The New Motor Vehicles Warranties Act, more commonly known as the North Carolina Lemon Law, provides owners and lessees who believe they’ve been sold a “lemon” – a vehicle with a recurring and irreparable manufacturer defect – the opportunity to file a lemon law claim for financial remedies, including a full vehicle refund or replacement.
North Carolina lemon law includes a series of eligibility requirements related to the vehicle type, problems covered, reasonable number of repair attempts afforded to the manufacturer, written notice and time period for filing claims.
Consulting with a qualified and experienced lemon law attorney, like those of the Robison Lemon Law Group, to ensure that all requirements are met prior to filing a claim is an especially important component of the lemon law claims process.
In order to ensure that your claim is filed correctly and leads to the maximum financial compensation you’re entitled to under the law, contact our dedicated team of attorneys for your free consultation today.
How North Carolina Defines What a Lemon Car Is
A lemon car – a new vehicle with a recurring and irreparable (or unsuccessfully repaired) problem or defect – is defined explicitly by the New Motor Vehicles Warranties Act (North Carolina Lemon Law) as a vehicle with any defect, condition, or series of defects or conditions that substantially impairs the use, value or safety of the motor vehicle to the consumer.
This kind of defect is classified under the law as a “nonconformity.”
Vehicles eligible for lemon law protections in North Carolina are:
- Passenger cars
- Pick-up trucks
Lemon law coverage in North Carolina does NOT apply to:
- Used cars
- House trailers
- Any motor vehicle over 10,000 pounds in weight
While used car owners are not subject to North Carolina lemon law protections, alternative federal protections, such as the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, may offer financial compensation and remedy options for vehicle owners.
North Carolina Lemon Law Requirements
Like lemon laws of other states, North Carolina lemon law has a series of unique requirements to determine vehicle and consumer eligibility for lemon law protections.
These requirements include the types of vehicles and consumers covered, the eligible nonconformities (defects) for claims, the “reasonable” number of unsuccessful repair attempts a vehicle must undergo prior to filing a claim, written notice provisions, and the time period for filing claims.
New Car Lemon Law in North Carolina
The New Motor Vehicles Warranties Act (North Carolina Lemon Law) requires that eligible vehicle owners:
- Identify the nonconformity (defect) and attempt the first repair within the first 24 months or 24,000 miles of vehicle ownership (whichever comes first).
- Provide the vehicle manufacturer with written notice of the defect.
- Allow the vehicle manufacturer a period of no longer than 15 days to attempt to fix the defect.
- Subject the vehicle to at least 4 unsuccessful repair attempts for the same defect.
- Allow the vehicle to be out of service for a total of 20 cumulative days within a calendar year.
- Provide the vehicle manufacturer with written notice of intent to file a lemon law claim at least 10 days in advance of filing.
- File a lemon law claim within 4 years of the date the defect was discovered.
Notably, in North Carolina, nonconformities are not required to impair the ability of the vehicle to drive.
It is very important to maintain copies of all vehicle service, repair, warranty records, as well as written notices provided to manufacturers, as they are essential components of lemon law claims and eligibility.
Breach of Warranty
For vehicle owners ineligible for North Carolina lemon law protections who believe they were sold a lemon vehicle, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act offers a federal mechanism for financial remedy and/or vehicle replacement.
Breach of warranty (as in a Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act claim) takes place when:
- A vehicle manufacturer or dealer fails to adhere to promises made in the original vehicle warranty provided at the time of purchase or lease
- A vehicle has been subject to at least 3 unsuccessful repair attempts for the same issue
- A vehicle has been out of service or in repair for 30 or more cumulative days
Breach of warranty claims have a claim filing period equal to that of the length of the manufacturer’s original warranty. While North Carolina lemon law does not have an explicit time period for filing, manufacturer warranties may exceed that of the BBB four-year filing deadline.
Exceptions to North Carolina Lemon Laws
North Carolina vehicle owners will be ineligible for lemon law protections if:
- The defect is shown to be the result of abuse, neglect, odometer tampering, or unauthorized modifications or alterations of the vehicle.
- The claim is filed more than four years following discovery of the alleged defect.
- Written notice to the manufacturer was not provided prior to repair and/or filing a claim.
North Carolina Lemon Law Cases
The Robison Lemon Law Group has successfully litigated lemon law cases stemming from a wide range of vehicle defects, including engine noise, electrical malfunction, electrical failure, brake defects, leaky windows/windshields, engine noise and vehicle shaking.
While past success is not a guarantee of future outcomes, hiring an experienced and qualified attorney to represent you in these matters is the best strategy to ensure your claim is filed properly and results in the maximum award possible.
Talk to an Experienced Lemon Lawyer in North Carolina and Get a Free Case Evaluation
If your vehicle has undergone multiple unsuccessful repair attempts, it may be time to file a lemon law claim. Consulting with an experienced lemon law attorney to confirm your lemon law eligibility is an important first step in the lemon law claims process.
Contact the Robison Lemon Law Group for your free consultation today.
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