Connecticut Lemon Law Info – CT Lemon Law Attorneys

Connecticut Lemon Law – Step-by-Step Guide

Our firm has represented consumers in Connecticut Lemon Law cases for almost 20 years. So here’s a guide for what to do (and not do) if you bought a lemon car in Connecticut.

Step 1: Determine whether Connecticut Lemon Law covers your car

  1. Is your Car New or Used? Connecticut Lemon Law applies to new passenger vehicles, SUVs, vans, trucks, and motorcycles that are purchased or leased in Connecticut. Connecticut Lemon Law also applies to used vehicles as long as repairs for the defects took place within two years or 24,000 miles of the original purchase (whichever comes first).
  2. Did the defects occur during the ‘Lemon Law Period?’ Connecticut Lemon Law is generally time-limited. It applies during the two years or 24,000 miles of the original purchase (whichever comes first).  However, as long as at least one defect repair occurred during the Lemon Law Period, defect repairs outside the Lemon Law Period may also be considered.
  3. Is the problem covered under warranty? To qualify under the Lemon Law, the car problem must be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.  This applies to most car problems, but not all. For instance, aftermarket parts/installations aren’t covered.
  4. Is the car problem substantial? Does it affect your use, safety, or value of the car to you.  Noises, squeaks, rattles etc. are typically not covered.
  5. Do you have enough repairs? Connecticut Lemon Law presumes a car to be a lemon if during the first 2 years or 24,000 miles the same problem was
  • Repaired 4 times for same defect and it still persists, or
  • The vehicle is out of service for 30 or more calendar days due to same or different repairs.

There is a safety exception as well. During the first year from purchase, a defect likely to cause death or serious bodily harm may qualify if the car has been repaired twice but same defect still exists.

6. Does the car use qualify it for Connecticut Lemon Law? In order to qualify, the car must be used as a passenger vehicle. Commercial vehicle qualifies too as long as it is eligible for a Connecticut commercial combination license plate registration. 

The exact text of the law is available by clicking here. If you meet these criteria, keep reading!

Don’t be stuck with a lemon. You have legal rights to cash, return or buyback.

The law makes car manufacturers pay legal fees.

We've fixed thousands of lemon problems. Message or call 855-301-2100 today.

And here’s a video guide if you prefer:

Step 2: Determine What Relief You Can Get Under Connecticut Lemon Law

Connecticut Lemon Law provides several options for a successful consumer.

  1. You may be awarded a replacement with an identical or comparable vehicle acceptable to you.
  2. You may be awarded vehicle repurchase and refund of the moneys you paid, which can include:
    • A refund of the contract price. A mileage deduction for the use you have had of the vehicle may or may not be deducted. The statutory mileage deduction is computed by multiplying the present mileage of the vehicle times the contract price and dividing that figure by 120,000.

Refund or replacement awards may also include reimbursement for other out-of-pocket expenses or costs you incurred that are reasonably connected to manufacturer’s failure to repair your car.

Step 3: Hire a Lawyer – No Cost to You

In a perfect world, you would not need a lawyer in a lemon law case.  Except one thing: every vehicle manufacturer will be represented by a law firm or a trained professional specializing in lemon law.  Corporations can’t represent themselves, so they oftentimes will have one or two lawyers for every case, plus an expert mechanic. So we think you always hire a lawyer for a lemon law case. Always.

Under the Connecticut Lemon Law (CGS 42-180), when you prevail, the manufacturer is required to pay your lemon fees. So our firm and others like it take these cases on contingency – at NO COST TO YOU.

Like anything else, lawyers who do this kind of work know the laws and regulations. Most cases get resolved without the need for filing either arbitrations or litigations.  We ensure that all paperwork and legal filings meet the requirements and prevent any procedural errors or documentary errors that could weaken a case.

More often than not, the manufacturer will settle; if not, though, we recommend a lawsuit or arbitration.

Step 4:  Choose Your Forum

There are 3 ways to get what you want in a lemon law case.

