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Consumer Lemon Law

Does The Lemon Law Apply to Leased Vehicles?

Are Leased Cars Covered By The Lemon Law

Key Takeaways:

1. Manufacturer Warranty Requirement: For the Lemon Law to be applicable, the leased vehicle, including electric vehicles (EVs), must still be under its original manufacturer’s warranty.

2. Importance of Prompt Reporting: There’s a specific timeline for reporting defects in leased vehicles. Depending on the state, consumers typically have 12 to 24 months or 12,000 to 24,000 miles from the purchase date 

3. Persistent Defects as a Criterion: The Lemon Law specifically targets vehicles with defects that remain unresolved despite multiple repair attempts. Whether it’s a recurring battery issue in an EV or a brake malfunction, the defect’s persistence is key to qualifying a vehicle as a ‘lemon’.

4. Documentation and Communication: Maintaining a detailed record of all interactions, repair attempts, and communications with the authorized dealership is vital. 

Does The Lemon Law Cover Leased Vehicles?

When leasing a vehicle, the last thing you expect is a persistent defect that just won’t go away. But what if it happens? Enter the Lemon Law, a safeguard for consumers against faulty vehicles.

1. Manufacturer Warranty is Key: For the Lemon Law to apply, the leased vehicle, including EV leases, must still be under its manufacturer’s warranty. This ensures that any defects are the responsibility of the manufacturer and not due to wear and tear or external factors.

2. Persistent Defects: The crux of the Lemon Law is a defect that persists despite multiple repair attempts. For instance, if your EV’s battery system consistently fails despite several fixes, it could qualify as a ‘lemon’.

3. Communication is Crucial: Always maintain open communication with the authorized dealership. Document every repair attempt, the nature of the defect, and the duration the car spends in the shop. This paper trail can be invaluable if legal action becomes necessary.

4. Beware of Extended Repairs: If the dealership keeps your car for extended periods without successfully repairing it, it might be a sign that you have a ‘lemon’. Don’t wait too long; assert your rights.

Leased Vehicles and Lemon Law Timelines: Know Your Window

The Lemon Law’s primary purpose is to protect consumers from defective leased vehicles. However, there’s a crucial timeline to be aware of.

Typically, consumers must report potential defects within a specific period after the purchase or within a certain mileage limit. While the exact timeframe can vary by state, many jurisdictions stipulate a period of 12 to 24 months or 12,000 to 24,000 miles, whichever comes first.

If you suspect your leased car is a ‘lemon’, it’s imperative to act promptly. Document the defect, communicate with the dealership, and ensure you’re within your state’s designated reporting window. Not sure if you are within the timeline? A lemon law attorney can help you find out. 

Ready to file a Lemon Law Claim?

Leased Vehicles And The Lemon Law

To ascertain your rights when suspecting your leased car as a ‘lemon,’ consider the following steps:

Thorough Documentation: Maintain a meticulous record of all repair details, encompassing dates, issues, and actions taken by the dealership or manufacturer. This documentation serves as vital evidence for potential legal action.

Written Communication: Whenever feasible, engage in written correspondence with the manufacturer or dealer. This practice establishes a documented trail that can substantiate your case.

Legal Consultation: In the event that significant defects persist despite multiple repair attempts, seek guidance from a legal expert specializing in Lemon Law. They will navigate you through the process and facilitate the attainment of rightful compensation.

Need more detail? Check out our Lemon Law guide covering everything regarding lemon vehicles and how to get your claim started. 

Leased Car Lemon Law FAQs

A leased car is considered a ‘lemon’ if it has significant defects that affect its safety, value, or usability, and these defects persist despite multiple repair attempts by the manufacturer or dealer. The specifics can vary by state, so it’s essential to check local laws.

If your leased car is determined to be a ‘lemon’, you may be entitled to a refund or a replacement vehicle under the Lemon Law. The exact remedies can differ based on state laws and the specifics of your lease agreement.

The number of repair attempts required can vary by state. Generally, if a leased vehicle has been in the repair shop multiple times for the same issue or has been unusable for an extended period, it could be protected under the Lemon Law. Always check your state’s specific criteria.

Many states have provisions within their Lemon Laws that require the manufacturer to pay for the consumer’s attorney fees if the consumer prevails in their claim. However, it’s essential to consult with a legal expert specializing in the Lemon Law in your state to understand any potential costs or fees.

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