Guys, your car is one of the biggest purchases of your life. It is often an extension of your personality. This is why you can’t afford to keep a car that turns out to be a lemon. A lemon is a car that has serious problems that arise as soon as or shortly after you buy it. Lemon laws are intended to protect consumers from being stuck with expensive repair bills shortly after they paid for a new car. Let’s take a look at the lemon law in New Jersey and what it allows you to do.
New Jersey Lemon Laws
New Jersey’s lemon laws protect both buyers of new and used cars, though it only extends protection to those who bought the car from a dealer. The lemon law only applies if you bought the car from a dealer in New Jersey. It only covers issues that affect the safety, drivability or overall value of the car. For example, you can’t sue over loose cupholders and minor issues, but you have the right to get a bad drive train or electrical problem repaired.
Lemon laws only cover issues that are due to the car’s condition when you bought it. It doesn’t address wear and tear. It never covers damage due to malicious and intentional actions. For example, you can’t get a sensor glitch repaired under the lemon law if it is due to incompatible after-market parts you installed. Nor do the dealers have to repair a car after you got in a wreck, and they are not liable for your ex-girlfriend cutting up the seats.
What Do Lemon Laws Allow You to Do?
The lemon laws mean that the car dealer has to repair major issues as soon as you report it. They have to repair an issue that threatens your safety in one try or replace the car. Lesser issues have to be fixed within three visits. The car can be in the shop for at most 20 days before they have to reimburse you, though they get some wiggle room if the parts you need are on back order.
If the dealer cannot repair the car within an acceptable period of time, they either have to refund your purchase price or give you a replacement car of equal value to the MSRP of the car you purchased. If you have to sue to get your money back, New Jersey is generous in requiring the car seller to pay your legal fees if they lose.
What Don’t Lemon Laws Cover?
Lemon laws don’t include after-market parts unless you bought a car that included them. Lemon laws don’t cover the cost of your friend repairing the car. It has to be taken into the dealership to be repaired. However, if you took the car to a mechanic to diagnose the issue, the dealer may have to reimburse you that expense if the car is found to be a lemon.
The lemon law only applies when the issues appear in the first two years of ownership or of the lease. However, lemon laws never apply to very old used cars. For example, lemon laws don’t cover cars more than seven years old or more than 100,000 miles on the odometer. If the car was purchased for less than 3000 dollars, lemon laws don’t apply, either.