Lemon Law Information

Think your Car is a Lemon? Read your State’s lemon law to see how your State defines a Lemon, and whether your car and its repair history qualify.

Lemon Law Rights

Nearly all State Lemon Law Statutes are similar to the Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act which makes breach of warranty a violation of federal law. All States have enacted their own Warranty Acts and many States have enacted specific Statutes that pertain to Automobile Warranties. If your car is not considered a “lemon” in your State, you do have other recourse.

State Lemon Law Statutes

Lemon Law Summaries – Lemon Law Summaries for each State.
Lemon Law Statutes – Lemon Law Statutes for each State.

Find Your State’s Lemon Laws:

What is a Lemon?

Generally, if the car has been repaired three to four (or more) times for the same defect within the Warranty Period and the defect has not been fixed, the car qualifies as a Lemon. All States differ so you should consult the Lemon Law Summary and the State Statutes for your particular State. Note that the warranty period may or may not coincide with the Manufacturer’s Warranty.

Do I have a Lemon?

  • Is your vehicle 2010 or newer?
  • Has it been in the shop too many times? Too many days?
We can tell you FAST if you have a Lemon!
Send copies of your repair records to: help@CarLemon.com
or FAX: 866-773-6152
or call 888-565-3666
No Cost. No Obligation.
The defect does not have to substantially impair the vehicle’s use, value, or safety to be considered a lemon. If the paint is peeling, the light switch came out when you pulled on it, the car makes “funny noises” but otherwise drives just fine, you may still have a lemon. But if you’ve found 10 things you just don’t like about your new car and none of them prevent you from driving it, then you do not have a Lemon.

If the brakes don’t work, the car won’t go into reverse gear, the darn thing won’t start on cold mornings or hot afternoons, the rear door opens all by itself, the driver’s seat wobbles, or the car chugs along at 30 mph when it should be going 50 mph, then Yes, you may have a Lemon.  Providing you’ve given the manufacturer an opportunity to repair the defect.

In most States, 10 different defects during the Warranty Period does not brand the car as a Lemon, but a repair history like that would likely qualify as a lemon under the federal lemon law. In some States, a single defect that might cause Serious Injury makes your car a Lemon if the manufacturer cannot fix the problem within 1 attempt.

You may have a Lemon, but if you do nothing to protect your Consumer Rights, such as documenting your Repairs and allowing the Manufacturer a chance to fix the problem(s), you lose all rights under the various State Warranty Acts.

Do I need a Lawyer?

The answer depends upon which State you Purchased or Registered your car in. In some States and with proper documentation, you simply file a Complaint. In other States, you will need to hire an Attorney. An experienced lemon law attorney will not charge you, and you can connect with some of those at this site.

Who pays the Lawyer?

Only about half of the States allow you to recover Attorney Fees. If your Attorney sues under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, you will be awarded Attorney Fees if you win. Note that an Attorney’s Fee is based upon actual time expended rather than being tied to any percentage of the recovery.

Is a Used or Leased Car protected?

It depends upon which State the car was purchased or leased in. Some states include used and leased cars in their Lemon Law statutes. Some states have separate laws for used vehicles. Some states provide protection only for new cars. In some states, even the Attorney General is unable to tell you if a Leased vehicle is covered due to the way the law is phrased and you will be referred to an Attorney for clarification of the law. See the Lemon Law Summary and the State Statutes for your particular State to determine what is covered.

Are there any other laws to know about when purchasing a New Car or a Used Car?

You won’t know if you have a lemon until sometime after you drive off the lot. But what about your rights before, during and after you buy that new or used car with regard to the car buying process itself? Several important federal laws, including laws for Truth in Lending, Fair Credit Reporting, Electronic Fund Transfers and Equal Credit Opportunities, protect you at all stages of the car buying process. Following these car buying tips will allow you to know whether any of these laws were violated with regard to your purchase and what to do it they were.

What about Motor Homes and Motorcycles?

motorhome lemon lawMost States cover the drive train portion of Motor Homes (that part which is not used for dwelling purposes). Motorcycles are generally not covered but a few states do include them in their lemon law statutes.

If you have a defective Motorcycle, Motor Home, used car, leased car, or a car used for business purposes and your State Lemon Law does not cover these vehicles, you still have other recourses such as the Uniform Commercial Code and the Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (providing you were given a written warranty). Consult with an Attorney that specializes in this area.

