Lemon Laws in New York State

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  • New car
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New York State’s lemon laws apply to both new and used cars, though the requirements are slightly different in terms of classifying each type of car a lemon.
These laws are in place to protect drivers in case of defective or malfunctioning vehicles. If the cars can’t be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts, drivers in New York State may be entitled to a full refund or a replacement car.
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For everything you need to know about New York State’s lemon laws, keep reading!
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Is there a lemon law in New York State?

Yes, New York State has lemon laws on the books—though the requirements differ slightly depending on whether you’re driving a new car or a used one.

New car lemon laws

New York’s lemon law applies to the following new vehicles:
  • Covered under the original warranty
  • Was bought, leased, or transferred within either the first two years from delivery or the first 18,000 miles
  • Was purchased, transferred, or leased in New York State or is registered in the state
  • Used mainly for personal purposes

Manufacturer’s duty to repair

In New York State, your car’s manufacturer or authorized dealer needs to be afforded several reasonable attempts to fix a nagging car issue. For a new car, it may be considered a lemon after four or more (unsuccessful) attempts have been made to fix one problem.
A new car can also be deemed a lemon if it’s inoperable for at least 30 days due to one or more recurring problems.

Exceptions

If either of the following applies to your new or used car, it will not be considered a lemon and you won’t be entitled to relief:
  • After inspection, the recurring problem is deemed not to significantly impair the safe operation of the vehicle
  • The damage is the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modification of the vehicle on your part

What to do if you suspect a problem with your new car

If you suspect your new car has a defect—whether it’s the first time or the fourth time—report it immediately to your dealer. The dealer will then send the manufacturer written notice of the issue within 7 days.
Key Takeaway If your car is experiencing a recurring issue that impacts the safety of the vehicle and can’t be repaired after multiple attempts, it might qualify for relief under New York’s lemon laws.

Used car lemon laws

Like a new car, a used car must carry a written warranty and a dealer must be able to make reasonable effort to fix an ongoing problem before it can be deemed a lemon in New York State. It must also meet the following conditions:
  • Bought, transferred, or leased within either two years from date of delivery or within the car’s first 18,000 miles
  • Leased or bought from a dealer in New York State
  • Purchase price or lease valuation of at least $1,500
  • No more than 10,000 miles on the odometer at the time of lease or purchase
  • Used mostly for personal use

Manufacturers’ duty to repair

A manufacturer is entitled to a reasonable amount of time to fix a used car’s nagging issue before it’s considered a lemon. If the defect has been unsuccessfully repaired three or more times, or the used car has been out of service for 15 days or more, it may qualify for lemon status.

What to do if you suspect a problem with your used car

If you notice a problem, especially if it’s a recurring one, report it to your dealer or manufacturer as soon as possible.
In New York State, a dealer must attempt to fix the issue if notified within the used car’s warranty period—even if the warranty later expires.
Key Takeaway If your used vehicle meets the required criteria and your dealer is unable to repair an issue after several attempts, it may qualify for lemon status.
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How to pursue your lemon law rights in New York State

If your new or used car’s ongoing defect is not resolved within the time periods allotted to the manufacturer, you can pursue relief under New York State’s lemon laws.
To begin the process of having your new car deemed a lemon, fill out the request for arbitration form. For a used car, you’ll need to fill out a used car-specific request for arbitration form.
As a rule, it’s a good idea to consult with a lawyer if you’re considering pursuing a case under New York State’s lemon laws. The legal process is complicated and a lawyer who is familiar with lemon laws can help you navigate the process.

Lemon law tips

Here are some things to remember when considering a lemon law claim:
  • If you modify the vehicle or if the defect is a result of abuse, neglect, or misuse of the vehicle, the car will be ineligible for lemon status
  • Always have repairs done by the manufacturer or a manufacturer-authorized dealership facility
  • When taking a vehicle in for the same repair multiple times, be sure to describe the problem in the same terms each time—most lemon laws only apply to repairs needed to fix one problem that occurs repeatedly.

Finding cheap car insurance

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