The Lemon Law in New York
The lemon law in New York provides a remedy for customers that have had problems
with their vehicles despite the number of times that these have been brought in for
repairs. The manufacturer is also held liable if the car sold does not conform to the terms
of the written warranty.
In New York, this covers new and used cars including “demos” under 4 conditions.
1. First, the car was covered by the manufacturer’s new warranty at the time it was
delivered to the owner.
2. The car was purchased, leased or transferred within the first 18,000 miles or two year
from the original date of delivery.
3. The car should be purchased, leased or transferred in New York and presently
4. The vehicle is primarily used for personal purposes. The definition of personal
includes using the car to do household errands, drive to and from work. You can however
use this for business and still be covered under the lemon law as long as personal use is
Just like the state of California, New York allows motor homes to be covered under this
law except to other items like the appliances, fixtures, systems and other parts that are
residential in nature. Motor vehicles and off road vehicles are not also covered. Leased
cars are covered only if the lessee is responsible for the repairs.
If you suspect that your car is a lemon, you must immediately report this matter to the
manufacturer or authorized dealer. Under the law, the notice given to the dealer is
considered also a notice to the manufacturer.
During this time, the dealer has to conduct the necessary repairs. If they refuse to do so,
another letter must be written and this time addressed to the manufacturer which must be
completed within the next 20 days. If the problem is not repaired after reasonable
attempts, the manufacturer or dealer has no choice but to refund the full purchase or offer
a comparable replacement unit. The decision is up to the customer.
If you are getting a refund, this includes the price of the car, title and registration fees as
well as any other governmental charges. There may be some deductions if the car has
traveled more than 12,000 miles but less than that, there are none. Should the lemon car
be leased, the refund is divided between you and the leasing company.
Those of you who choose to get a comparable replacement car should know that what
you get in exchange for the lemon car is usually the same model and year as well as
approximately the same mileage as the one being replaced.
But before a refund or a replacement car is given, you have the choice of participating in
an arbitration program or suing the manufacturer and taking this matter to court. If the
manufacturer has an arbitration procedure, you have to participate in this first. This
consists of a hearing and a decision will be made after 10 days.
If you go to court, this will take some time but should you end up in winning, you can
recover the amount you spend on attorney fees.
The lemon law of New York does not have a specific number of repair attempts but four
instances within the span of two years is the ideal number. If this happens, you should
just document it by keeping a copy of the work orders, repair bills and correspondence.