Bought a Lemon? You May Be Entitled to Compensation

While caveat emptor may carry the day when it comes to the purchase of many consumer goods, it might not necessarily apply if you bought a "lemon" automobile.

A lemon is a vehicle (car, boat, motorcycle, RV, etc.) that continues to have some non­conformity that substantially impairs its:

  • use
  • value, or
  • safety

Generally, if your car has had to  be repaired 4 or more times for the same non­conformity within the Warranty Period and the non­conformity has not been rectified, the car qualifies as a Lemon. The definition assumes that if the problem continues to recur, there is probably something intrinsically wrong with the way in which the car was manufactured.

You can imagine, by analogy for example, in making 10,000 chocolate bars, at least one will come out with an incorrectly stamped design, or will not be cut properly. Likewise, in vehicles the manufacturing errors may be present at the time the car leaves the factory, but because the parts are inside of the engine or what have you, they may not be readily apparent.

Lemon Law remedies can include:

  • a manufacturer buyback of the defective vehicle
  • a replacement vehicle
  • monetary damages

State laws vary regarding the required time, odometer mileage, number of repair attempts and calendar days that  a vehicle is out of service in order to legally constitute a lemon. Consult with a Lemon Law Attorney in your state to find out your state's specific auto lemon laws, including whether you may be entitled to a remedy under the relevant statute.