  1. Negotiation. Most lemon law situations are resolved pre-suit between lawyers working for consumers or sometimes the consumers themselves and the manufacturers. This is by far the quickest, most efficient and least expensive way to proceed.
  2. Arbitration. Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection runs a Lemon Law Arbitration program. We’ve represented consumers in arbitrations through the program many times and have had great results. However, we strongly advise consumers to hire a law firm (us or someone else) because the manufacturer will have lawyers or specially trained professionals there.
  3. Lawsuits. We have filed numerous lawsuits in Connecticut Superior Court representing consumers in lemon law cases.  Lawsuits can drag out for years, so for consumers with qualifying lemon law cases, our standard suggestion is to follow either negotiation or arbitration paths.

Who pays Legal Fees under Connecticut Lemon Law?

The manufacturer. Under Sec. 42-180 (costs and attorney’s fees in breach of warranty actions) a consumer who prevails in a lemon law case can get “costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.”

Who are we? We are Lemberg Law, a Consumer Law Firm

Lemberg Law is a consumer law firm helping victims of bad manufacturing and run-arounds from auto companies. We are ranked A+ by the BBB. Call our Helpline today!  There is no charge unless we win.

Does the Connecticut Lemon Law apply to used cars?

There is no ‘per se’ Lemon Law in Connecticut for used cars (with the exception that the car bought used may still be covered by Connecticut Lemon Law as long as repairs for the defects took place within two years or 24,000 miles of the original purchase (whichever comes first)). However, the Connecticut law mandates that motor vehicle dealers provide express warranties to buyers of used cars priced at $3,000 or above, as long as the car is less than seven years old. For vehicles that cost over $5,000, this warranty extends for 60 days or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first, covering all necessary parts and labor to maintain the vehicle’s mechanical integrity. Finally, it should be noted that a used vehicle older than seven years that is purchased ‘as is’ and without a warranty cannot qualify as a lemon under the Connecticut Lemon Law or benefit from the law that mandates dealers to provide express warranties.

The exact text of the Connecticut so-called ‘used car’ lemon law is available by clicking here.

Template Lemon Law Demand Letter

Most lemon law cases begin with a demand letter to the manufacturer. We’ve created a sample that suits this purpose in most circumstances, although please understand that this isn’t legal advice and we don’t bear any responsibility for its accuracy. Here’s a sample demand letter that you can adapt for your use.

Case Studies – Lemberg Law Cases

Case Study 1: Paulino Lemon Law Arbitration Order – Arbitration Case No. 2021-2069. Our client bought a new 2019 Land Rover Range Rover Velar S. He experienced continual failures of the infotainment system touchscreen interface, rear camera producing blurry images, the auto stop-start feature malfunctioning, rear lights and daytime running lights malfunctioning, coolant pump failure, air conditioning failure, collision warning system malfunctioning, and windshield wiper malfunction – 31 days out of service during the term of protection, a total of 7 visits to the dealership.

Client complained of all the aforementioned malfunctions, wanted vehicle repurchased. Manufacturer initially offered $4,000 cash compensation, subsequently offered to repurchase, but refused to refund all money due under Connecticut lemon law, insisted on unreasonable deductions from the refund amount, then seized to communicate altogether, following which Lemberg Law initiated arbitration.  Arbitrator ruled that manufacturer shall repurchase the vehicle, and no mileage deduction for the miles driven shall be taken due to the defect appearing so early and continuing for such a long time.

Consumer was further awarded a refund of finance charges, refund of after-market service contract costs, and attorney fees and costs. When manufacturer failed to comply with the order and repurchase the vehicle within the time frame prescribed by the order, the Department of Consumer Protection fined manufacturer $26,500. (See here).

Case Study 2: Norton Lemon Law Arbitration Order – Arbitration Case No. 2023-925. Our client bought a 2022 Volkswagen GTI. He complained that the dashboard display regularly indicates malfunctions of the “travel assist” and “SOS” safety features, which includes the frontal collision warning feature and emergency braking system.  The cited safety features were randomly shutting off while the vehicle was being driven, and a chime noise that was continually being broadcast inside the cabin whenever the vehicle ignition was on.

Client came to Lemberg Law because manufacturer did not have a replacement part to repair the defect and manufacturer refused to repurchase the vehicle that was still unrepaired. More than 60 days have passed since client originally complained, but the vehicle was still unrepaired due to lack of replacement part.  Manufacturer argued the vehicle was successfully repaired during the second visit once the replacement part arrived, and that the vehicle was out of service for a total of 3 days.

