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Virginia Lemon Law

Virginia Lemon Law State Statutes

The Virginia lemon law on new cars is below. Statutes can be confusing, so if the legal ease gets to you, or you simply want to skip learning the law and proceed to “Go” and collect damages for your lemon under the Virginia automobile lemon law (or the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, federal lemon law), you can connect with a free Virginia lemon law attorney right here. Simply put, CarLemon.com has you and the lemon law process covered!

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Virginia Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act

Title 59.1, Chapter 17.3, Trade And Commerce

Virginia Lemon Law Statute 59.1-207.9 Short title.
This chapter may be cited as the Virginia Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act.

Virginia Car Lemon Law 59.1-207.10 Intent.
The General Assembly recognizes that a motor vehicle is a major consumer purchase, and there is no doubt that a defective motor vehicle creates a hardship for the consumer. It is the intent of the General Assembly that a good faith motor vehicle warranty complaint by a consumer should be resolved by the manufacturer, or its agent, within a specified period of time. It is further the intent of the General Assembly to provide the statutory procedures whereby a consumer may receive a replacement motor vehicle, or a full refund, for a motor vehicle which cannot be brought into conformity with the express warranty issued by the manufacturer. However, nothing in this chapter shall in any way limit the rights or remedies which are otherwise available to a consumer under any other law.

Virginia Lemon Law Definition 59.1-207.11

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

“Collateral charges” means any sales-related or lease-related charges including but not limited to sales tax, license fees, registration fees, title fees, finance charges and interest, transportation charges, dealer preparation charges or any other charges for service contracts, undercoating, rust proofing or installed options, not recoverable from a third party. If a refund involves a lease, “collateral charges” means, in addition to any of the above, capitalized cost reductions, credits and allowances for any trade-in vehicles, fees to another to obtain the lease, and insurance or other costs expended by the lessor for the benefit of the lessee.

“Comparable motor vehicle” means a motor vehicle that is identical or reasonably equivalent to the motor vehicle to be replaced, as the motor vehicle to be replaced existed at the time of purchase or lease with an offset from this value for a reasonable allowance for its use.

“Consumer” means the purchaser, other than for purposes of resale, or the lessee, of a motor vehicle used in substantial part for personal, family, or household purposes, and any person to whom such motor vehicle is transferred for the same purposes during the duration of any warranty applicable to such motor vehicle, and any other person entitled by the terms of such warranty to enforce the obligations of the warranty.

“Incidental damages” shall have the same meaning as provided in 8.2-715.

“Lemon law rights period” means the period ending eighteen months after the date of the original delivery to the consumer of a new motor vehicle. This shall be the period during which the consumer can report any nonconformity to the manufacturer and pursue any rights provided for under this chapter.

“Lien” means a security interest in a motor vehicle.

“lien holder” means a person, partnership, association, corporation or entity with a security interest in a motor vehicle pursuant to a lien.

“Manufacturer” means a person, partnership, association, corporation or entity engaged in the business of manufacturing or assembling motor vehicles, or of distributing motor vehicles to motor vehicle dealers.

“Manufacturer’s express warranty” means the written warranty, so labeled, of the manufacturer of a new automobile, including any terms or conditions precedent to the enforcement of obligations under that warranty.

“Motor vehicle” means only passenger cars, pickup or panel trucks, motorcycles, self-propelled motorized chassis of motor homes and mopeds as those terms are defined in 46.2-100 and demonstrators or leased vehicles with which a warranty was issued.

“Motor vehicle dealer” shall have the same meaning as provided in 46.2-1500.

“Nonconformity” means a failure to conform with a warranty, a defect or a condition, including those that do not affect the drivability of the vehicle, which significantly impairs the use, market value, or safety of a motor vehicle.

“Notify” or “notification” means that the manufacturer shall be deemed to have been notified under this chapter if a written complaint of the defect or defects has been mailed to it or it has responded to the consumer in writing regarding a complaint, or a factory representative has either inspected the vehicle or met with the consumer or an authorized dealer regarding the nonconformity.

“Reasonable allowance for use” shall not exceed one-half of the amount allowed per mile by the Internal Revenue Service, as provided by regulation, revenue procedure, or revenue ruling promulgated pursuant to 162 of the Internal Revenue Code, for use of a personal vehicle for business purposes, plus an amount to account for any loss to the fair market value of the vehicle resulting from damage beyond normal wear and tear, unless the damage resulted from nonconformity to any warranty.

“Serious safety defect” means a life-threatening malfunction or nonconformity that impedes the consumer’s ability to control or operate the new motor vehicle for ordinary use or reasonable intended purposes or creates a risk of fire or explosion.

