What is a Car Lemon? A vehicle that continues to have a defect that substantially impairs its use, value, or safety. Generally, if the car has been repaired 4 or more times for the same Defect within the Warranty Period and the Defect has not been fixed, the car qualifies as a Lemon. All States differ so you should consult the
Car Lemon Law Summary and the
Law State Statutes for your particular State. Note that the warranty period may or may not coincide with the Manufacturer's Warranty.
Do I have a Car Lemon?
If the paint is peeling, the light switch came out when you pulled on it, the car makes "funny noises" but otherwise drives just fine, or you found 10 things you don't like about your new car but none of them prevent you from driving it, then
No, you do not have a Car Lemon.
If the brakes don't work, the car won't go into reverse gear, the darn thing won't start on cold mornings or hot afternoons, the rear door opens all by itself, the driver's seat wobbles, or the car chugs along at 30 mph when it should be going 50 mph, then
Yes, you may have a Car Lemon. Providing you've given the manufacturer an opportunity to repair the defect.
In most States, 10 different defects during the Warranty Period does not brand the car as a Lemon. In some States, a single defect that might cause Serious Injury makes your car a Lemon if the manufacturer cannot fix the problem within 1 attempt.
You may have a Lemon, but if you do nothing to protect your Consumer Rights, such as documenting your Repairs and allowing the Manufacturer a chance to fix the problem(s), you lose all rights under the various State Warranty Acts.
For more info and tips on protecting yourself, visit the
Car Lemon Law website.
Lemon Law Sumary] [Car
Lemon Law State Statutes]