Tips to Protect your Investment

  • Often times, your new car isn’t suspected of being a Lemon until it is too late (out of warranty, over the mileage limit, etc). If you keep a record of every repair visit, starting with the first one, you will protect your rights under Consumer Laws. Our Repair Log makes it easy to record every Repair Attempt.
  • Document everything! This includes notes, who you talk to, what is said, dates and times. Put your complaints in writing and keep a copy for yourself. Be sure to obtain a copy of any Warranty Repair Orders. Demand a copy if necessary and if the dealer will not give you one, be sure to document the fact. When you pick up your car, obtain an Invoice. The dealer may claim that you are not entitled to an Invoice because there were no charges (you were not invoiced for any repairs). It is up to you to prove repair attempts! The final Invoice shows what was or was not repaired.
  • Make absolutely sure the dealer records your complaint on the Repair Order exactly as you describe it. You must make sure to describe the defect exactly the same on each repair visit or you may forfeit your rights under the “reasonable attempts to repair for the same defect” clause.
  • Ask if there are any Technical Service Bulletins or Manufacturer Recalls that deal with your problem. If there are, ask for copies.
  • Be sure that the date, time in, and odometer reading are recorded as well as the date and time you picked up the car. In most States you are covered by the Lemon Law if the vehicle has been in the repair shop for an accumulative number of days during the coverage period.
  • If your car fails in the middle of the desert or in the middle lane of rush hour freeway traffic, record the date and time, the amount of time you had to wait for assistance, whether or not you had to rent a car, and your general overall feelings. The emotional trauma dealing with a defective vehicle has a lot of bearing on your case should you need to go to arbitration or court.

Car Lemon Home
Lemon Law Summaries
Lemon Law Statutes

confidential_informationThere may be instances where discussing your situation over a public forum could potentially compromise your interests. On these occasions we will contact you directly via email in order to answer your inquiry in a confidential manner.

37 comments

  1. so i bought my car in California, but i live in Colorado. I have also had all the work done on the car in Colorado. so do i need to look up the guidelines for the lemon law in California or Colorado.

  2. gerald michaels

    I got a traffic ticket for defective brake lights consecutive within the warranty period & continues electric failures. Does Lemon law cover this

  3. I purchased a car in Michigan that was labeled a “Lemon” in New York. I ran a Car Fax on it and there was only a few service records, nothing that would indicate it was a Lemon. How can I find out why it was labeled a lemon in New York?

  4. I have a 2012 GMC Acadia, and have been bombarded with recall, after recall, and with GM recalls, they allow you use of ONLY a GM rental car at their expense. Well, the last few times I’ve take my vehicle in, I could not get a rental car AT ALL because all the rental agencies GM vehicles were effected by a recall with their key fobs, and it causing the engine to shut off while driving. I have had mine in 3 times with a daytime running light issue. The 4th time finally fixed it, I think, but I would still like to see if I have rights to turn it in as a Lemon.

  5. Hi,
    Can you please help me to proceed under Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act without any fees? I live in CA

  6. I bought my vehicle in May of 2014 in Cedar Park Texas, it is a 2002 Jeep Liberty. I currently live in Oregon and I went to trade it in on a more practical vehicle, and I found out then that the vehicle was a total loss vehicle. I was not informed at the time of sale. If I would have known, I would not have purchased. The vehicle has no resale value and I owe more then it is even worth. What can I do?

  7. I have a Ford Edge that has been at the dealership for close to 9 months waiting on a gas tank that was recalled. The car is more than 2 years old and has more than 18,000 miles. The dealership is giving me a renter. Is it a lemon?

  8. Honda Accord 2013 bad transmission avoid buyig.

  9. I bought a certfied pre-owned bmw 2009 x5 in feb 2012.1st week of purchase coolant leaked and the following week the fuel level sensor failed.8 months later car stalled in a busy freeway,my wife was so scared and almost got into an accident.2013 i told them that the car is hesistant to move after a complete stop like a half to one second delay after letting go of the brakes.and when it goes you literally snap your head from jerking.i was told this is a safety feature so it was never fixed.fast forward to now,still has the delay problem,engine is noisy,park brake malfunction,restraint and air bag malfunction.scared to bring the car to the dealer coz im out of warranty.i have a feeling the car was a lemon to start with.what do u think?

  10. I have a 2015 Ford Escape Titanium, it has 6,000 miles on it so far and I have had it in the shop about 3 or 4 times for recalls on it already. Also I had it fixed last week for an oil leak (or they say it was fixed) and this week it’s still continuing to do so. It goes in again this coming Friday to get that fixed again. Just wondering how many things can go wrong with a vehicle until I am able to do something about it? Also it doesn’t help that I am 18 years old and this is my first loan so I can’t trade it in yet. Please let me know, thanks in advance!

  11. I bought a Ford Fusion 2015 from Anderson Ford Lincoln. Since May 07
    2015, the car has been appearing transmission problems from time to
    time. I’ve sent my car for fixing for 4 times and the problem is still
    there.

