WI Lemon Law FAQ
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
- How does the Wisconsin Lemon Law work?
- Does a problem always need to occur four times to be considered a lemon?
- What happens if I fall outside the 12 months 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 Lemon Law in Wisconsin?
- Are motorcycles covered under the WI 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 this Lemon Law?
- Who can I ask if I have more questions about the Wisconsin Lemon Law?
How does the Wisconsin Lemon Law work?
The Wisconsin Lemon Law covers drivers whose vehicles suffer a non-conformity or defect within the first 12 months, that can't be repaired after repeated attempts (normally four) by the manufacturers authorized dealership.
In Wisconsin, your car must have been to the shop 4 or more times for the same issue or 30 or more calendar days for one or more issues. The law covers cars registered or transferred in Wisconsin.
You can read the entire statute here: Wisconsin Lemon Law Statute.
Does a problem always need to occur four times to be considered a lemon?
Not necessarily. If your car is in the shop 30 days or more in the first year, consecutive or not, we can file a claim under the 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 three times, 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 12 months 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 and 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 Lemon Law in WI contains a fee-shifting provision, which means that if the manufacturer does not buy the vehicle back within 30 days after notice is given and the consumer prevails, the manufacturer must pay all attorney fees and legal costs on top of what you receive. The fee-shifting provision gives you equal footing when battling against a multi-billion dollar automobile manufacturer.
Are leased cars covered under the Lemon Law in Wisconsin?
Yes. Leased cars are covered under the WI Lemon Law.
Are motorcycles covered under the WI Lemon Law?
Yes. Motorcycles are covered under the WI 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?
No. Problems can occur immediately, but if you are interested in opening a Wisconsin 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 REPOSSESION 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 this Lemon Law?
This is the #1 question we receive at Kimmel & Silverman. Unfortunately, most used cars are not covered under the Lemon Law in WI, but hold on... don't get discouraged yet ...If you have a manufacturer's warranty, original or extended, we can still help you under the aforementioned Mag Moss Act.