When you purchase a new car, you trust that it will work properly and get you where you need to go.
Unfortunately, some dealers make cars look great that do not run well. Sometimes this occurrence happens by accident or fluke, while other situations are triggered by deliberate conduct from the dealer or manufacturer.
A lemon car is a car that does not work correctly or as promised. When you do not get what you paid for, you may have legal options that will help you address the problem. While many people assume that lemon laws only apply to used cars, they certainly apply to new vehicles as well.
In fact, it is far more common that lemon laws affect new car sales compared to used cars.
An Overview of Lemon Laws for New Cars
In general, a car is classified as a “lemon” if the following two factors are met.
- There is a “substantial defect” that occurs within a specific period of time or within a certain number of miles
- The vehicle cannot be fixed after several repair attempts
“Substantial defect” is usually a defined term. It is often covered under warranty.
It includes a problem with:
- The overall function or use of the vehicle
- The value of the car, whether it is for resale or simple use
- Features or other aspects of the vehicle that affect how safe it is to use
The car must also continue to have problems even after a repair attempt. In fact, several repair attempts may be required. Generally, the law requires that lemon law for new cars only take effect after a “reasonable” number of repair attempts have occurred.
Your Rights Under Lemon Laws for New Cars
Lemon laws in most states will allow you to get a refund for your vehicle or demand a replacement vehicle. However, you must meet particular qualifications and take action based on the procedural requirements in your state. Every state is different, and getting generic advice likely will not be helpful for your situation.
If you meet the requirements, one of the first things that you often need to do is report the problem to the manufacturer. In some situations, you may need to use arbitration to deal with the dispute if the manufacturer refuses to provide a replacement vehicle or refund your money.
Lemon Laws for New Cars in Pennsylvania
Lemon laws in Pennsylvania are covered under the Automobile Lemon Law. It applies to only the purchase or lease of a new vehicle registered in the state.
It also only applies to cars used for personal, family, or household use, excluding motorcycles and ATVs. That means that used vehicles or cars used only for business purposes are not covered under Pennsylvania’s lemon laws.
Time or Mile Limitations for New Car Lemon Laws
A vehicle must have less than 12,000 miles, or the problem must have occurred within 12 months of the purchase of the car, whichever occurs first. So if a problem arises with a car that is 11 months old, but has 13,000 miles, it will not be covered.
Defining Reasonable Repairs in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania specifically sets out the number of repair attempts required before you can invoke their lemon laws for your new car. It also has a restriction on time. First, you must allow a minimum of three repair attempts.
In addition, if your vehicle is at the dealership for repairs for more than 30 days (in total), then you have the right to demand a refund or replacement of the vehicle.
New Car Lemon Laws in New Jersey
New Jersey’s lemon laws are set out by law as well. New Jersey has a “New Jersey Lemon Law Unit” to help protect consumer rights regarding vehicles that are purchased or leased in the state.
It can apply to both used and new cars, and the qualifications for each set of laws are different.
New Jersey’s Time or Mile Limitations for New Car Lemon Laws
The law covers vehicles for two years or up to 24,000 miles.
You must be under both to use the lemon laws in New Jersey. It applies to all passenger vehicles and motorcycles as well. The warranty period generally is not considered for new car lemon laws in New Jersey.
Reasonable Repairs for New Vehicles in New Jersey
New Jersey only requires that you try to repair the vehicle three times before reporting it as a “lemon.” The defect must still be present after these attempts. The downtime for the car when it was out for service is also limited to 20 days as well. These days do not have to be consecutive.
New York New Car Lemon Laws
Like New Jersey, New York lemon laws apply to both new and used vehicles. The rules, including qualifications under the law, are different under each situation.
It also only applies to non-commercial vehicles that are leased, sold, or registered within the State of New York. Motorcycles and off-road vehicles do not qualify.
Mile or Time Limitations for New Vehicle Lemon Laws In New York
New York requires that the vehicle be covered by an original warranty and have less than 18,000 miles or be put into service less than two years prior.
The problem must “substantially impair the value of the car.”
Reasonable Repairs Allowance Under New York Lemon Laws for New Cars
New York requires four or more repair attempts before lemon laws will apply for new cars. It also has an alternative limitation that the vehicle cannot be out of service for more than 30 days while it is being repaired.
Learn More About Your Rights Under Your State’s Lemon Laws
You may be able to get a replacement vehicle or a refund if your situation triggers your state’s lemon laws. In addition to the three states mentioned above, Robison Lemon Law Group also practices Maryland Lemon Law.
You do not have to go through this process alone. Getting an attorney who has experience in this unique area of the law can be extremely helpful for your situation.
Call the Robison Lemon Law Group today to set up a free case review to find out if your state’s lemon laws can help you.
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