  12. I just purchased a 2009 GMC Acadia on August 26, 2015 drove off the lot the check engine light came on so they wrote an we owe ticket to me and put on it will fix check engine light took the vehicle in for repair they tell is its the timing chain that’s a $3,000 repair they had the vehicle for 2 weeks fixed the timing chain then we pick it up drive 5 miles down the highway the check engine light comes on again they now say it the catalytic converter so i have only drove the car for a total of 2 days and purchased the car almost a month ago can i give it back as a lemon and get out of this sale

  13. I bought a 2014 Nissan Frontier brand new in Tennessee in September of 2014. The radio and all the electrical shit off while driving that effects the headlights and tai lights also. I shut the car off and turn it back on everything works again. This is the 3rd time I have taken into Nissan for the same problem they say they can’t duplicate the problem. The truck is currently there now for this problem. Not sure if that falls under the lemon law or not.

  14. I paid for a transmission rebuild, and has been back to repair shop 7 times and to dealer 2 times. I have a 12 month warranty for the transmission. Last time at dealership they said it was Burt up and warped. Company now won’t return any calls to fix problem. Having a very hard time finding anyone to help.did an attourney search online and it came back that they couldn’t help. Why should I have to pay for a whole new transmission cause of their screw ups on my rebuild. Any suggestions

  15. Helping my girlfriend sell her 2004 F150. She was making payments on the vehicle that she purchased from a dealer. She just received the title after paying it off, and it says “lemon law buyback” on the title. She was never informed of this prior to purchasing. What can we do? Any way to find out the reason it was lemon law’d?

  16. I bought a grand cherokee 2005 and I’ve been having problems with it since the first week I got it I took it back to the dealer and they said they would fix it but I think the made it worse my first month with it, it was really back in the dealer being fixed it’s almost a year and still have problems with it, it won’t turn on now I’ve had it for almost a year now
    – engine light turns on
    -air bag light is always on on the passenger seat
    -I recently fixed the alternator
    – new battery
    -2recalls still waiting on one
    DOSE IT QUALIFY AS A LEMON?

  17. I purchased my car New in Sicily, I had it shipped to CA when I moved back to the states. All repairs have been done in CA. I have requested a buyback of the vehicle after it has been into the dealership for repair on the same issue 3 times in less than 10 months. The manufacture denied a buyback. Who do I contact now?

  18. I have a 2015 Mustang that I leased in Michigan. I now live in California however the car has been back about 5 times in an effort to repair the convertible top. It is making a squeaking noise while driving. The last time, Ford replaced the convertible top. Do I have a case worthy of lemon law and would I need to file in Michigan or California?

  19. I need to know who currently holds the title on a car I sold a year ago for my insurance company that i had that keeps billing me. I have to prove title change for them to stop billing me. I did a vin search and paid for it,howe it doesn’t show title holders name. Any ideas

    Thanks

  20. i have sent in my request

  21. i bought a 2000 alero an i have a problem with the car dealer he dont want to pay for parts an labor that was put in the car after he told he to drive it a couple days an let him no an he will fixed it an make is right with me an he didnt after he seen so many problems power steering fuel filter,fuel pump,back brakes ,wrong spring on driver side wrong size tires, a crack on top the motor cover where the piston go.now he says the warranty is no good that he had me pay him cause it was sold under 2000. he is a car dealer and he knew this he just want a quick sale,other words took my mony an ran. could you help me get my money back on parts an labor and the rest of the car fixed since he won’t take the car back.

  22. Hello,
    My husband and I recently traded in our SUV for a truck. Its a 2009 Dodge with 84,000 miles. Since the day we bought it we have been running into problems and the dealer keeps telling us he cant do anything about it. Now our mechanic has told us that the problem now is far beyond something he can fix and we have to take it to Dodge, and not to drive it until then because the system will shut down and leave us stranded. We live in Oregon and I’m having a hard time understanding the lemon law. We have only had the truck about a month, is there anything we can do to fix the problem?

    Thank You,
    Andrea Belding

  23. I bought a honda crv in 2012 brand new and since last summer I am constantly getting my car jumped it’s not the battery and when I put my key in to start car there’s a terrible sound the dealership and manufacturer doesn’t know what’s wrong with it! I am afraid it’s going to blow up one of these days while trying to start car , not to mention I don’t know once I get somewhere if my car will start to take me home . This should me considered a lemon going to honda again tomorrow !!! What do you think

