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New York Lemon Laws

New York Lemon Laws at a Glance

A "lemon" is a car with either one major defect or a series of recurring problems that the dealer or other mechanics are unable to remedy. Since cars can be expensive, lemon laws were enacted to give consumers more peace of mind when purchasing new car. New York lemon laws give consumers 18 months or 18,000 miles from the date of purchase, whichever comes first, to return their vehicle for a full refund if it is determined to be a lemon.

What is a Lemon According to New York Law?

A new car that fails to conform to the terms of its written warranty and is unable to be fixed by the dealer (or authorized mechanic) within two years or 18,000 is considered a lemon in New York. The lemon law does NOT cover automobile problems that don't substantially impair its value or are the result of misuse by the owner.

New York also has a used car lemon law, which is pretty unusual. Used car dealers are required to provide a warranty, which serves as the basis of New York's used car lemon law. For example, a used car with more than 18,000 miles (but less than 36,000 miles) is entitled to a 90 day or 4,000-mile warranty. The warranty coverage requirements include the engine, transmission, and other specific parts and functions.

The following table highlights the main provisions of New York's lemon law (Tanner Consumer Protection Act). See Secret Warranties, Recalls, and Lemons and How the New Car Lemon Law Can Help You for more information.

Code Section Gen. Bus. §198-a
Title of Act New Car Lemon Law
Definition of Defects Nonconformity to all express warranties
Time Limit for Manufacturer Repair First 18,000 miles or during period of 2 years following date of original delivery, whichever is earlier reporting of nonconformity by consumers
Remedies Consumer's option: replace vehicle with comparable motor vehicle or accept return and refund full purchase price, or if applicable, the lease price and any trade-in allowance plus fees and charges less reasonable allowance for consumer's use in excess of first 12,000 miles pursuant to mileage deduction formula and a reasonable allowance for any damage not attributable to normal wear and improvements; vehicle must be sold and registered in New York

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a New York consumer protection attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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