What is Lemon Law?
Definition of Lemon Law
Lemon law allows consumers to get a refund or replacement of a car that was purchased with a major mechanical defect. Generally, a major mechanical defect is one that one that is covered by warranty, and that cannot be repaired even after a "reasonable number" of repair attempts. Consumers can often use lemon laws to obtain a replacement vehicle once their original vehicle is determined to be a lemon.
Terms to Know
- Warranty: A promise made by a dealership that the vehicles it sells are fit to drive.
- Recalls: A notice of a mechanical defect issued by a dealership or manufacturer. Dealerships typically pay for repairs to correct defects listed in a recall.
Practice Area Notes
In most states, dealerships are initially responsible for reviewing lemon law cases and deciding whether a car is a lemon. These are not legal organizations, and many car dealers are eager to find a quick resolution with minimal legal involvement. Some organized car owners, who have kept detailed and complete records of their vehicle's use and repair history, find that they able to get a replacement vehicle under lemon laws without hiring an attorney. However, no dealership wants to admit that they sold a defective car. If your dealership is difficult to deal with, or refuses to decide that a defective car is a lemon, an experienced lemon law attorney is necessary to ensure that your rights are protected.
Lemon laws are highly state specific. States set the definition of "major defect" and what constitutes a "reasonable number of repair attempts," so a car may be a lemon in one state but not in another. Therefore, it is very important to find a local lemon law attorney who is familiar with your state's laws to assist you. Use the search tool below to find a lemon law attorney near you.
Related Practice Areas
- Consumer Protection: Lemon laws are a subset of consumer protection laws, which ensure that the products which enter the marketplace are safe for their intended use.
- Financial Consumer Protection: Financial consumer protection specifically protects consumers from fraud in banking or lending. These laws also apply to car loans.
- Consumer Transactions Law: This area of law covers the basic rules of warranties and other promises made by the seller, which also apply to vehicle transactions.
- Criminal Law: If an unsafe or seriously defective vehicle is misrepresented and sold as safe, it is considered fraud and the dealership's owners can be prosecuted.