NY Used Car Lemon Laws

| December 9, 2011

New York’s Lemon Law does not apply to new vehicles only. The Used Car Lemon Law passed in 1984 extended protection to consumers that have bought used or pre-owned vehicles. Before submitting a claim, make sure that your vehicle falls within the used car category.

New York Lemon Law Criteria

Not all pre-owned vehicles qualify for protection. The car must satisfy all of the following criteria:

  • The New York Lemon Law does not apply to vehicles purchased for business use; therefore the vehicle’s primary use must be personal.
  • The pre-owned vehicles must have been purchased or leased from a New York dealer
  • The vehicle must cost in excess of $1,500
  • The used car must have been sold or leased after the vehicle has reached 18,000 miles or two years of age (which ever comes first). Age of the vehicle is counted from the original date of delivery.
  • The odometer reading at the time of purchase or lease must be less than 100,000

Duration of New York’s Lemon Law Protection

Since Lemon Law protection for used vehicles does not last for the duration of vehicle ownership, after meeting the above criteria, car owners must ensure the vehicle passes the length of warranty test. The Lemon Law warranty ranges from 30 to 90 days or 1,000 to 4,000 miles depending on the age and number of miles on the vehicle.

Vehicles with 18,001 to 36,000 miles are warranted for 90 days or 4,000 miles. Vehicles with 36,001 to 79,999 miles enjoy 60 days or 3,000 miles of protection while vehicles with 80,000 to 100,000 miles are only protected for 30 days or 1,000 miles.

Auto Dealer Responsibility

When a NY auto dealer or manufacturer sells a pre-owned car, they are required to provide a warranty, in writing, that covers specific parts of the used car. The warranty includes, but is not limited to the engine, brakes, steering and other parts and systems on the vehicle.

In addition to issuing a written warranty, the dealer must make attempts to fix the mechanical malfunction upon being notified by the car owner. If after three or more attempts and/or 15 days (the days do not have to be consecutive) of the car owner not being able to drive the car due to the vehicle being in repair, the vehicle owner can seek protection under the New York Lemon Law (be aware there are a few exceptions, so visit the NYS website for particulars).

Consumer Responsibility

Once you become aware of a potential problem, notify the dealer immediately and make arrangements to get it fixed. If your car is under warranty and you notify the manufacturer/seller during the warranty period and the warranty subsequently expires before the malfunction is fixed, the auto manufacturer is still on the hook to fix the problem since they were notified during the term of the warranty.

Document all of your interactions with the manufacturer/seller and keep all vehicle purchase documents in a safe place. In the event you are unable to resolve the issue with the manufacturer and have to take it a step further, the better your document, the easier the claim process will be.

If you find that you are unable to resolve the issue with the manufacturer and have to submit a claim under the New York Lemon Law, download and complete the NY Used Car Arbitration form and send into the New York State Attorney General’s Office.filing-a-NY-used-car-lemon-law-claim

Make sure to fully complete the form and send COPIES of the original documentation. Once they receive and review the information, they will send it to the New York State Dispute Resolution Association (NYSDRA). At that time the will request the appropriate processing fee (as of May, 2009, the processing fee is $120) to process your claim.

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Category: Lemon Law

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Felicia A. Williams is a wife, mother, freelance writer and owner of Tidbits and Stuff.

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