What is the New Car Lemon Law and How Can It Help You?


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Everyone out there is a bit worried when purchasing a new car – mainly because they can’t know precisely what hides under its polished hood.

For example, you may soon find out that it has brake issues, faulty paint job, disgusting smell, or even steering problems. When this happens, we think that we bought a lemon!

As such, each state now comes with its lemon law meant to protect buyers from these so-called lemons. Let’s take a look at this law and see how it can help you!

What is a Lemon?

Naturally, for your new car to be a lemon, it must meet a couple of requirements. You may think that the car you just bought is a lemon, but the law may not agree with you.

  • First of all, the car must have a substantial defect that is covered by warranty and, most importantly, occurs within a specific time period after you make the purchase.
  • Then, the vehicle must continue to have a specific defect after a reasonable number of attempts to repair/ fix it.

Therefore, for a car to be a lemon, you have to prove the existence of a substantial defect that cannot be repaired/ fixed easily.

Federal Consumer Protection

Moreover, you can also rely on the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act when purchasing a vehicle. Namely, this act protects your purchase in case your new car turns out to be a lemon.

The act states that the buyers of any products worth more $25 that come with a written guaranty are protected. This prevents manufacturers/ sellers from creating unfair warranties and also allows the buyer to bring an action under this particular act to recover any lawyer fees, for example, incurred during a lawsuit.

Used Car Protection

Some states also come with a lemon law meant to cover used cars as well – mainly because there are states with lemon laws that cover only new car sales and leases.

As such, a number of states cover purchased cars that have a certain mileage, while others cover vehicles that have been sold once. On top of that, some states extend the protection offered by their lemon law if its original warranty would’ve covered the used vehicle.

Refund or Replacement

As mentioned above, if your newly purchased vehicle has a substantial defect and you’ve also had a reasonable number of attempts to repair it, then you are protected by the lemon law.

In this case, you are eligible for either a replacement vehicle or a full refund. However, keep in mind that you must notify the manufacturer of the car’s defect. Then, they should offer you a satisfactory settlement.

If you are not given a settlement, then you will most likely have to rely on arbitration before contacting a lemon car lawyer and suing the manufacturer in court.

The Bottom Line

In short, if you buy a car that you cannot use or that has a defect that prevents you from using it at its full potential, then you are protected by the new car lemon law.

This is excellent news, mainly for car buyers, because they won’t have to worry about the functionality of their new vehicle. Moreover, with this law in place, you’ll most likely get a refund on the car as well as on the repair attempts, if you paid them from your own pocket.


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