Lemon laws are laws that protect car purchasers from fraudulent car dealers. These laws are the ones that protect you if a dealer sells you a defective car. In New York we have both a Used Car Lemon Law and a New Car Lemon Law. Between these two laws, all new and used cars with under 100,000 miles on them are required to have at least some form of warranty and you the consumer have at least some protections.
What are Your Rights Under the Lemon Laws?
Under each form of the lemon law dealers are required to provide you with a warranty as to certain parts of your car. This warranty should be in writing and it should cover, at a minimum, the following systems in your motor vehicle:
- drive axle
- other parts including the radiator, alternator, starter, and ignition system (except for the battery).
Minimum Warranty Length
The minimum length of this mandated warranty depends upon the age of your car and the number of miles on it when it is purchased. The New Car Lemon law applies to new cars (less than 2 years old) and cars with less than 18,001 miles on them. In those cases you should have some sort of manufacturers warranty on your car, the details of which will vary. If your car is older than that or has more miles on it, it may be covered by the used car lemon law. Under that law:
- Cars with 18,001 to 36,000 have a warranty for 90 days or 4,000 miles
- Cars with 36,001 to 79,999 miles on them have a warranty of 60 days or 3,000 miles
- Cars with 80,000 to 100,000 miles on them have a warranty of 30 days or 1,000 miles.
Other Limitations on Covered Cars
Not all cars are covered by New York’s lemon laws. Your car must meet a few other requirements in order for you to be entitled to the protections under these laws. For example:
- Under both the new and used car lemon laws, the car must be used primarily for personal purposes
- The car must have been either purchased or leased from a New York dealership, or, in the case of a new car, registered in New York
- In the case of a used car the purchase price must have been at least $1,500 or the lease must be worth $1,500
- The car must have less than 100,000 miles on it when you purchase it for the used car lemon law to apply
What Happens if Something Goes Wrong?
When something goes wrong with your car during the warranty period, the first thing that happens is that your dealer has a “reasonable opportunity” to fix the problem. They get three shots on a used car and four shots on a new car. There is also theoretically a maximum number of days the car can be out of service due to repairs but those deadlines are extendable due to unavailability of parts which will regularly be an issue. If the dealer cannot fix the car after a reasonable opportunity to repair, then you may be entitled to a refund, assuming that the problem is not because you abused, neglected, or improperly modified the car.
Call Bromberg Law Office, P.C.
If you have been sold a lemon in New York and you are looking for someone to help fight for your rights, you should call an experienced consumer protection attorney. The Bromberg Law Office can help.
Call us today at (212)248-7906 or fill out the contact form below.