  24. I bought a car on Nov 23 2015. When we got home that night I had a sign come on which said Service Stabilitrak. We thought it was the key so we switched keys, still happened. We called the car lot and they said keep an eye on it. I have pics of every thing that has happened to the car. All kinds of lights was happening like the abs light the brake light the road hazard sign kepted coming on. We took it in and they kepted the car said it would be a couple of days before they could look at it due to them redoing their floor. Mean time we went back the next night to show them the videos that we took. They said the car was fixed that it was the negative cable was wrong that they had to take it to the chevy place since it’s a chevy cruze and we bought it at a nizzan place. WE go the car back that night drove just fine for a few days then one ight me and my husband was driving home and the radio just went off but was still on. no sound at all couldn’t turn it off . When I got up the next morning to head to work the car wouldn’t start, went and got husband and we had to jump it off. Called the car lot that day and we took it back in and they couldn’t find anything wrong with it. The service lady gave me her personal cell phone and said if it happens again or anything happens again not to do anything and to call her and she would have someone to come out look at the car and get us where we needed to be and get the car to the shop. So we left, and the car has not died again but the car was jumping and I told them about it and they wouldn’t do anything about it. Took it in for an oil change around 12-17-2015 and since then the car has had a loud noise since the oil change. Last night 1-6-2016 me and husband went to the store came out and the car was smoking and husband checked under the hood and it was out of antifreeze so husband put some in it. Went down the road and the light AC off due to high engine temp came on so turned the heater off and then it came saying engine overheated idle engine so we pulled over and called the service lady since had her personal number. She said that she will have a toll truck to come get us and we said what about a car cause wife has to get to work. She said let me call you back so a guy named Bill called back and said that husband didn’t know how to put the antifreeze in but wanted him toput some more in there. So we put the rest of it in there and we drove not even 10 ft and it over heated again. to make long story short we have had problems since the night we bought this car. Is there anything we can do about it. Can we return the car and get another car or get something done. They are giving us the run around and I’m getting very mad over this. I need to get an attorney

  25. I don’t understand the reasoning behind a 12 month lemon law. Our vehicle was driven normally nothing that would cause any problems happened. And on the sixteenth month it decided to start having problems. Looking further we found out that a lot of that make and model cars were having issues with the transmission. 2014 JEEP CHEROKEE LATITUDE all the way up to the 2016 JEEP CHEROKEE TRAILBLAZER. SAME PROBLEM. Fiat didn’t work all the kinks out of it before they packaged it and sold it. Now because we passed the Lemon law date we are stuck with it.
    So IS THAT IT IS THAT ALL WE CAN MANAGE? One year are car only has to run really for one year that we are guaranteed a real replacement. CAN’T WE DO BETTER? How about at least 2 years? CAN’T WE MANAGE THAT?

  26. Bought a 2014 Ram 1500 about 6 months ago and it’s still under the mfg warranty. The truck has been in the shop since 1/4/16 and it has been in the shop before… they don’t know what is wrong with the truck… it has more than 20K miles but not much more… they said they are working with Jeep and Chrysler but still no.luck….
    We bought the truck in Louisiana but registered in Texas. My son is in US NAVY so he took the truck to Norfolk, VA
    Can this be qualified as lemon? And can we file complaint against it?
    Thanks

  27. i currently won a bid for a 2008 Nissan Frontier but after giving them the money and signing the “as is” form drove the car home, doesn’t work and then had to jumpstart to work. took it down to the dealer for repairs and computer assistment, to find out the engine needs to be overhauled, which is a 5k repair. The bank refuse to assist in any way to fix or return the money. But i think have done wrong, they knew of the bad engine and still sold it……. should i persue a law suit, as we don’t have the lemon law in place?
    thanks

  28. I have a new Pilot that makes a noise upon accelerating. I have had it in two different shops 4 times with them unable to fix the problem. The noise did not occur until after I had an auto accident (minor, front end damage) that I had fixed. Would being in the accident void the lemon law in Colorado?

  29. hello!,I like your writing very much! share we keep up a correspondence extra approximately your post
    on AOL? I need an expert in this house to unravel my problem.
    May be that’s you! Having a look forward to peer you.

  30. I bought my car in Nevada, but I live in California. I have also had all the work done on the car in California. The first time noticed when drive over road bumps it hit hard under the driver side, the dealer did not write it up but they said it was normal with these cars. the second time engine check light, cooling fans was at fault, and evaporation check engine light. the 3rd time engine spark plugs fault. Do I have strong buy back from maserati? DOSE IT QUALIFY AS A LEMON? not a money full buy back?

  31. We are buying a 2001 Nissan xterra from a used car dealer. Recently it broke down on us and left us stranded for hours. We attempted to fix it but can’t however while looking for the problem we discovered that the frame of the vehicle is severally rusted and could be dangerous to drive. What do we need to do?

  32. Christopher Samolis

    I have a 2015 GMC Sierra 1500 …Transmission sounds like its going.. I have complained about it twice so far only noted once by dealer …Tech could find “nothing” wrong ..also burning oil so far 2 oil changes in and every oil change requires me to put in 1 quart of oil before its due to be changed and I can see blue smoke from exhaust when remote starting …..My question if they cant duplicate the problem can it count as lemon law at that point ?

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