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New Jersey Lemon Law – Protection for New Vehicles

depositphotos_5503419-Ecological-transport-metaphor-lemon-and-wheels.jpgPurchasing a new car is a major financial investment. Consumers incur high costs to purchase a vehicle and even higher costs to repair defects. Understanding the economic impact, New Jersey’s Legislature passed the New Jersey Lemon Law Act. The law is one of the strongest, most comprehensive, and effective in the country. It protects consumers who purchase or lease vehicles that are defective.

The New Jersey Lemon Law covers all new vehicles that develop a defect during the first two years of ownership or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. The law covers new passenger cars, trucks, motorcycles, and certain authorized emergency vehicles purchased, leased, or registered in the State of New Jersey. Commercial vehicles are not covered.

The law requires manufacturers to repair reported defects within a reasonable time. The law also provides for remedies to consumers whose vehicles are not repaired and the defect impairs the use, value, or safety of the new vehicle. The law, however, does not vehicle defects which are the results of an accident, abuse, vandalism, or wear and tear. Also, the law does not cover defects caused by repair or modification to a vehicle by a person other than the manufacturer or car dealer.

Defects should be immediately reported to the dealer. Consumers should keep copies of all receipts for repairs and record mileage as well as the repair work completed. Dealers are permitted a reasonable amount of time to make repairs to correct a defect.

A vehicle is presumed to be a lemon if:

• if a manufacturer or dealer made at least three unsuccessful attempts to repair the defect; or

  • • the vehicle is out of service for repair for a cumulative total of twenty or more calendar days since the original delivery date and the defect persists.
  • There are several options available to consumers whose vehicle is presumed to be a lemon. Our experienced New Jersey consumer litigation attorneys can negotiate with the manufacturer and dealer to have the vehicle replaced or a refund provided.
    Our experienced attorneys can also help file a complaint with the Lemon Law Unit of the New Jersey Office of Consumer Affairs. The Department will then investigate the matter and attempt to resolve the issue for the consumer. A hearing will be scheduled within twenty days if the issue cannot be resolved amicably. An administrative law judge will be assigned to the case.

    Alternatively, we can help you file suit against the manufacturer seeking damages that will include the purchase price or leasing costs of the vehicle, finance charges, tax, tags, registration fees, and attorneys fees and costs.

    If you believe that your vehicle is a lemon, our New Jersey consumer litigations attorneys can help. McLaughlin & Nardi’s attorneys regularly represent consumers in negotiations, arbitration, and litigation. To learn more about what we can do to help, please e-mail us or call (973) 890-0004.