What Constitutes a Lemon?

Lemon Car Definition

Is My Car A Lemon, Or Am I Simply Experiencing “Car Ownership”?

Manufacturers buy back about 100,000 vehicles every year. Defects happen and it doesn’t matter how much research you might have invested in your purchase decision. You’ve had the car in repeatedly for repairs. While the dealership may tell you it can’t duplicate the problem or tell you the problem doesn’t meet the lemon car definition, it generally becomes cooperative when you have an attorney on your side.

Your new car is a lemon if it has been subjected to a certain number of repairs for the same substantial problem or if it has spent a significant number of days in the shop being repaired within the first year of ownership.

Is The Problem “Substantial”?

The problem must substantially impair the value of the vehicle. And what impairs the value of the vehicle? It will depend on the facts in each case. For example, a defect in the engine which makes the car inoperable is clearly substantial. However, the defect might be a water leak in the sun roof that can’t be repaired and causes mold. Some courts have found that the cumulative effect of numerous lesser defects can add up to substantial impairment of value.

Commonly reported defects among lemon law buybacks include:

  • Brake issues
  • Engine stalling/not starting
  • Heating/cooling problems
  • Transmission issues
  • Other engine issues (vibrations, noises, overheating, etc.)

How Many Repair Attempts Within A Time Frame?

New York law defines the number as four to repair the same defect, without success. The car also meets the law’s requirements if it has been out of service for a cumulative total of 30 days due to repairs, or if the dealer refuses to repair the defect within 20 days of receiving a written notice.

Don’t Hesitate To Call A Lawyer

Kasell Law Firm can evaluate your case in short order, tell you whether you have a case and if so, recommend a course of action.

Call 800-724-3341 to schedule an initial consultation or contact us online. Kasell Law Firm serves clients in Queens, Long Island City, Brooklyn, Manhattan, The Bronx and New York City (NYC), New York.