Lemon Laws, What are They?

Have you ever heard of lemon laws? If so, you might be wondering “what are they?” At a basic level, it is a state law that helps to protect new car owners from defective cars. Though it’s not common, only about 1% of new cars, comes off of the assembly line with defects, and if you happen to buy one of these vehicles, the law requires the manufacturer to attempt to fix it. Every state has different laws, but in general, the following is in play:

Qualifying as a Lemon

For a car to qualify as a “lemon,” it must have a defect that is not only substantial but also covered by the vehicle’s warranty. Additionally, it must not be fixable after several attempts. In general, this only applies to brand new cars.

What is a “Substantial Defect?”

So, what is a vehicle defect that is considered to be “substantial?” It has to be an issue that is detrimental to the safety, use, or value of the car. This might be steering, brakes, or similar. Faulty door handles, radio knobs or things like that do not fall into the “substantial defect” category. However, this isn’t always a hard line, so you might need to discuss the situation with a lawyer. In all states, the defect must happen within a set time frame or a certain number of miles.

What Happens if Your Car is a Lemon?

If it is determined that your car is, indeed, a lemon, due to lemon laws, you are entitled to get a refund or a new replacement car from your vehicle’s manufacturer. The process differs by state, so again, it’s important that you work with an attorney who is familiar with your state’s laws.

Do you understand lemon laws? What are they? Contact Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center for help online.