“Significant impairment” means to render the new motor vehicle unfit, unreliable or unsafe for ordinary use or reasonable intended purposes.

“Warranty” means any implied warranty or any written warranty of the manufacturer, or any affirmations of fact or promise made by the manufacturer in connection with the sale or lease of a motor vehicle that become part of the basis of the bargain. The term “warranty” pertains to the obligations of the manufacturer in relation to materials, workmanship, and fitness of a motor vehicle for ordinary use or reasonable intended purposes throughout the duration of the lemon law rights period as defined under this section.

Virginia Lemon Law 59.1-207.12 Conformity to all warranties.

If a new motor vehicle does not conform to all warranties, and the consumer reports the nonconformity to the manufacturer, its agents, or its authorized dealer during the manufacturer’s warranty period, the manufacturer, its agent or its authorized dealer shall make such repairs as are necessary to conform the vehicle to such warranties, notwithstanding the fact that such repairs are made after the expiration of such manufacturer’s warranty period.

Virginia Lemon Law 59.1-207.13 Nonconformity of motor vehicles.

A. If the manufacturer, its agents or authorized dealers do not conform the motor vehicle to any applicable warranty by repairing or correcting any defect or condition, including those that do not affect the drivability of the vehicle, which significantly impairs the use, market value, or safety of the motor vehicle to the consumer after a reasonable number of attempts during the lemon law rights period, the manufacturer shall:

1. Replace the motor vehicle with a comparable motor vehicle acceptable to the consumer, or

2. Accept return of the motor vehicle and refund to the consumer, lessor, and any lien holder as their interest may appear the full contract price, including all collateral charges, incidental damages, less a reasonable allowance for the consumer’s use of the vehicle up to the date of the first notice of nonconformity that is given to the manufacturer, its agents or authorized dealer. Refunds or replacements shall be made to the consumer, lessor or lien holder, if any, as their interests may appear. The consumer shall have the unconditional right to choose a refund rather than a replacement vehicle and to drive the motor vehicle until he receives either the replacement vehicle or the refund. The subtraction of a reasonable allowance for use shall apply to either a replacement or refund of the motor vehicle. Mileage, expenses, and reasonable loss of use necessitated by attempts to conform such motor vehicle to the express warranty may be recovered by the consumer.

A1. In the case of a replacement of or refund for a leased vehicle, in addition to any other damages provided in this chapter, the motor vehicle shall be returned to the manufacturer and the consumer’s written lease shall be terminated by the lessor without penalty to the consumer. The lessor shall transfer title to the manufacturer as necessary to effectuate the consumer’s rights pursuant to this chapter, whether the consumer chooses vehicle replacement or a refund.

B. It shall be presumed that a reasonable number of attempts have been undertaken to conform a motor vehicle to any warranty and that the motor vehicle is significantly impaired if during the period of eighteen months following the date of original delivery of the motor vehicle to the consumer either:

1. The same nonconformity has been subject to repair three or more times by the manufacturer, its agents or its authorized dealers and the same nonconformity continues to exist;

2. The nonconformity is a serious safety defect and has been subject to repair one or more times by the manufacturer, its agent or its authorized dealer and the same nonconformity continues to exist; or

3. The motor vehicle is out of service due to repair for a cumulative total of thirty calendar days, unless such repairs could not be performed because of conditions beyond the control of the manufacturer, its agents or authorized dealers, including war, invasion, strike, fire, flood or other natural disasters.

C. The lemon law rights period shall be extended if the manufacturer has been notified but the nonconformity has not been effectively repaired by the manufacturer, or its agent, by the expiration of the lemon law rights period.

D. The manufacturer shall clearly and conspicuously disclose to the consumer, in the warranty or owner’s manual, that written notification of the nonconformity to the manufacturer is required before the consumer may be eligible for a refund or replacement of the vehicle under this chapter. The manufacturer shall include with the warranty or owner’s manual the name and address to which the consumer shall send such written notification.

E. It shall be the responsibility of the consumer, or his representative, prior to availing himself of the provisions of this section, to notify the manufacturer of the need for the correction or repair of the nonconformity, unless the manufacturer has been notified as defined in 59.1-207.11. If the manufacturer or factory representative has not been notified of the conditions set forth in subsection B of this section and any of the conditions set forth in subsection B of this section already exists, the manufacturer shall be given an additional opportunity, not to exceed fifteen days, to correct or repair the nonconformity. If notification shall be mailed to an authorized dealer, the authorized dealer shall upon receipt forward such notification to the manufacturer.

F. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit or impair the rights and remedies of a consumer under any other law.

G. It is an affirmative defense to any claim under this chapter that:

1. An alleged nonconformity does not significantly impair the use, market value, or safety of the motor vehicle; or

2. A nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect or unauthorized modification or alteration of a motor vehicle by a consumer.

Virginia Lemon Law 59.1-207.14 Action to enforce provisions of chapter.

Any consumer who suffers loss by reason of a violation of any provision of this chapter may bring a civil action to enforce such provision. Any consumer who is successful in such an action or any defendant in any frivolous action brought by a consumer shall recover reasonable attorney’s fees, expert witness fees and court costs incurred by bringing such actions.

Virginia Lemon Law 59.1-207.15 Informal dispute settlement procedure.

A. If a manufacturer provides an informal dispute settlement procedure, it shall be the consumer’s choice whether or not to use it prior to availing himself of his rights under this chapter.

B. If a dispute settlement procedure is resorted to by the consumer and the decision is for a refund or a comparable motor vehicle, the manufacturer shall have forty days from its receipt of the consumer’s acceptance of the decision or from the date of a court order to comply with the terms of the decision.

C. In any action brought because of the manufacturer’s failure to comply with the decision, within the scope of the procedure’s authority, rendered as a result of a dispute resolution proceeding or a court order, the court may triple the value of the award stipulated in the decision as provided for in this chapter, plus award other equitable relief the court deems appropriate, including additional attorney’s fees.

Virginia Lemon Law 59.1-207.16 Action to be brought within certain time.

Any action brought under this chapter shall be commenced within the lemon law rights period following the date of original delivery of the motor vehicle to the consumer; however, any consumer whose good faith attempts to settle the dispute have not resulted in the satisfactory correction or repair of the nonconformity, replacement of the motor vehicle or refund to the consumer of the amount described in subdivision 2 of subsection A of 59.1-207.13, shall have twelve months from the date of the final action taken by the manufacturer in its dispute settlement procedure or within the lemon law rights period, whichever is longer, to file an action in the proper court, provided the consumer has rejected the manufacturer’s final action.

Virginia Lemon Law 59.1-207.16:1 Disclosure of returned vehicles; penalty.

A. If a motor vehicle that is returned to the manufacturer or distributor either under this chapter or by judgment, decree, or arbitration award in this or any other state and is then transferred by a manufacturer or distributor to a dealer, licensed under Chapter 15 (46.2-1500 et seq.) of Title 46.2, in Virginia, the manufacturer or distributor shall disclose this information to the Virginia dealer.

B. If the returned vehicle is then made available for resale or for another lease, the manufacturer shall, prior to sale or lease, disclose in writing in a clear and conspicuous manner, on a separate piece of paper in ten-point capital type, to the Virginia dealer that this motor vehicle was returned to the manufacturer, distributor or factory branch, the nature of the defect which resulted in the return, and the condition of the motor vehicle at the time of transfer to the Virginia dealer. It shall be the responsibility of the dealer that receives this disclosure to give notice of its contents to any prospective purchaser or lessee prior to sale or lease, and to transfer the disclosure, or a copy thereof, to the next purchaser or lessee. A dealer’s responsibility under this section shall cease upon the sale or lease of the affected motor vehicle to the first purchaser or lessee not for resale or lease.

C. Any manufacturer or distributor who violates this section of the Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

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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.


  1. Lucinda B Pitcock

    Purchased 2004 F-150 Ford Lariat from Gold Star Motors in Winchester, Virginia. Purchase was on Tuesday, June 9th, 2015. The vehicle had to be towed to Minnicks Car Towing and Repair on June 10th. Front driver’s tire was bent inward, with brakes ruined would not go in reverse. Aluminum Wheels welded, water in fog lights, debatable but appears to have been wrecked vehicle. There is Bondo on front passengers side which reflects that the vehicle was wrecked. Dangerous situation, could have been killed if tire went out or worse yet, if I had the horses loaded, the wheel coming off would have thrown all of us to the left due to the tire bent on drivers side. The vehicle has been towed and it should be Gold Star that replaces the vehicle immediately. No back up lights, no signal light on side view mirrors on right side. No spare tire, pictures have been taking of all the damage and places where bondo and welding have been done. The towing company advised that the vehicle be taken back and turned in. I want new vehicle to replace at no extra cost to me and/or my Nisson trade in registered with no out of pocket expenses back to me. Lender will not send any funds until this is settled.

