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What is the "Lemon Law"?

The "Lemon Law" offers protection for buyers of new vehicles and requires that automobile manufacturers either repurchase or replace a vehicle which has defects that impairs its use, value, or safety.

This usually means the vehicle has not been successfully repaired within a certain number of repair attempts, or the vehicle has spent an "unreasonable" amount of time in a service shop.

Lemon laws are different in each state, so you need to check and be aware of what your rights are. AutoSafety.org provides a nice overview of lemon laws by state.

If you're experiencing minor problems with the car, such as paint peeling, or "funny noises", you won't qualify for the lemon law because those problems don't prevent you from driving the vehicle. If on the other hand, the brakes don't work properly, or the engine won't start, then you certainly have a lemon law case on your hands.

If you feel your new car is a "lemon", it's usually best to contact a lemon-law attorney and let them handle the case. Some States make it easy for you to file complaints yourself, while others are way more complex. About half the states allow you to recover Attorney Fees.

Unfortunately, used cars are usually not covered under the lemon laws, although some States do include them.

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About The Author

Gregg Fidan Gregg Fidan is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.
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