FEDERAL PROTECTION FOR DEFECTIVE CARS NOT COVERED BY NEW YORK LEMON LAW: THE MAGNUSON-MOSS WARRANTY ACT

After many expensive auto repair bills and wasted company time at the mechanic’s, your car is certainly a “lemon”. Does your defective commercial or personal car fall outside the protections of New York’s Lemon law? The federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act may offer protection for consumers with defective cars that do not qualify as a “lemon” under New York state law. Further, the federal lemon law act can better assist commercial consumers with defective cars used for commercial rather than personal use because New York’s Lemon law does not apply to commercial vehicles. Now is the time to act!

What is the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act?

Magnuson-Moss is a federal law that protects consumers that purchase any product that costs more than $25 and has a written warranty. A warranty is a promise from a manufacturer or seller that a product is sound, that the manufacturer or seller guarantees to correct product failures. Under the federal act, Manufacturers and Sellers that provide written warranties on consumer products must provide consumers with detailed information about warranty coverage and allow consumers the opportunity to compare warranty coverage before buying the product.

How does the federal Magnuson-Moss Act apply to car consumers?

To qualify under the Magnuson-Moss Act, a vehicle purchaser must have a written warranty on their car that is still defective despite numerous repairs, in order to sue the manufacturers for breach of warranty. Unlike New York lemon law, the federal lemon law does not place mileage restrictions on cars for consumers to obtain protection. In other words, the Magnuson-Moss Act offers protection to consumers with car defects outside of the New York Lemon law provisions.

Does New York Lemon law apply to my car?

New York Lemon Law has a four year statute of limitations from the delivery date of the car to the start of a filing a claim under the law. Consumers should check if their new or used car is protected subject to limitations of New York Lemon law listed below:

New Cars Covered by NY Lemon Law Used Cars Covered by NY Lemon Law
  • Covered by a warranty at original delivery;
  • Was purchased, leased or transferred within the earlier of 18,000 miles or two years from the date of original delivery; AND
  • Was either purchased, leased or transferred in New York State or is presently registered in the state; AND
  • Is used primarily for personal purposes.
  • At least 4 repairs or 30 days out of service within 18,000 miles or 2 years, whichever comes first.
  • Purchased, leased or transferred after the earlier of 18,000 miles or two years from original delivery; AND
  • was purchased or leased from a New York dealer; AND
  • had a purchase price or lease value of at least $1,500; AND
  • has been driven less than 100,000 miles at the time of purchase/lease; AND
  • is used primarily for personal purposes.
  • 3 repairs; or 15 days out of service within:
    • 90 days or 4,000 miles for vehicles with 18,001 – 36,000 mile at time of delivery.
    • 60 days or 3,000 miles for vehicles with 36,001 – 79,999 miles at time of delivery.
    • 30 days or 1,000 miles for vehicles with 80,000 – 100,000 miles at time of delivery.

Protect Yourself and Your Lemon Law Rights

The bottom line is, defective cars are expensive and fighting for your consumer rights under New York or federal law can be complicated.  Make sure you get everything in writing and keep all of the documents from the deal.  If your car keeps on breaking down despite repeated repairs, check your warranty coverage. If it doesn’t make sense, have them explain it.  If you think you are being taken advantage of or if the car is having problems that just don’t seem right for a car you just bought, contact a lawyer because you may be able to do something about it.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, please email me at David@KasellLawFirm.com or call (718) 404-6668. I look forward to working with you!

This material may be viewed as attorney advertising and does not constitute legal advice. This information does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the author. This article strictly represents the personal views of the author on the date it was written and such views are subject to change without notice. 

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