New Jersey Lemon Law, Is your new car a Lemon?


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So, you just purchased a new vehicle and you are very excited.  Considering that a new vehicle is one of the most expensive purchases that you will ever make, you should be.  However, your excitement is short-lived as your “new” vehicle begins to experience problems.  The issue is: what can be done to correct these problems.  Is the car manufacturer going to “take back” your vehicle?  Will you get a refund?  Will your new car be deemed a “Lemon?”  If it is not deemed a “Lemon,” what are my rights and what are the other options that are available?

What is the New Jersey Lemon Law?

To be able to claim that your vehicle is a Lemon, the vehicle must:

  • Be a new car, truck, motorcycle, RV or SUV, and;
  • Have been purchased, leased or registered in the State of New Jersey, and;
  • Defects originally must be covered by the manufacturer's warranty, and;
  • Defects recognized and reported within 18,000 miles or two years, whichever comes first, and;
  • Defects must significantly impair the use, safety or value of your vehicle.

You will not be able to pursue a claim under the New Car Lemon Law if:

  • The car is used for or registered for commercial use, or;
  • Used as living quarters of motor homes, or;
  • The vehicle was purchased used or as a certified pre-owned vehicle, or;
  • Defects caused by accident, vandalism, abuse or neglect, or;
  • Defects caused by attempts to repair or to modify the vehicle by someone other than the manufacturer, its agent or an authorized dealer.

Does the Defect Impair Vehicle "Use"?

Just because your vehicle “fits” under the New Jersey Lemon Law, does not mean that your vehicle is “per se” Lemon.  What is meant by that.  Most people incorrectly believe that since they had taken their vehicle back to an authorized dealer three (3) or more times that their vehicle therefore must be a Lemon.  This is incorrect.  Most vehicles that are not deemed a “Lemon” are because the problems they are experiencing do not significantly impair the vehicle’s use, value or safety.  (“Safety” is probably the most important.) 

Other Remedies

If the problems that one is experiencing with the vehicle do not rise to the level of the vehicle being a “Lemon,” they may have other remedies.  That is, since the defects in the vehicle were not repaired within a reasonable period of time.  Thus, the failure to correct the defects within a reasonable period of time under the vehicle’s warrant would violate the law under the Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.  However, unlike the “Lemon Law,” the car manufacturer would not be responsible to take back the vehicle, rather, would given to compensate you for the defects that existed in the vehicle.  It is best to speak with an attorney that specifically practices Lemon Law and warranty type claims in New Jersey to provide you complete answer to your specific questions.  Best of all, most law firms, including the Law Office of Brian Goldenfarb provide FREE Lemon Law Help.  Simply call: 877-8-CAR-LAW, for a free consultation.

From the author: Ask a Lawyer Questions about your case. Free Consultation!!!
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