Lemon Law Lawyers

From full-sized SUVs (sport utility vehicles) with ample storage for your kids and groceries to speedsters that let you zip from 0 to 60 in 2.7 seconds and allow you to live out your racing driver fantasies, car technology has evolved where there’s a vehicle for everyone and every unique situation.

However, investing in a vehicle is costly, with the average cost of a brand-new one hovering around $48,000 as of March 2023. Unfortunately, while rare, you may end up with a car that forces you to spend more time in the repair shop than on the road.

So what do you do? Do you accept your financial loss and hope your next car purchase won’t give you headaches? 

Enter lemon laws and lemon law lawyers, your legal recourse for when you unknowingly bought a “lemon.”

This article tackles lemon laws in the United States, providing a comprehensive guide on your rights and options as a consumer, the vehicles covered under this law, and the benefits and costs of hiring a lemon law lawyer.

Are you ready to take action and protect your rights under lemon laws? Visit LemonLawLawyers.org for expert guidance and legal support. Don’t let a lemon vehicle sour your driving experience!

The Lemon Law in the United States

In the U.S., we have a lemon law at the federal level and state-enacted lemon laws. While these statutes can vary wildly from each other, at their core, they’re designed to protect consumers from defective or poor-quality consumer goods, primarily vehicles.

How Does the Lemon Law Work?

To understand how lemon laws work, you must first know what a “lemon” is. 

“Lemon” is a legal term that describes consumer goods or services that don’t meet their intended usefulness or quality. 

A lemon car is a vehicle with a significant and irreparable problem affecting its usability, safety, or value. 

If you purchased a defective vehicle, lemon laws will require the manufacturer to issue you a replacement or a refund if they can’t repair the lemon car after a specific number of attempts. 

The exact number of repair attempts to prove the defects are substantial and irreparable can vary wildly between jurisdictions.  

Does My Vehicle Have to Be Under Warranty to Pursue a U.S. Lemon Law Claim?

In most states, such as New York, lemon laws only apply to newly purchased vehicles under the original manufacturer’s warranty period.

How Does the Lemon Law Apply to Vehicles Beyond Their Original Warranty or Under Extended Warranty?

The application of lemon laws to vehicles past their warranty period or under extended warranties varies by state.

For example, California’s lemon law, or the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, applies to car claims within the original manufacturer’s warranty period.

However, California lemon law doesn’t apply to repairs made under an extended warranty, as it’s different from a manufacturer’s warranty.

What Vehicles Are Covered Under Lemon Law?

Most lemon laws strictly apply to new vehicles. However, some states, like New York, also cover used cars.

Generally speaking, lemon laws apply to all consumer vehicles, such as cars, pickup trucks, vans, and SUVs, not commercial vehicles or vehicles used to transport goods or passengers.

In some states like California, lemon laws may also cover newly bought car chassis, cabs, and motor home drivetrains.

Do Motorcycles, Boats, and Other Consumer Vehicles Qualify Under U.S. Lemon Laws?

Lemon laws primarily apply to purchased vehicles for personal, family, or household use. However, some states, such as North Carolina, may cover motorcycles.

At the same time, other states include boats and RVs (recreational vehicles) under lemon law coverage if they fit the “personal use” criteria and are under the manufacturer’s warranty.

Does the U.S. Lemon Law Only Cover Certain Manufacturing Defects?

As mentioned, lemon laws apply to substantial defects affecting the vehicle’s safety, value, or use. In other words, lemon laws can cover mechanical issues like engine and transmission problems.

Which Vehicle Defects Are Not Covered Under U.S. Lemon Law?

Although lemon laws can cover various vehicle flaws, cosmetic issues and problems caused by accidents, abuse, or unauthorized modifications are usually not covered.

How to Determine if Your Vehicle Is a Lemon

Discovering that your vehicle is a lemon involves a series of frustrating breakdowns and repair attempts. Generally speaking, you may have a lemon if your vehicle doesn’t meet its intended quality or usefulness, even after multiple repair attempts.

Common signs indicating you’re dealing with a lemon car include chronic malfunctions like poor acceleration, engine issues, electrical failures, and non-functioning gauges.

What to Do When You Have a Lemon

When you find yourself with a lemon vehicle, your first step should be to bring it to the manufacturer or an authorized dealer for repair. As mentioned, the manufacturer must attempt to fix the issue a reasonable number of times before the vehicle is officially considered a lemon.

If the defects persist, you can now pursue legal recourse. 

You must research your state’s local lemon law to determine your rights as the consumer. Documenting all the repairs, such as keeping invoices, will also improve your chances when you submit a claim.

Finally, contact a lemon law lawyer. Experienced attorneys specializing in lemon laws give you the highest odds of a successful settlement. Visit LemonLawLawyers.org to get the assistance you need.

How Long Do I Have to File a Lemon Law Complaint?

The timeframe for filing a lemon law complaint varies by state. Illinois, for example, only gives you a 12-month timeframe. On the other hand, California’s lemon law gives you a four-year deadline to file your lemon law claim.

Used Car Lemon Law Rights

Lemon laws are often thought to apply only to new cars, but some states like New York and California have provisions for used car lemon laws. 

For instance, under California lemon law, dealerships must cover the repair costs or provide the replacement or refund of the lemon.

Which Lemon Law Remedy?

If your vehicle qualifies as a lemon, you typically have three options: get a refund, a replacement, or keep the vehicle and receive a lump sum for the vehicle’s issues.