  2. I bought a 2007 Mercedes Benz GL450 on June 14 and now the right side of the vehicle is leaning to the ground. The malfunction message says to those knowledgeable about this car that the air shock is gone bad. Mercedes Benz of Chantilly is saying that because it was sold used and as is that there is nothing they can do. Is this correct? The vehicle can’t be driven safely and I haven’t had it 30 days, yet.

  3. Purchased a 2000 Cherokee on June 24th from terry Subaru in Lynchburg in the month I’ve owned it I’ve had to have it towed back 3 times because it will not start. They said well its a used vehicle if you need Togo some where rent a car!

  4. I brought a 2007 chrysler pacifica only had the truck 33 days it has been in the shop going on the 4th time in 30 days. Twice fire the same reason. The last time it went I had to pay the repairs because I was one day pass my 30 day warranty I want to ask for a replacement from the dealer can I do that?

  5. My daughter brought a 2009 Volkswagen, she’s only had it for 7 days and the check engine light came on. She took the car to a Volkswagen dealership and they told her that there was a problem with her coolant system which could cost over $2000 to repair. I called the dealership to inform them that we did not want the car, they told us that there will be no refund because the Lemon Law doesn’t apply to them because they are not a major car dealership. We purchased a warranty but the warranty doesn’t cover the coolant system. To top things off, the bank that is financing 40% of the purchase cost has not approved my daughters loan. What legal rights do we have?

    Please email me with your response.

    Thanks you!

  6. I purchased a 2002 Buick Rendezvous on May 11th and it was in the shop on May 29th and it has been there ever since. The car overheated, and when I called the person who sold me the car they came out to the place where the car broke down. They insisted that I drive the vehicle until it overheated again because they could not afford a tow truck. It took them five days to get the vehicle to the shop where it was being repaired. Because they had to drive it instead of tow it. They gave me a replacement vehicle, which has more problems than the vehicle that I had. Whenever I asked for that one to be looked at and fixed, the guy would brush me off. I still made my payments on time, but this has been a real inconvenience to myself and my family. Do I have any rights under the law? Also, should I continue to pay for this vehicle because they have had it for 83 days. Also, they have supposedly fixed it three times, but it is the same persistent problem. I have even taken a day off to go and help work on the vehicle myself to no avail. Can someone tell me what my rights are?

  7. Constance Richardson

    I purchased a 2007 dodge caliber from a dealer in Lynchburg VA. I have had issues from day one. Being taking car back and forth to have things worked on every 2 to 3 months. Just this past month the rotors and brakes had been fixed. Took it to a dealer to try to do a trade in and the dealer said brakes and rotors need to be fixed

    • Constance Richardson

      I accidentally submitted before I could finish leaving my comment about the 2007 dodge caliber. Anyway the other dealer said the rotors and brakes needed to be fixed; when I thought I had this fixed at the first of this month! Also Ive noticed that when making payments my balance isn’t going down! I have all receipts with payments made on time and sometimes ahead of time. Is there anything I can do? I feel like I’m being cheated

  8. I am in the process of waiting for a final review of my case. How does replacement work? I sent them a certified letter.

  9. We bought a 2008 for Taurus on 8/22/15 we had taken it back due to CD malfunction to get fixed. We also had sales person try to program key remote in which he used an obd machine he said to erase things and redo car whatever that means. Not even five mins up the road our engine light is blinking on and off and we barely can make it down road. Its o e thing after another!! We have only had it 10 days

  10. I have tried to find this out, maybe you can help, i purchased a 2014 dodge charger, have been some issues with the vehicle was bought from a dealer, i think it has been wrecked but not sure most of the things going wrong are things that would be affected in a front end collision, do dealers have to disclose if the vehicle has been wrecked, when i have brought things to there attention its always it was a used car.


  11. I bought an ’04 intrepid on sep. 28 . It overheated rather drastically on the second day with it. I had it towed to the dealers shop not wanting to warp the head. After a week he has me buy the parts to put in. It immediately over heats again. I take it to my family shop. They say the gaskets are likely blown and it may need a new motor. Also I noticed several junk yard paint marks under the hood. Is there anything that can be done about a car that didn’t make 100 or 3 days before it’s first tow?

  12. Purchased brand new 2016 Yukon XL Denali. 12 days later I had to return it to the shop due to severe and damaging gear shifting from 1st to 2nd gear. Now into week 3 waiting for solution as GM tech rep has spent 2 days and cannot fix. GM customer care doesn’t have a plan they wish to share with me. Dealership states they are in the middle. GM is working the issue, but at a snails pace and seem to not care how long I have to wait. Love the car, just wish it worked.

