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State Lemon Laws

State Lemon Laws exist to protect the consumer in the event that an automobile or motorcycle purchase is defective. While state lemon laws vary based on jurisdiction, they do share many things in common.

First, state lemon law outlines the definition of a lemon. It lays out the circumstances in which a car or truck can be declared a lemon. For example, state lemon laws dictate the number of times a car must be repaired before a car can be called a lemon. Usually, if a defect has been repaired several times to no avail, and the defect affects an automobileˇ¦s value, safety, or use, a car is called a lemon. State lemon laws also require that the manufacturer, and not the dealer, must remedy the defect.

Second, state lemon laws outline a period of warranty rights, usually between one or two years and 12,000 to 24,000 miles. In other words, the defect has to occur during this time. However, some state lemon laws will allow a period to file as well. That is, you can file for up to 4 years after you discover the defect.

Third, a state lemon law will offer guidelines regarding the number of repair attempts, and if these attempts entitle the owner to a replacement or refund. These guidelines include:

1. Serious safety defects that affect steering or brakes will give a manufacturer one repair attempt.
2. Safety defects not classified as ˇ§seriousˇ¨ allow the manufacturer two repair attempts.
3. Most other defects will give the manufacturer 3 or 4 repair attempts on the same defect.
4. If a car visits the dealer for 30 calendar days within a year, state lemon laws take effect.

If one or all of these guidelines are met, state lemon laws give car owners the right to have the vehicle replaced or repurchased.

Most state lemon laws allow manufacturers to have the ownerˇ¦s use of the vehicle reduced from the refund. For example, one state lemon law multiplies the miles at the time of the refund and the purchase price. This figure is then divided by 100,000 to yield the refund amount. There is some controversy as to whether the mileage should end at the time of refund or the time of first repair. Consult your areaˇ¦s state lemon law for clarification.

About half of state lemon laws will allow recovery of lawyer fees related to the pursuit of state lemon law litigation. States that do allow for attorney fee recovery offer a higher probability of success.

Lemon Laws Basics 2010

Lemon Laws 2018