NY Lemon Law covers new and used passenger vehicles, SUVs, trucks, demonstrators, motor homes, and motorcycles that are purchased or leased in New York. New vehicles covered by NY Lemon Law must meet four conditions:
- The vehicle was covered by the manufacturer’s warranty at the time of original delivery;
- The vehicle was purchased, leased, or transferred within 18,000 miles or two years from the date of original delivery, whichever comes first;
- The vehicle was purchased, leased, or transferred in New York State or is presently registered in New York State; and
- The vehicle is primarily for personal use (more than 50% of the time).
In order to be considered a “lemon” under the Lemon Law in NY, the vehicle must meet the following requirements:
- Does not conform to the manufacturer’s express warranty
- Has substantial defects affecting the use, safety, or value of the vehicle
- Has manufacturer’s defects that occurred during the first two years from the original owner’s delivery date or the first 18,000 miles on the odometer (whichever period ends first)
- Has been taken in four times for the same problem, yet the defect still exists, or has been out of service for a cumulative total of 30 days due to repairs for one or more problems, or the dealer refuses to repair the defect within 20 days of receiving a written notice
The New York Appeals Court held in DaimlerChrysler Corporation v. Spitzer that you are still entitled to relief under NY Lemon Law if a defect was successfully repaired on or after the fifth repair attempt, or after the vehicle was out of service for 30 days.
Keep in mind that Lemon Law in NY does not apply to defects that don’t significantly impact its value to you. For example, if the upholstery is frayed, that’s not covered by Lemon Law in NY. Likewise, if the problem stems from modifications that you made to the vehicle, or from abuse or neglect of the vehicle, the Lemon Law in NY does not apply.
Motor Home Lemon Law in NY
The new vehicle Lemon Law in NY covers the motorized portion of new recreational vehicles, but not the living quarters. Items which are not covered include flooring, plumbing systems and fixtures, roof, air conditioner, furnace, generator, electrical systems other than automotive circuits, the side entrance door, exterior compartments, and windows other than the windshield and driver and front passenger windows.
Because motor homes typically contain assemblies from a variety of manufacturers, the Lemon Law in NY has special notification requirements for consumers who find themselves with a lemon RV. In addition, the requirements for the number of repair attempts differ for motor homes. It’s best to consult with a Lemon Law attorney in order to preserve your rights under NY Lemon Law.
Other Types of Vehicles
Many people wrongly assume that only new cars that they’ve purchased from dealers are eligible for protection under the new car NY Lemon Law. In fact, motorcycles, newer used vehicles (fewer than 18,000 miles on the odometer and less than two years from the original delivery date), and leased vehicles are also covered. In addition, New York has a used car Lemon Law for those who purchase older used vehicles. The key to preserving your rights – and possibly obtaining a refund or replacement vehicle – is to understand the timing, the notification requirements, and the procedural requirements mandated by NY Lemon Law. To do that, it’s helpful to consult with an attorney with experience in NY Lemon Law.