State of Louisiana
Office of Attorney General
What is the Lemon Law?
The Lemon Law states that a manufacturer has a legal duty to repair a new motor vehicle. A
"lemon" is defined as a new motor vehicle (it does not include newly leased or
demonstrator vehicles, motorcycles, RVs, or mobile homes) that has a defect which substantially
impairs the use and/or market value of the vehicle. This does not include defects caused by
consumers abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modification of the vehicle.
In addition, a lemon automobile is one which does not conform to the express warranty and cannot
be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts - at least four repair visits to correct the same
malfunction during the warranty period or within one year of delivery of the vehicle; or if the
vehicle has been out of service for repair for a combined total of at least 30 days during the same
period. If the defect still exists, the manufacturer shall replace the lemon with a new vehicle or
give a full refund.
However, a buyer must first use the free mediation or arbitration procedures that the
manufacturer has set up to deal with complaints. In mediation, the manufacturer tries to satisfy the
customer through a settlement. If the customer is not satisfied, the two parties will proceed to the
second step, arbitration. Here an impartial third party will make a decision without the
intervention of lawyers. Consumers should be prepared for arbitration procedures by keeping all
receipts for car maintenance and repairs, letters from mechanics, and all maintenance records on the
When purchasing a vehicle, keep these suggestions in mind:
TAKE TIME: Contact the Consumer Protection Section of the Attorney General's Office or
the Better Business Bureau for information about dealerships and manufacturers.
ASK QUESTIONS: Research the vehicle you are considering buying. Check with sources such
as Consumer Reports and Consumer Digest.
NETWORK WITH OTHER CONSUMERS: Talk to people who have driven or who own the same
BE INFORMED: Read the warranty before you buy the vehicle and ask about the arbitration
AFTER YOU'VE PURCHASED: Try to resolve problems with the dealer. If you don't succeed,
contact the manufacturer to address the problem. Meet with the manufacturer's representative to
inspect the vehicle. Participate in the mediation/arbitration procedures. If all else fails, find
an attorney and consider filing suit.
For further assistance call the CONSUMER PROTECTION HOTLINE at 1-800-351-4889.
Car Lemon Home
Lemon Law Summaries
Lemon Law Statutes