Under What Conditions Does The State Consider My Vehicle A Lemon?

The law creates what is known in legal terminology as a presumption; the Lemon Law presumes that you are entitled to a refund or replacement if the manufacturer or its dealer has made a certain number of unsuccessful attempts to repair nonconformities that substantially impair the use, value or safety of your vehicle (four or more repair attempts, or more than 30 days out of service).

However, there is an exception (or in legal terminology, the presumption is rebuttable). If the manufacturer can prove that it has not had a reasonable opportunity to repair your car, you may not be entitled to a refund or replacement vehicle. For example, if the manufacturer can prove that the number of repair attempts was not unreasonable because you did not follow the terms of the warranty, or some event (such as a labor strike) prevented timely repairs, the Lemon Law might not help you. In addition, if you abused the car or damaged it in an accident, the Lemon Law might nor apply.

Dangerously defective vehicles may be returned in an even shorter period of time. If the problem involves a defect that is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury (such as brake failure or a steering wheel that locks) the Lemon Law may apply if the problem is not promptly corrected after the second attempt.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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