Lemon Laws in Nebraska
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Nebraska’s lemon law applies to new vehicles purchased within one year or until their express warranty runs out. The lemon law in Nebraska does not apply to used cars.
If someone calls your vehicle a lemon, they’re likely not commenting on its color. In the car world, the term refers to a vehicle sold with a major defect that impacts its safety, usability, or market value.
Finding out that you purchased a lemon leaves a sour taste. Luckily, the car insurance broker app Jerry has compiled everything you need to know about lemon laws in Nebraska to make the claims process as easy as possible.
What is a lemon law?
A “lemon” is a car with a significant issue, or nonconformity, that severely impacts its ability to perform properly or operate safely.
Lemon laws protect consumers against the use of lemons and, within specific rules, offer the right to compensation or replacement if they purchase a broken vehicle.
While lemon laws are in place nationwide, the technicalities vary from state to state.
Is there a lemon law in Nebraska?
Yes. Nebraska’s lemon law applies to cars, vans, trucks, motorcycles, and mopeds that are less than a year old—or still covered by a warranty. The vehicle must have been bought in Nebraska.
Unlike some other states, Nebraska covers vehicles for business usage as well as personal and family purposes.
Trailers, self-propelled mobile homes, and used vehicles aren’t covered by the state’s lemon law.
Is my defect covered under the lemon law?
To be covered under Nebraska’s lemon law, your defect must substantially impact the safety, usability, or market value of your car. You must identify and report the defect in writing within the term of the warranty.
State laws compel manufacturers or dealerships to make four reasonable attempts to fix the same nonconformity.
Here’s the breakdown:
- The car’s specific problem must have been attempted to be fixed at least 4 times
- If a vehicle is being repaired for at least 40 business days, regardless of the severity of the issue, it’s considered a lemon under state law
- The law does not cover defects due to poor car management, such as negligence or unauthorized modifications
If you have purchased a lemon, you must notify the manufacturer within a year or before the express warranty runs out. The manufacturer then can commence the repair process
Key Takeaway If your car has defects that significantly affect its use, market value, or safety, it may be considered a lemon. But if you make any unauthorized modifications, you can’t make a claim.
Are used cars covered under the lemon law?
No, used cars are not covered under Nebraska’s lemon law unless the vehicle is still under warranty. In most cases, your used car won’t meet the conditions to fall under lemon law protection.
What about new cars?
New cars are covered under Nebraska’s lemon law, but only for their first year of ownership or the extent of their warranty—whichever comes first.
How to pursue your lemon law rights in Nebraska
If you want to use your lemon law rights in Nebraska, you must identify and report the nonconformity, go through arbitration, and then you can file a legal claim in court if need be.
Report and repair
If you think your vehicle may be a lemon, you must identify the defect and inform the manufacturer of the problem in writing.
Once you report the defect and the manufacturer agrees that it’s a significant nonconformity, they are legally obligated to make up to four “reasonable attempts” to fix it. All attempts have to be made on the same mechanical problem—and come within 12 months after purchase.
If all four attempts to fix the defect are unsuccessful and you still want to seek reimbursement or replacement, Nebraska state law requires that you enter arbitration. The state DMV has more information on that process.
Most manufacturers have a separate arbitration process by which you can come to an agreement out of court. It’s the best option because it’s usually free and quicker than a court case.
Pursue legal action
If arbitration is unsuccessful or the manufacturer doesn’t offer it, you can then pursue legal action.
Lemon law claims are complex legal processes, so the smart move is to hire an attorney. If it does come down to a court case, most states require that manufacturers cover legal costs, anyway.
It’s also important to go through the process with great detail and as efficiently as possible—from having the right documentation to filing your claim correctly. Slip ups won’t void your claim, but they might slow the process down or reduce your chances of winning.
The unfortunate reality is that sometimes it just won’t work out. Even if you have a strong case, you could still lose in court.
Key Takeaway Nebraska requires that you pursue arbitration before you file a claim in court.
Lemon law tips
Here are a few things to keep in mind about lemon laws in Nebraska:
- You’re not protected under lemon laws if you make unauthorized modifications to your vehicle or you don’t care for your vehicle properly.
- Repairs must be made with dealer-authorized manufacturers or dealerships—that way, you can keep track of “reasonable attempts”
- Lemon laws apply to the repeated attempt to fix a specific nonconformity, so keep your terminology consistent each time you bring your car in for repair—don’t change the narrative
- If your claim is rejected, you have options—check whether the federal Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act (which has similar provisions to lemon laws) might apply
Finding cheap car insurance
Whether you’re buying a new car or in the process of trying to get one fixed, the right insurance package is absolutely necessary.
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