Obtaining a Replacement Vehicle Under Lemon Law

If you choose a replacement, the manufacturer will retrieve the defective vehicle and issue you a new one. However, the law provides that if you opt for a replacement, the vehicle must be identical (or substantially similar) to the used vehicle. 

Sometimes, the replacement can be a different make or model comparable to the lemon. What’s important is that the different model is acceptable to you and in the same price range.

Obtaining Restitution Under Lemon Law

If you pick a restitution settlement, the manufacturer will buy the lemon from you and reimburse you for the purchase price. 

However, the amount is subject to legally allowable deductions based on the depreciation when you used the vehicle before the first attempt to repair. 

The manufacturer will refund your payments and settle the loan for financed purchases. In some cases, you may also receive compensation for any expenses regarding registration fees, taxes, and legal fees. 

Why Hire Lemon Law Lawyers?

Navigating lemon laws can be complex, so hiring a lemon law attorney can be immensely advantageous. 

Here are reasons you should hire a lemon lawyer:

Expertise and Experience

Lemon law lawyers specialize in this area of law. Having an attorney with extensive knowledge of lemon law cases at your back can help you navigate the intricacies of the legal system smoothly.

Client-Centric Service

Lemon law lawyers are dedicated to protecting your rights and ensuring you receive fair compensation. They also typically only receive payment if they win your case, which adds incentive to creating a robust strategy that boosts your odds of a successful case.

Strategic Success

Lemon law legal professionals know the ins and outs of the law. They can use their expertise to build a winning case and maximize your chances of success – better than you would’ve if you represented yourself.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Lemon Lawyer?

You’ve probably heard many horror stories regarding how some lawyers eat up most of the settlement amount after winning a case. Fortunately, you won’t get that with lemon law lawyers.

Unlike other claims attorneys, reliable lemon law lawyers don’t charge upfront fees. Instead, they typically work on a contingency fee basis. In other words, you only pay if your case is successful.

However, you may not have to pay at all. Depending on your state’s lemon law, the manufacturer may shoulder your legal expenses. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What if I bought the car in another state?

If you purchased a car in a different state, your state’s lemon law may not protect you, as with California and New York. That said, federal lemon applies to products throughout the U.S.

To determine which lemon law applies to your specific case, visit LemonLawLawyers.org and consult with an experienced attorney.

2. What are some popular services for consumer law?

Aside from lemon law, consumer law encompasses a range of services, including warranty claims, credit reporting, and deceptive trade practices.

3. What are people saying about consumer law services?

The opinions on consumer law services are mixed. While some may have had positive experiences, others didn’t.

However, the lawyer or firm is usually the primary factor for the mixed feedback. Therefore, you must work with an attorney you’re comfortable with and can trust.

4. Will I have to go to court to produce results for my lemon law claim?

Whether you must go to court to produce your desired results depends on the specifics of your case. Often, manufacturers settle lemon law cases out of court through negotiation and arbitration.

5. How many repair attempts should there be before I can request a refund under the lemon law?

The number of repair attempts required varies by state. In Tennessee, for example, the lemon law requires four tries to fix the vehicle’s issues.

6. How can I help build my lemon law case for success?

The best way to increase your chances of winning your lemon law claim is to provide detailed records of repair attempts, costs, and communication with the manufacturer or dealer.

Having an experienced lemon law attorney guiding you through the legal system isn’t bad, either. Visit LemonLawLawyers.org to find the best lemon lawyers in your area who can boost your case’s success.

7. Are punitive damages possible in a lemon law case?

While some states like California may compensate punitive or willful damages, they may be difficult to resolve in court. So, many claimants usually don’t file for these types of claims.

8. What is the lemon law statute of limitations? How will it affect my case?

The statute of limitations varies by state and determines your window to file a claim. For instance, under California’s lemon law, you have up to four years to file a refund or replacement for a defective vehicle.

To avoid potential issues with your claim and strengthen your case, you must keep detailed records of the vehicle’s problems and invoices of your attempted repairs in those four years.

9. What rights does a buyer enjoy under the consumer fraud law?

Consumer fraud laws protect you from deceptive or unfair practices and products and punish sellers or manufacturers. These protections allow you to receive refunds and replacements.

10. What’s the difference between the “money factor” and the interest rate?

The money factor and the interest rate determine financing charges on a car loan or lease. The former is the additional cost you pay over the life of the loan, while the interest rate is the cost of borrowing money.

11. Do lemon law lawyers handle U.S. lemon law claims against all vehicle manufacturers?

Lemon Law lawyers can handle U.S. claims against all vehicle manufacturers, but some may specialize in specific brands. Visit LemonLawLawyers.org to find a lemon law lawyer to help you improve your chances of success versus a specific manufacturer.

12. Will I get a refund on your down payment if the manufacturer buys it back?

Usually, you can expect to receive a refund of your down payment. However, you must remember that each lemon law case is unique and that state-specific guidelines and restrictions may apply.

13. Does the U.S. lemon law apply to leased vehicles?

Yes. Some state lemon laws apply to leased vehicles, providing similar protections you get from newly purchased vehicles.

14. What outcome can I expect from a lemon law claim?

The outcome of your lemon law claim can vary. Still, it often involves a resolution such as a refund, vehicle replacement, or a cash-and-keep. To find a lawyer to help you determine the best outcome for your unique situation, visit LemonLawLawyers.org.


1. Lemon Laws: Consumer Protection Against Poorly Made Goods

2. Warranties & Lemon Laws

3. What is a Commercial Vehicle?

4. Money Factor

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