At the hearing, our client presented evidence that same defect recurred after the steering wheel was replaced during a second visit.  The post hearing inspection by the independent DCP technical engineer confirmed the malfunction codes have been stored in the vehicle’s computer module confirming consumer’s testimony that defect persisted after second repair attempt.

Arbitrator ordered vehicle repurchase based on the fact that two repair attempts occurred during the first 12 months and the defect still exists that is life threatening or likely to cause serious bodily injury, if the vehicle is driven. Arbitrator also ordered refund of out-of-pocket expenses and payment of attorney’s fees and costs.

Breach of Warranty Claims

Even if your car does not qualify for Lemon Law, you may still be able to recover against the dealer or manufacturer in Connecticut based on breach of warranty theories.

For instance, there is a Breach of the Implied Warranty of Merchantability claim.  A consumer who buys a car may be able to sue if she shows the car was unmerchantable at the time of sale.  A car buyer may also sue for Revocation of Acceptance.  Consumers have the right under the Uniform Commercial Code to “revoke acceptance” of the vehicle (GCS § 42a-2-608) and argue that the vehicle’s defects substantially impaired its value.  Finally, there is the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA).  The claim would be that by selling a defective car, the dealer and manufacturer engaged in “unfair and deceptive” practices.

Comparison with Other Laws

Overall, Connecticut is a favorable place to bring a Lemon Law case. It covers both cars and motorcycles, and even certain commercial vehicles, and does so a full 2 years or 24,000 miles (and under certain circumstances longer).  In contrast, lemon law in New York is shorter: New York’s lemon law covers new cars, personal watercraft, and motorcycles for the first 24 months or 18,000 miles!  Connecticut has a ‘safety’ exception (only two repairs), which isn’t available either in New York or Massachusetts.  Massachusetts Lemon Law, moreover, requires that manufacturer receive a ‘written notice of an opportunity to repair,’ whereas Connecticut does not.  Overall, Connecticut and New York offer more extensive protection in terms of the duration of coverage, which can be seen as better for the consumer.  Massachusetts, while offering a shorter coverage period, provides quick resolution due to its lower threshold for days out of service.  The “better” law may depend on the specific needs and circumstances of the vehicle owner.

Important cases – Important Legal Developments

Hernandez v. Apple Auto Wholesalers of Waterbury LLC. Isaac Hernandez brought a lawsuit against Apple Auto and Westlake Services, LLC, alleging that Apple Auto sold him a defective and unsafe vehicle, misrepresented the vehicle’s condition, and falsely stated the down payment amount on a contract. He claimed violations of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, and the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA).

The court found that Apple Auto committed several breaches.  The vehicle was defective and not merchantable at the time of sale, thus breaching the implied warranty of merchantability under the UCC.  Hernandez justifiably revoked his acceptance of the vehicle, leading to the cancellation of the retail installment contract.  Apple Auto engaged in unfair or deceptive acts by violating regulations on the sale of motor vehicles, constituting a CUTPA breach.  Hernandez was entitled to recover the amount paid for the vehicle, the cost of inspection, and additional damages for the various violations, including statutory damages for TILA disclosure breaches.  The court granted a motion for default judgment against Apple Auto, awarded Hernandez $24,300 in total damages, and denied motions for summary judgment related to Westlake Services, as those claims would be addressed in a separate order.

Angelo Makris v. BMW of North America, LLC. The case involved Angelo Makris suing BMW for breach of warranty under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and state laws, following repeated failures to adequately repair his BMW 440xi.  The Superior Court of Connecticut granted BMW’s motion for summary judgment, dismissing Makris’ claims as time-barred.

Makris purchased the car in March 2018, covered by a warranty that promised repairs for defects within four years or 50,000 miles.  He experienced issues with the vehicle, leading to several unsuccessful repairs from August 2021 to January 2022.  He then revoked acceptance of the vehicle and demanded a refund in January 2022, and filed the lawsuit in July 2022.

The court found the claims were time-barred by a four-year statute of limitations that expired in March 2022. Despite arguments that ongoing repairs should toll the statute of limitations, the court held that the warranty did not extend to future performance and that such a view would render warranty periods meaningless.  The court applied prior Connecticut decisions indicating that repair-and-replace warranties do not toll the statute of limitations.

