Lemon Laws

Lemon Laws
Lemon Laws

A “lemon law” is a consumer protection statute intended to provide a specific remedy for defects in the quality or function of motor vehicles. The term describes a defective vehicle as a “lemon.” There is one main federal law covering such purchases, but it is state law that covers the vast majority of complaints. Although state laws vary in types of vehicles covered, they generally include all new vehicles and (with more limited application) used vehicles, trucks, motorcycles, and non-living areas of motor homes.

To qualify for protection under most state lemon laws, a purchaser must prove that (1) during the purchased car’s warranty period, the purchaser reported a malfunction or defect to the manufacturer or authorized representative (e.g., the dealership); (2) the defect or malfunction was serious and substantially impaired the car’s usefulness, functionality, and value; and (3) the manufacturer or dealer was unable to correct the defect/malfunction after a specified number of attempts (usually three or four) within a specified period of time.


Inside Lemon Laws