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What Vehicles Are Covered Under The Lemon Law?

The Pennsylvania Automobile Lemon Law applies to any new vehicle purchased and registered in Pennsylvania for personal or family use and designed to transport up to 15 persons. Motorcycles, motor­homes and off­road vehicles are not included.

Under the law, the manufacturer must, at no cost to the purchaser, repair or correct any defect which substantially impairs the use, value or safety of the vehicle and which occurs within one year after delivery, or 12,000 miles of use, or the term of the manufacturers express warranty, whichever comes first.

If the defect cannot be repaired after three (3) attempts, or if the vehicle is out of service for a total of 30 calendar days for repair, you may be eligible for a replacement vehicle or the refund of the purchase price, less a limited allowance for use.

First, contact the manufacturer`s zone representative at the telephone number listed in your owner`s manual. If the zone representative is not successful in having the defect corrected, you may request an arbitration of your case through the manufacturer`s dispute settlement program if one exists.

The arbitration decision is binding on the manufacturer, but not on the consumer, who may proceed further by bringing a private lawsuit.

If the manufacturer has not established an appropriate dispute resolution procedure, you may initiate a legal action at the outset.

Some important requirements of the law are:

  • You are responsible for delivering the vehicle to the manufacturer`s authorized repair facility unless it would be unreasonably difficult to do so. In that case, you must give written notice to the manufacturer so that arrangements can be made for transporting the vehicle, at no expense to you, to a repair site.
  • Each time your vehicle is repaired, the repair facility must give you a detailed statement itemizing all repairs made, and the cost of parts and labor.
  • Your rights under this law will not apply if the defect is the result of your abuse, neglect or alteration of the vehicle.

If a vehicle has been returned to the manufacturer for defects, it may not be resold in Pennsylvania unless the manufacturer provides the consumer with:

  • A written statement that the vehicle was returned because of a defect which was not cured within a reasonable time, and
  • The same express warranty provided originally, except that it may last only for 12,000 miles or 12 months after the resale date.

Vehicles with defective braking or steering systems likely to cause death or serious bodily injury if driven may not be resold in Pennsylvania.

The following table summarizes what is covered, how many times the vehicle has to be repaired for the same defect and the warranty period.

Vehicles CoveredRepair Interval and Coverage Period
Vehicles used primarily for personal, family or household purposes except motor homes, motorcycles, and off­road vehicles.3 repair attempts or 30 calendar days out of service
Warranty period, 1 year or 12,000 miles.
Note:Generally, the term Repair Attempts, as it relates to Lemon Law, refers to one or more attempts to fix the same defect although some states consider a vehicle to be a lemon if it required the specified number of repairs within the coverage period.

A car is out of service while being repaired or waiting for parts.

Warranty Period refers to the Manufacturer`s Express Warranty. Where the Coverage Period lists more than 1 option, the period applies to that option which occurs first.

This is only a summary, to get the complete Lemon Law Statute select your state from the combo box menu on the right side of this page, and click Get Statute.

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