Lemon Law: A Consumer’s Protection Against Faulty Vehicles

Understanding lemon law and how it applies to you.

Lemon laws are extremely important laws meant to protect consumers who have bought a lemon. Let’s face it, a car isn’t a cheap undertaking and if we purchase one that’s a “lemon”, who is going to be there to protect us? Believe it or not, our government is there to protect us with the lemon law.

When Lemon Law Began

Lemon law began in the 70’s and 80’s when different states decided to start implementing lemon laws to protect consumers who bought a lemon from a car dealer. This was done because there was a sudden surge of lemons into the car markets during those years. Something had to be done to protect consumers and a lemon law in every state was the result of that increase in lemon cars.

What’s Covered?

Lemon law varies from state to state. Since each state creates their own lemon law, not all lemon laws are the same.

It’s important to understand that only new cars are covered under lemon law. Used cars do not fall under the lemon law protection, so if you buy a used car that’s a lemon, you have little recourse.

A Basic Understanding of Lemon Laws

While each lemon law for each state will differ, there are some things that remain constant from state to state. If a new car breaks down again and again and the manufacturer tries a number of times to correct the problem but is unable to do so after a certain number of times, the car falls under lemon law.

Just how many times the car must fail and how many times the manufacturer must try to correct the problem is the part of the lemon law that varies from state to state.

Now that doesn’t mean that your radio stops working four times and you’re covered by lemon law. Under lemon law, the repairs must be substantial. For example, if your engine were to fail more than four times, you might be covered under lemon law.

Replaced or Repurchased

Under lemon law, some states will require that a manufacturer replace the car while other states will require that the manufacturer buy the car back from the consumer. Knowing which situation applies to you is a matter of looking up your state’s specific lemon law.


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