Pin It

The vehicle lemon law

Every state has a version of the vehicle lemon law; the law provides consumers in the state with certain protection in the event the new vehicle they purchase proves to be defective.

How the vehicle lemon law works:

In the event a vehicle does qualify as a lemon under a state’s specific rules the vehicle manufacturer is given two options; buy the vehicle back from the original purchaser or provide the purchaser with a replacement vehicle. In general, to be declared a lemon a vehicle must have a substantial recurring defect, one that cannot be repaired after a specified number of trays or within a specified time limit.

The vehicle lemon law does not apply if the vehicle has several different problems that are repaired by the dealer under the terms of the new car warranty. Yes, there is no doubt that having one problem after another is frustrating, but as much as it is, the vehicle is not a lemon and the manufacturer is under no legal obligation to replace or buy back the vehicle. The lemon law only applies when the vehicle is in for repair numerous times for the same problem, and the problem must be substantial.

As the lemon laws are different in every state it is difficult to be specific. Depending on the state the laws can apply to cars, light trucks such as pickups, maybe motorcycles or the non-living portions of RVs but as noted, the cover varies.

Where do you turn if you think you have a lemon?

All vehicle manufacturers are obliged to include a pamphlet with all new vehicles that explains in detail what the new owners rights are under the lemon law of the state in which the vehicle was purchased, the booklet also must include the procedures that must be followed. As a consumer, your job is to follow the instructions to the letter. Right from the day you first take possession of the vehicle maintain a file including all correspondence, emails, repair orders, invoices, etc and keep a detailed log of the dates your vehicle went in for repair and the date is was returned.

The vehicle lemon law is not necessarily complex but it is different in each state. If you feel that you have purchased a vehicle that qualifies under your states definition you are invited to visit for full details.