NY Lemon Law

Just like traffic laws can change from state to state, the Lemon Law can also change from state to state. There are different regulations found in different states, which means getting the full on information that is needed to ensure that you are aware of what applies to you as a resident and vehicle buyer in the state of New York. 4Dmv.com is a great resource for determining just what the New York Lemon Law is and how it affects your new or used vehicle purchases.

Why Is There a Lemon Law?

You purchase a brand new vehicle, drive off the lot, and minutes later you are hearing sounds coming from the engine, see smoke coming from the rear, or even stall on the side of the highway right at the on-ramp, where it is quite dangerous – and now you're mad. Well, is there something that you can do about the situation, or do you have to just accept that you have lost your investment altogether.

Well, there is something that can be done, because this vehicle you have purchased is protected by the Lemon Law, ensuring that you are only sold vehicles that are just as they are described or advertised, not withholding problems until you pull off.

New York has different Lemon Law statutes pertaining to both used and new vehicles, ensuring that the laws concerning your vehicle purchase are most appropriate for your vehicle purchase. If your vehicle is brand new or has no more than 18,000 miles on the dash, the vehicle is covered under the New York New Car Lemon Law. This law requires that any repair, refund, or replacement of a vehicle necessary due to issues that were not acknowledged before sale. However, this only pertains to personal use vehicles, and will not cover ATV's, motorbikes of any kind, or even the living quarters within a purchased RV. All of the following must apply for your vehicle to be covered under this law:

  • Covered under manufacturer warranty when delivered initially to first buyer.
  • Bought, leased, transferred within state of New York before first 18,000 miles were driven or 2 years from the original dealer deliver, whichever comes first.
  • Registered within New York.
There is a used car Lemon Law in New York as well, covering used vehicles that are sold from the dealership. The New York Used Car Lemon Law mandates that vehicles two years or older, or with over 18,000 miles on the dash, purchased from a dealership must be sold with a warranty if the sale price is over $1,500 or has less than 100,000 miles.

Understanding Lemon Law for New Cars in NY

The new car Lemon Law covers consumers who purchase vehicles considered to be new by New York guidelines, ensuring that repairs are provided for problems that are covered under the current warranty, reported before reaching 18,000 miles or before the vehicle is 2 years old.

  • If there is a defect that cannot be repaired after four attempts, or if the vehicle has not been able to be operated for 30 days or more due to the defect, you are then entitled to a full refund of the purchase price you paid or are currently paying, or a replacement vehicle, whichever you choose.
  • In order to fully qualify for coverage under the Lemon Law, the defect in question must cause a substantial fall in value and function of the vehicle. If you decide on a refund for the best method of compensation, the overall price may be adjusted for those miles you did enjoy from the vehicle.
  • Any leased vehicles that are considered to be new are also covered by this law, but your refund will only provide you with the amount of your down payment plus any lease payments that you made, with service fees of the lease agreement subtracted from the amount.
If the Dealer Refuses Repairs

Under the Lemon Law of New York, if you report the defects to the dealer and they refuse to make the necessary repairs, you can contact the manufacturer of the vehicle after 7 days, notifying them of the dealers refusal to repair the issues.

  • The manufacturer then has a total of 20 days to make the repairs necessary. If the defect is not properly repaired, or if the manufacturer also refuses repairs to your vehicle, a replacement or refund of the vehicle can then be chosen.
New York Used Car Lemon Law

If you are purchasing a used vehicle in New York, the Lemon Law also protects you. There must be a warranty on qualified used vehicles that covers the major components, with coverage of at least the following:

  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • Brakes
  • Drive Axle
  • Steering
  • Radiator
  • Generator
  • Starter
  • Ignition System (Not Battery)
The warranty should provide repair of the defective parts, or reimbursement for your repair costs of these defective parts. The warranty length will depend on the amount of miles on the dash on the date of purchase:

  • 90 days or 4,000 miles: 36,000 miles or fewer
  • 60 days or 3,000 miles: 36,001 – 79,999 miles
  • 30 days or 1,000 miles: 80,000 – 100,000 miles
If there are over 100,000 miles on the odometer or if the vehicle is sold for less than $1,500, there is no warranty mandated.

If there have been 3 unlucky attempts at repairing the defects of your vehicle, or if the vehicle has not been able to be operated for at least 15 days, a replacement or refund of the vehicle is then possible.

There is a full consumer manual, found online at Let The Buyer Be Aware, that is offered by the NYS Consumer Protection Board that provides a full rundown of the New York Lemon Laws in effect. You can find a great deal of consumer protection information from your rights to dispute resolution and more.