As for the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act claim, it was also dismissed as it is derivative of state law warranty claims, which were found to be time-barred.  Thus, the court ruled in favor of BMW, granting its motion for summary judgment entirely.

Connecticut Lemon Law FAQs

Are Leased Vehicles Covered Under Connecticut Lemon Law?

Yes! Leased vehicles are covered under Connecticut Lemon Law. If you leased a Lemon, you may still be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer. 

Does Connecticut Lemon Law Cover Appliances? 

No, the Lemon Law in Connecticut only specifically applies to automobiles. However, the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, also called the “federal lemon law,” can still protect those who have purchased Lemon appliances in Connecticut.

If the Lemon Law protects me, why won’t the dealer or carmaker just refund my money or provide a replacement vehicle?

While it would be nice for dealers and manufacturers to realize their error and compensate the buyer fairly on their own, they usually try to avoid refunding and replacing Lemons without legal intervention. Since it costs them money to deal with Lemons, they often use delay tactics and alternative “resolution mechanisms” to avoid having to fix the problem until the Lemon Law period expires. This is the reason states passed Lemon Laws in the first place!

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

If you think you have a lemon, our firm can help! Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes car manufacturers pay legal fees. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you. Get your lemon out of your life!

  • Janice

    I ordered a 2022 Subaru Outback. Waited 5 1/2 months and it was the wrong color. Waited another month to get one similar to what we ordered and now it has electronic issues. The auto window rolls all the way up but then continues to go 1/2 way back down, the eye ( tells me to keep eyes on the road) turned off as I was driving down the road. The back hatch is supposed to work with arm near but rarely does. I used key fob to open hatch and opened about 6 inches. And a few other issues. They told me to bring it in and I told them “it’s brand new, this should not be happening. I just want to start over with a different car. It’s just too much too soon. Only 2500 miles on it. Got pics of problems and mileage when it 1st started. Need help. Please contact me

  • Katelyn L

    Hi, I recently financed a car from Napoli Kia about 3 months ago. It’s a 2013 Nissan Versa, when I got the car they told me it was a trade in from an accident and not all of the work was finished before they gave me the car. They told me I would need to bring the car back to get the work finished and that I would receive a rental. When I brought the car to get work done I was told they can’t provide me with a rental due to me being only 18. So I waited there all day and once it was done they told me it would need to come back again but I told them due to my job, I wouldn’t be able to drop the car off without a rental. They told me I needed to go through hertz, but I have to be 21 to get a car from there too. Recently the transmission started having more problems so I called and told them there was a problem, made an appointment, waited all day, and they told me the transmission was fine, nothing wrong with it, they even said they test drove it. Couple days later my car started to stall out on me so I gave them a call back only to find out that apparently the transmission was never looked at due to the fact that it’s a CVT transmission and they would’ve had to take it apart… so not sure why they told me my transmission was fine. Then tried to make another appointment but it was a run around trying to get a replacement car for the 2-3 weeks my car will be in the shop. So I went in and talked to the people, they told me I need to drop the car off Monday so the bank can come make a claim on the transmission. I can’t drive the car, but if I bring the car I’m still going to be out of a car. And the total price I’m financing is somewhere around 10,000$.

  • Catherine H

    My situation is I purchase a 2016 Nissan maxima on November 20,2020 months later I was having problems I called Key Hyundai in regarding the problem that I was having I explain to them that I’m having problems starting up the car and it’s their suggestion was nothing is wrong with the vehicle so I appointment for oil change told them to find out the results of why the car is pulling and it’s not moving as fast as they’re supposed to now that it’s nine months I have electrical problems and transmission that needs to be replace the warranty indicates which one comes first and they claim that my policy for my warranty has expired the car was giving me issues with I felt The car dealer knew that this tranny was having problems my most concern is that the electrical and I know that there were recalls on the 2016 Nissan maximum known for electrical and catching on fire I’m afraid to drive the car I don’t know what to do they don’t want to fix my vehicle and I’m still paying the car note what can I do to have them to take the car back and just replace me with a whole new car.

  • Kevin b

    I need a lawyer badly asap I’m in new Britain ct someone please help

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