repair obligations.
REPAIRS REQUIRED.- The manufacturer of a new motor vehicle sold or leased and registered in the Commonwealth shall repair or correct, at no cost to the purchaser, a nonconformity which substantially impairs the use, value or safety of said motor vehicle which may occur within a period of one year following the actual delivery of the vehicle to the purchaser, within the first 12,000 miles of use or during the term of the warranty, whichever may first occur.
DELIVERY OF VEHICLE.- It shall be the duty of the purchaser to deliver the nonconforming vehicle to the manufacturer's authorized service and repair facility within the Commonwealth, unless, due to reasons of size and weight or method of attachment or method of installation or nature of the nonconformity, such delivery cannot reasonably be accomplished. Should the purchaser be unable to effect return of the nonconforming vehicle, he shall notify the manufacturer or its authorized service and repair facility. Written notice of nonconformity to the manufacturer or its authorized service and repair facility shall constitute return of the vehicle when the purchaser is unable to return the vehicle due to the nonconformity. Upon receipt of such notice of nonconformity, the manufacturer shall, at its option, service or repair the vehicle at the location of nonconformity or pick up the vehicle for service and repair or arrange for transporting the vehicle to its authorized service and repair facility. All costs of transporting the vehicle when the purchaser is unable to effect return, due to nonconformity, shall be at the manufacturer's expense.
§ 1955. Manufacturer's duty for refund or replacement.
If the manufacturer fails to repair or correct a nonconformity after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer shall, at the option of the purchaser, replace the motor vehicle with a comparable motor vehicle of equal value or accept return of the vehicle from the purchaser and refund to the purchaser the full purchase price or lease price, including all collateral charges, less a reasonable allowance for the purchaser's use of the vehicle not exceeding 10 per mile driven or 10% of the purchase price or lease price of the vehicle, whichever is less. Refunds shall be made to the purchaser and lienholder, if any, as their interests may appear. A reasonable allowance for use shall be that amount directly attributable to use by the purchaser prior to his first report of the nonconformity to the manufacturer. In the event the consumer elects a refund, payment shall be made within 30 days of such election. A consumer shall not be entitled to a refund or replacement if the nonconformity does not substantially impair the use, value or safety of the vehicle or the nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect or modification or alteration of the motor vehicle by the purchaser.
§ 1956. Presumption of a reasonable number of attempts.
It shall be presumed that a reasonable number of attempts have been undertaken to repair or correct a nonconformity if:
The same nonconformity has been subject to repair three times by the manufacturer, its agents or authorized dealers and the nonconformity still exists; or the vehicle is out-of-service by reason of any nonconformity for a cumulative total of 30 or more calendar days.
§ 1957. Itemized statement required.
The manufacturer or dealer shall provide to the purchaser each time the purchaser's vehicle is returned from being serviced or repaired a fully itemized statement indicating all work performed on said vehicle including, but not limited to, parts and labor. It shall be the duty of a dealer to notify the manufacturer of the existence of a nonconformity within seven days of the delivery by a purchaser of a vehicle subject to a nonconformity when it is delivered to the same dealer for the second time for repair of the same nonconformity. The notification shall be by certified mail, return receipt requested.
§ 1958. Civil cause of action.
Any purchaser of a new motor vehicle who suffers any loss due to nonconformity of such vehicle as a result of the manufacturer's failure to comply with this act may bring a civil action in a court of common pleas and, in addition to other relief, shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorneys' fees and all court costs.
§ 1959. Informal dispute settlement procedure.
If the manufacturer has established an informal dispute settlement procedure which complies with the provisions of 16 CFR Pt. 703, as from time to time amended, the provisions of section 8 shall not apply to any purchaser who has not first resorted to such procedure as it relates to a remedy for defects or conditions affecting the substantial use, value or safety of the vehicle. The informal dispute settlement procedure shall not be binding on the purchaser and, in lieu of such settlement, the purchaser may pursue a remedy under section 8.
§ 1960. Resale of returned motor vehicle.
VEHICLES MAY NOT BE RESOLD, TRANSFERRED OR LEASED AT RETAIL OR WHOLESALE.- If a motor
vehicle has been repurchased under the provisions of this act or a similar statute of another state, it may not be resold, transferred or leased in this State unless:
The manufacturer provides the same express warranty it provided to the original purchaser, except that the term of the warranty need only last for 12,000 miles or 12 months after the date of resale, transfer or lease, whichever is earlier.
The manufacturer provides the purchaser, lessee or transferee with a written statement on a separate piece of paper, in ten point all capital type, in substantially the following form:
"IMPORTANT: THIS VEHICLE WAS RETURNED TO THE MANUFACTURER BECAUSE IT DID NOT CONFORM TO THE MANUFACTURER'S EXPRESS WARRANTY AND THE NON-CONFORMITY WAS NOT CURED WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME AS PROVIDED BY PENNSYLVANIA LAW."
The motor vehicle dealer, lessor or transferor clearly and conspicuously discloses the manufacturer's written notification prior to the resale or lease of the repurchased motor vehicle.
The motor vehicle dealer, lessor or transferor obtains a signed receipt certifying in a conspicuous and understandable manner that the written statement required under this subsection has been provided. Access to the receipt shall be maintained for four years. The Attorney General shall approve the form and content of the disclosure statement supplied by the manufacturer.
The manufacturer, dealer, lessor or transferor applies for and receives the designation of a branded title from the department.
The department shall update its records and issue a title with a designation indicating that the motor vehicle was repurchased under the provisions of this act. The department shall forward to subsequent purchasers or lienholders, in accordance with 75 Pa.C.S. § 1107 (relating to delivery of certificate of title) and 1132.1 relating to perfection of security interest in a vehicle), a certificate of title which indicates that the vehicle was branded under the provisions of this act. The department shall determine the exact form and content of the title brand.
The provisions of this section apply to the resold, transferred or leased motor vehicle for the full term of the warranty required under this subsection. Failure of the manufacturer, dealer, lessor or transferor to notify its immediate purchaser of the requirements of this section subjects the manufacturer, dealer, lessor or transferor to pay to the Commonwealth a civil penalty of $ 2,000 per violation and, at the option of the purchaser, to replace the motor vehicle with a comparable motor vehicle of equal value or accept return of the vehicle from the purchaser and refund to the purchaser the full purchase price, including all collateral charges, less a reasonable allowance for the purchaser's use of the vehicle not exceeding 10s per mile driven or 10% of the purchase price of the vehicle, whichever is less.
RETURNED VEHICLES NOT TO BE RESOLD.- Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), if a new motor vehicle has been returned under the provisions of this act or a similar statute of another state because of a nonconformity resulting in a complete failure of the braking or steering system of the motor vehicle likely to cause death or serious bodily injury if the vehicle was driven, the motor vehicle may not be resold in this Commonwealth.
AGREEMENT WAIVING, LIMITING OR DISCLAIMING RIGHTS.- Any agreement entered into by a purchaser that waives, limits or disclaims the rights set forth in this act is void as contrary to public policy. Where applicable, the rights set forth in this act shall extend to a subsequent purchaser, lessee or transferee of the motor vehicle.
§ 1961. Application of unfair trade act.
A violation of this act shall also be a violation of the act of December 17, 1968 (P.L. 1224, No. 387), known as the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.
§ 1962. Rights preserved.
Nothing in this act shall limit the purchaser from pursuing any other rights or remedies under any other law, contract or warranty.
§ 1963. Nonwaiver of act.
The provisions of this act shall not be waived.
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