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How do Lemon Laws Work?

Lemon laws are state laws written to protect consumers who purchase defective vehicles. In 1982, Connecticut became the first state in the nation to enact a lemon law. In addition to state lemon laws, there are federal laws that can be used to sue manufacturers of defective vehicles.

The types of vehicles covered vary according to each state’s lemon law. Every state covers new passenger vehicle purchased and used for personal and household purposes, but many states’ laws go much further. Coverage can include business vehicles, leased vehicles, motor homes, motorcycles, and even ATVs.

Are Used Cars Covered by Lemon Laws?

Legal coverage is uneven when it comes to used vehicles. Some states have separate statutes that cover used car purchases, typically by mandating a “sliding scale” warranty that grants longer warranties to more expensive vehicles or vehicles with fewer miles on the odometer. Many states’ new car lemon laws cover vehicles that are sold or transferred within the manufacturer’s original warranty period. So, for example, if a consumer purchases a used car that is less than a year old and has only a few thousand miles on it, the chances are good that it is covered by the state’s new car lemon law.

How Do I Know if My Car is a Lemon?

While the definition of a lemon varies from state to state, generally speaking a lemon:

  • Has a defect (or sometimes a series of defects) covered by the manufacturer’s express warranty that substantially impairs the safety, use, or value of the vehicle
  • Has been taken in several times (laws vary, but generally require from two to four repair attempts) for the same problem or series of problems, or has been out of service for a specified number of days (typically 30 days)
  • Has a defect that occurs within the lemon law period (most often a specified time period, such as one year from the date of delivery of the vehicle, or a specified odometer reading, such as the first 15,000 miles)

The best way to find out if your car is considered a lemon is to contact Lemberg Law for a free, no obligation case evaluation.

How Much Does a Lemon Lawyer Cost?

It won’t cost you a dime to hire Lemberg Law for your lemon law case. We firmly believe that no consumer should have to pay a retainer when fighting a manufacturer over a lemon law claim. Some lemon law firms will charge a retainer because they don’t believe in your case or believe in their ability to win. At Lemberg Law, we’ve helped more than 15,000 clients recover more than $35 million. When we win or settle lemon law cases, the manufacturer pays your legal fees. We’re confident in our ability to get you the justice you deserve.

What Happens After I Contact Lemberg Law?

The process is pretty straightforward. First, we listen to you. We want you to tell us your story so we can document the problems with your car and the inconvenience you’ve experienced. We’ll ask you to provide records of repairs (and help you figure out how to get them if you don’t already have them). Once we have all of your information, we can determine whether or not you have a case and how we can help you. We’ll explain all of the applicable laws to you and what we believe you can expect in the way of a refund, replacement vehicle, or cash settlement.

Once you’re our client, we’ll confront the dealer and manufacturer with the facts of your case. Our representation will be tailored to your individual case and circumstances. We’ll file the necessary court documents and keep you informed every step of the way. When there are decisions for you to make, we’ll clearly lay out your options so you can make the choice that best meets your needs.