What Is the Used Car Lemon Law?


Quick Answer

The used car lemon law declares that a car is a "lemon" if it has required four or more repairs during the warranty period or has been unusable for 30 days during that time. The exact specifications differ by state, but a lemon warrants refund or replacement from the dealer.

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Full Answer

One aspect of the lemon law in most states is that the consumer gets to decide whether to take the refund or ask for a replacement vehicle, giving more benefit to the buyer. In some states, it only takes one defect to qualify the car as a lemon, as long as that defect could result in a severe injury or compromise the safety of the vehicle.

In some cases, if a consumer has to hire an attorney to pursue a lemon law claim, the attorney also goes after the manufacturer for his fees, accepting the case on a contingency basis. It is important to check the specific lemon laws in the applicable state, though, as the time frames for filing a claim often differ, and the specific remedies available to consumers can also be different. Websites such as LemonLawAmerica.com offer links to the particular lemon law rules for each state.

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