The New York Lemon Law – A Primer


The New York Lemon Law is a customer protection statute that gives recourse to car consumers inside the occasion that their motors are difficulty to an unreasonable wide variety of assurance upkeep or days out of the carrier for assurance upkeep. Although most people have vaguely heard of lemon legal guidelines, only a few are aware of how they work. The reason for this newsletter is to provide an introduction to the New York Lemon Law statute and provide an explanation for how it works in practice. New York has a separate statute for used cars which isn’t always addressed in this newsletter. Additionally, this article is supplied for informational functions handiest, and should no longer be construed as prison advice.


Prior to enactment of the New York Lemon Law, the number one avenue for aggrieved New York car clients become a Federal statute known as the “Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act.” Due to an enormous perception that Magnusson-Moss did now not provide sufficient treatments for vehicle customers, the states, separately, started out to promulgate their very own car precise warranty enforcement acts. These statutes referred to as ‘lemon legal guidelines’, now exist in all 50 states. New York promulgated its very own lemon law in 1983 and has amended it numerous times considering that.


The primary premise of the New York Lemon Law is if the manufacturer of a motor automobile cannot restore the automobile pursuant to a warranty, notwithstanding a reasonable opportunity to achieve this, then the producer needs to be obligated to buy the automobile lower back from the consumer or replace it with a new one.


The statute designates a 2 12 months / 18,000 presumption duration (whichever comes first)at some stage in which upkeep are scrutinized. Repairs that occur after the presumption length aren’t applicable with admire to the Lemon Law, even supposing they’re carried out under warranty or even if previous upkeep occurred at some stage in the presumption length. If at some point of the presumption period, both 4 guarantee repairs arise upon the vehicle for a single defector the automobile is out of carrier because of assurance repair for 30 or extra days, then the statute presumes the producer has been unable to restore the vehicle regardless of a reasonable opportunity to accomplish that, and lemon regulation liability attaches.

It is critical to notice that customers can have recourse underneath one-of-a-kind statutes, even though they do not have sufficient repairs underneath the New York Lemon Law. Most appreciably, under the aforementioned Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act.


A Little recognized segment of the New York Lemon Law statute deals with situations where a dealership refuses to restore an automobile below warranty. There are a whole lot of motives why such refusals can arise. The maximum common scenario is where the dealership claims it is unable to find whatever wrong with the vehicle. However, a refusal to repair can also occur if the dealership believes that the hassle with the car is not covered beneath the manufacturer’s guarantee or passed off because of abuse or neglect by the patron.

If a customer disagrees with the dealership’s refusal to repair the automobile, he can formally position the producer on word of its dealership’s refusal to repair the automobile. This is carried out thru licensed letter, return receipt asked. If within 20 days of receipt the manufacturer nevertheless does no longer effectuate a restore, then a patron can convey a New York Lemon Law declare – basically for breach of the warranty. Unlike a conventional lemon law case that’s based totally upon an unreasonable number of upkeep or days of restore, a customer can theoretically have a meritorious lemon law case based totally upon refusal to repair with not even a single restore or time out of service for restore.


woman-with-auto.jpg (1254×836)

The New York Lemon Law statute incorporates two express defenses that may be used by a producer. First, a producer is not in charge below the statute if the issues with the automobile resulted from abuse or forget about by way of the patron. Failure to maintain the car by converting it oil per the producer’s instructions is a traditional scenario in which this protection could be utilized. I even have also visible the defense raised in which a car became pushed excessively speedy previous to mechanical failure. The defense is often prolonged into conditions in which aftermarket gadgets are mounted into the vehicle, including a remote starter or DVD participant. For example, if an aftermarket faraway start machine changed into incorrectly mounted (regularly by the promoting dealership), it could purpose a parasitic draw upon the car’s battery, creating an intermittent failure to start situation. In this sort of case, the manufacturer could possibly declare that the problem with the automobile become not it is faulty, however instead passed off because of a negligent setup, and therefore it needs to no longer be held liable beneath the Lemon Law.

The 2nd defense expressly contained in the statute is that the defects forming the basis of the Lemon Law claim should “appreciably impair the fee of the car to the consumer.” The reason for this defense is to guard producers against incurring enormous prices because of enormously minor problems. According to the New York legislature, it might be unfair, as an example, to impose a drastic penalty upon a vehicle manufacturer due to the fact a radio doesn’t work nicely. Or interior trim portions fall off. Manufacturers generally tend to utilize this defense pretty a chunk in cases in which the problem is restricted to noises, and the safety of the automobile or its usability as a transportation device are not impacted.


If a producer is in charge below the New York Lemon Law then it has to agree to repurchase the vehicle from the consumer for the authentic buy fee, together with dealership costs, or alternatively, replace the car with a new one. With appreciate to repurchase, the most commonplace problems involve which items are reimbursable and which aren’t. Extended warranties or renovation plans are normally not reimbursable. Interest on automobile financing and other wearing expenses along with car insurance are usually no longer reimbursable as properly. Sales tax is not reimbursable from the producer. However, in New York, a client can practice for reimbursement of income tax without delay from the New York State Department of Taxation & Finance once the repurchase transaction is completed.

Replacement transactions are normally on an MSRP to MSRP basis. You are given credit for the MSRP value of your car in the direction of the MSRP rate of any other automobile sold via the manufacturer. Thus, MSRP is used as an objective valuation. Even if you paid less than MSRP for your automobile, you get credit score for the MSRP price, accordingly allowing you to preserve the authentic bargain from while you first purchased your automobile. The most not unusual problem in an alternative transaction is sincerely finding an appropriate substitute vehicle.

The New York Lemon Law statute also creates a utilization offset to compensate a producer for the consumer’s use of the vehicle if such usage exceeds 12,000 miles. Essentially, the cost of a repurchase is decreased by means of 1% of the price of the automobile for every 1,000 miles over 12,000. With a replacement, the client would have to write a test to the manufacturer for that amount. In practice, many manufacturers will waive usage on replacement transactions as they decide on them over repurchases.

o-NEW-YORK1800x450.jpg (1800×450)

Just due to the fact a producer is supposed to provide you comfort under the New York Lemon Law would not mean it actually will. Thus, alas, at instances it is necessary to litigate a lemon law case. To that give up, the New York statute, like many different nation lemon laws, consists of a lawyer price moving provision. The importance of this cannot be overstated. In the absences of a legal professional price shifting provision, it would be price prohibitive to implement your rights in opposition to a producer. As a be counted of direction, the manufacturer could refuse to satisfy its obligations underneath the statute, and if you desired to implement the statute in opposition to the producer it is able to feed more in attorney charges then the case could be well worth. The charge shifting provision lets in a patron’s lawyer to collect charges and costs from the manufacturer if the consumer wins a lawsuit.

Although the price transferring provision is based to offer for lawyer charges wherein a consumer wins at trial, in practice, it gets prolonged to topics that are settled previous to the graduation of litigation. This is because of the implied threat of a lawsuit, even on the pre-litigation level. The manufacturers are conscious that if they don’t pay the client’s legal professional charges prior to litigation, the customer might reject its provide and bring a lawsuit, at which factor legal professional charges would be recoverable. It’s obviously cheaper for a producer to pay a small number of attorney fees previous to litigation than a better amount on the end of litigation – so in exercise, the producers are inclined to pay the client’s costs previous to the commencement of litigation.