Your Lemon Law Rights and Your State Law

Although the laws vary by state, lemon laws cover most new vehicles. Typically, if you’ve owned your vehicle less than two years or have driven it less than 18,000 miles (whichever comes first), it’s covered by Lemon Law.

What Types of Vehicles Do Lemon Laws Cover?

In most states, the vehicles must be owned and operated by individuals and their families for personal use. Trucks, motorcycles, RVs, and off-road vehicles may also be covered by lemon laws.

How Do I Know If My Car Is Covered by the Lemon Laws?

There are several ways to determine if the Lemon Law covers your vehicle. An immediate indicator that your newly purchased car might be a lemon is that it constantly needs repairs. Specifically, these indicators mean that the Lemon Law should cover your car:

  • If you’ve taken your vehicle in multiple times to repair the same problem
  • If you’ve taken your vehicle in for repair between two times (for serious safety defects) or four times (for other types of problems) in 30 days
  • If your vehicle has been out of service for 30 days

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Lemon Law details vary from state to state even though they tend to be similar. Be sure to check the page on your state for the most accurate information about how the law applies to your situation.

While it’s always best to act quickly if you feel your car is a lemon, cars you’ve had in your possession could still fall under the Lemon Law. Do bear in mind that this varies state to state depending on where you purchased the car.

It’s also important to note that if you’ve owned the vehicle longer than your state’s Lemon Law dictates, it could still be covered under other state laws and under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. This federal law covers any product with a warranty costing more than $25.

What Should You Do If You Feel Your Car Is a Lemon?

If you’re on one of the few with a newly purchased car causing you frustration because of its many breakdowns, then you probably have a lemon on your hands. To make sure you don’t get stuck with a lemon, you need to take certain steps. Begin by making sure you continue to take your car in for repairs, keeping track of the times it went and what the mechanic attempted to fix.

Check to see if your car’s problems qualify for protection in your state, but be aware that lemon laws vary from state to state depending on where you purchased your car. For more information on your state’s lemon laws and criteria for when your legal protections kick in, look over the list below.

Choose your state > 

Are Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Vehicles Covered by Lemon Laws?

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