  13. I bought a brand new 2015 Kia Optima. The GPS system does not work and has not worked, ever. They did not go over this feature with me before driving it off the lot. So I had no way of knowing. I did not test it during the test drive. For two months now they keep telling me the part is on back order. Can my car be considered a lemon? Do I have a case here even though there is nothing wrong with the cars actual performance and there are no safety issues? I am tired of getting the run-around about the part coming in soon. It’s been two months and I paid good money for a car that works!

  14. My husband and I paid cash to a used dealership and purchased an additional warranty for the vehicle. We purchased the vehicle on 11/11/15 and on 12/8/15 placed it in the shop because the heat stopped working. The mechanic looked at the vehicle and discovered the intake manifold has gone bad and needs to be replaced. The total repairs would be 641.10 and they are only willing to pay 242.50. For liability reasons, the repair shop does not accept parts from an outside source they will not pay for the shop’s cost of the parts, nor will they pay for the bolts required to install the manifold, as they claim those would be considered “shop supplies”. I am trying not to get frustrated or upset with the situation. The car was sold “as is” from the dealership, however, I feel that their “mechanic” should have been aware that there was an issue with the manifold. The warranty company does not, and will not, provided me with a location that they have worked with previously so that the repairs would be covered at a better rate. I just don’t know what to do at this point.

  15. I bought a 2015 5.0 mustang in July of 2015 and my heat has now broke 3 times when I first bought vechicle they did not inform me of having summer only tires which I had to replace, it had a chip in the rim which I was not aware about until I had to replace the tires and my dog light just stopped working. What do you guys think? Is it a lemon? Or just unlucky

  16. I purchased a PWC (Personal Water Craft) or Jet Ski and the motor failed. The manufacture has said that they will honor the warranty and replace the motor. However, when the motor failed I was left a drift on the Jet Ski. The Jet ski’s hull was damaged while getting the Jet ski back to shore and back on to the trailer. The manufacture is saying they are not going to pay for the hull repairs and I will have to claim it on my insurance. Does the Lemon Law cover damages that are a result of the warrantied item? If the engine had not failed the damages to the jet ski never would of happened. Thank you.

  17. My sister bought a Bently in Richmond Va yesterday from City Cars. Found out when drove the car home car cannot lock asthe remote to lock the car doesnt work, low area of the front windshield cracked from left side to right side. Rims bent, was told new tires would help with the smoothness of shaking drive. Cslled to let dealer know and they say cant do anything as the contract had been signed. Cost 5000 for front windshield 500 per rims. What can my sister do. So upset it isnt right what was done.

  18. Does fhis law ONLY cover cars with warranties from dealerships ?!

  19. Does this law only apply to cars purchased from dealerships with warranties ?!

  20. We bought a 2002 Dodge Durango from a private person when we got tags the dmv sent us a letter letting us know that we can’t get a title because the Durango had been junked we contacted the person who sold it to us he was suppose to call us back but never has any help with this would be appreciated

  21. I purchased a 2008 acura mdx on March 15,2016 and now the check emissions system light is on and I’m thinking that it was an issue before I purchased this vehicle what can I do

  22. If you buy a used car, how do you KNOW it isn’t a car that was returned as a lemon? I see lots of used vehicles…2 yrs old, with only a couple of thousand of miles on it. I wonder why it is for sale again? Car fax isn’t any help. They just show how many times it has been registered and/or put up for sale. I wonder if these are cars returned under the lemon law that have made their way to a used car lot. What can consumers do to protect themselves?

  23. My daughter bought a 2008 Ford Edge 2 moths and a couple days ago, and on her way to work Monday the car appeared to be overheating and cut off. She had a tow truck pick her up and a mechanic looked at it and the car has a blown head gasket. She immediately called the dealership she bought it from and was told they would return her call. They did not even after several more calls, they avoided her. I made a visit to them yesterday being toldl they would call by the end of the day, but nothing. Called again several times today, leaving voicemails and finally got a call back, saying they would have fixed it if it were 2 days but not 2 months.

  24. I purchased a new 2015 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L(eather) from Brown Honda in Charlottesville 7/2015. I love the car, but the plastic lower side piece that holds the electric controls and runs along the whole bottom has broken off the seat three times. I admit to being overweight, but I’ve owned lots of cars in 66 years and never had this problem. It has been fixed twice under warranty, but I was threatened the last time that I’d have to pay if/when it broke again. I’m concerned that it may/may not significantly affect the market value of the car although I can’t believe that a seat that keeps breaking would not affect the value of a pretty pricey vehicle. HELP!!!!!

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