TIP: Lemon Laws

When life gives you lemons, you’re supposed to make lemonade… but it’s a different story when the Lemon is your car.

A “Lemon” is a motor vehicle that has or develops defects that remain unresolved, or a vehicle that repeatedly fails to meet standards of quality and performance. The defect must substantially impair the use, value or safety of your vehicle, or be a “serious safety defect” which is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury if the vehicle is driven.

States have instituted Lemon Laws that establish procedures for resolving disputes between a consumer and a manufacturer and provide remedies when an uncorrected defect seriously hinders the use, value, or safety of the car. The state’s Lemon Law Unit provides relief for consumers who purchase or lease a defective motor vehicle.

Luckily, New Jersey has some of the strongest Lemon Laws in the country. There are three distinct Lemon Law categories, each with their own coverage eligibility and steps for relief:

If you meet the criteria to be covered under the Lemon Law, then you can submit an application to declare the vehicle a “lemon” to the Lemon Law Unit. If the application is approved, then you may be eligible for getting some many back, a full refund, or even – in some cases – an entirely new car.

It is important to note that Lemon Laws only cover vehicles for a certain amount of time, and sometimes not at all. If you are planning to submit an application, make sure you can provide the appropriate documentation to back up your claim.

If you need help in submitting an application, you can contact my office using this form, or you can directly reach out to the Lemon Law Unit at the Office of Consumer Protection.