Used Car Lemon Law

The Law Offices of Robert J. Nahoum, P.C. - A New York Consumer Protection Law Firm

NEW YORK STATE USED CAR LEMON LAW:

The New York State Used Car Lemon Law provides a legal remedy for buyers of qualifying used lemons. The law requires dealers to give consumers a written warranty under which the dealers must repair, free of charge, any defect in covered parts. If the dealer is unable to repair the car after a reasonable number of attempts, the consumer is entitled to a full refund.

WHAT CARS A COVERED BY THE USED LEMON LAW?

  • Cars covered by the lemon law and thus subject to the mandatory warranty include vehicles that were:
  • purchased, leased or transferred after the earlier of 18,000 miles or two years frooriginal delivery; AND
  • 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.

HOW LONG IS THE WARRANTY?

The length of the New York Used Car Lemon Law warranty depends on the mileage on the car at the time of purchase:

Warranty Length:

Miles of Operation  / Duration of Warranty

18,001-36,000 miles / 90 days or 4,000 miles

36,001-79,999 miles / 60 days or 3,000 miles

80,000-100,000 miles / 30 days or 1,000 miles

WHAT IS COVERED BY THE WARRANTY?

The New York Used Car Lemon Law warranty covers the following:

  • Engine: lubricated parts, water pump, fuel pump, manifolds, engine block, cylinder head, rotary engine housings and flywheel.
  • Transmission: the transmission case, internal parts, and the torque converter.
  • Drive Axle: the front and rear axle housings and internal parts, axle shafts, propeller shafts and universal joints.
  • Brakes: master cylinder, vacuum assist booster wheel cylinders, hydraulic lines and fittings and disc brake calipers.
  • Steering: the steering gear housing and all internal parts, power steering pump, valve body, piston and rack.
  • Other Parts: Radiator, Alternator, Generator, Starter, and Ignition System (excluding battery).

WHAT ARE THE DEALERS’ DUTIES TO REPAIR?

A reasonable chance for an auto dealer to repair a problem for a used car is considered to be:

  • three or more repair attempts and the problem continues to exist; OR
  • the car is out of service by reason of repair for a cumulative total of 15 days or more (unavailability of parts may extend this time).

WHEN IS A DEALER NOT REQUIRED TO PROVIDE A REFUND:

  • the problem does not substantially impair the value of the car to the consumer; OR
  • the problem is a result of abuse, neglect or unauthorized alteration of the car.

WHAT SHOULD CONSUMERS DO IF THEY THINK THEY HAVE A LEMON:

If you recently purchased a used vehicle and you’re having mechanical problems, you should immediately report the problem to the dealer and demand that the repairs be made. Put everything in writing and keep good records of all repairs, worker orders, bills and letters. If this doesn’t get you anywhere, consider hiring a qualified consumer protection attorney familiar with the New York Lemon Law.