How to File a Lemon Law Claim in Connecticut

| October 28, 2011

In 1982 Connecticut first enacted legislation to protect car buyers from ending up with a lemon. Since 1982 the Lemon Law has been enhanced and tweaked their Automobile Dispute Arbitration Program to cover the latest technologies for private passenger, combination vehicles and motorcycles.

New or Used: Not Too Many Options

Connecticut only really has a new car Lemon Law. Older cars are covered under the Automobile Used Car Warranty discussed below.

Do You Have a Connecticut Lemon Law Claim?

Connecticut Lemon Law applies to passenger, motorcycle or “combination” vehicles that were leased or purchased in Connecticut. It applies to new cars only.

The defect has to occur within the first two years or 24,000 miles from the original owner’s delivery date (which ever comes first).

The vehicle does not conform to the manufacturers express warranty

The vehicle has substantial defects that impair the use or value of the vehicle. The repairs must have been addressed during the “eligibility period.”

Keep in mind that the Connecticut auto lemon law does not cover defects caused by consumer neglect, abuse or modifications to the vehicle that were not authorized. So turning your car into one that runs on corn oil won’t be covered.

Attempt to Fix the Car

You’ve got to make a reasonable number of attempts to repair the defect. Connecticut considers reasonable number of attempts to mean

  • Taking the vehicle in to repair the same problem up to four different times or
  • If you haven’t been able to use the vehicle because it was in for repair at the dealership for a total of 30 days or more (cumulative), or
  • If a serious safety defect continues to exist after two or more attempts of repair. This must occur within the first year or while under the terms of the express warranty.

Your Duties before Filing a Connecticut Lemon Law Claim

Notify the manufacturer: You must check your manual or warranty booklet to find the location to send the notification letter. Keep a copy of the letter as you will need to send a copy to the state if you file an arbitration claim.

Leasing Company: You must notify the leasing company that you intend to file an arbitration claim (Lemon Law claim). The state mandates that you send it via registered or certified mail. You will need to include a copy of the letter along with the certified mail receipt when filing your state claim.

Filing a Claim

If you believe your situation makes you eligible to file a claim under the Connecticut Lemon Law, download and complete the Request for Arbitration form by visiting the Connecticut state website.

In addition to completing the application, send along copies of the following information (if you have it). The more information you have to back up your claim the better.

Copies of:

  • Work orders
  • Original sales contract
  • Motor vehicle registration
  • Finance agreement
  • Title
  • Entire manufacturer’s new car warranty book (not to be confused with the owners manual)
  • Correspondence of written notification to the manufacturer
  • Routine maintenance records
  • Modifications to the car
  • Extended warranty
  • Receipts for items in which you are seeking reimbursement
  • Repairs not covered by manufacturer’s new car warranty
  • Accident information (including police report, insurance correspondence, etc.)
  • Lease agreement (if leased)
  • Certified registered letter to leasing company along with postal receipt (if leased)

Remember, to send COPIES of this information, not the originals.
After completing the form (it must be signed and notarized), mail it to the Department of Consumer Protection Automobile Dispute Settlement Program (the address is printed on the downloadable form) along with the $50 fee.

After Filing a Lemon Law Request for Arbitration

The Department will review your application and either approve it for arbitration or deny it and return your filing fee along with a written explanation as to why your claim is not eligible for arbitration.

If your claim is approved, then its time to prepare for the hearing. For more information on how to prepare for an arbitration hearing download the Department of Consumer Protection document Back in the Driver’s Seat. It will provide all of the necessary information for filing and preparing for a Lemon Law claim.

Connecticut Used Car Warranty

The Connecticut Used Car Warranty covers vehicles that fit the following criteria:

  • Vehicle must be six years old or less,
  • Warrantied for 30 days or 1,500 miles (which ever comes first) if the vehicle purchase price was between $3,000 and $5,000
  • Warrantied for 60 days or 3,000 miles (which ever comes first) if the car purchase price was over $5,000.
  • Cars that are over seven years old and/or are sold for less than $3,000 are sold “AS IS.”
  • According to the Connecticut Department of Consumer protection, the warranty is not bumper to bumper. The warranty only provides enough coverage necessary to make sure the vehicle is “mechanically operational and sound.”

For more information on the Auto Used Car Warranty contact the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.

Helpful Connecticut Auto Links:

CT New Car Arbitration Form

Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection
165 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, Connecticut 06106-1630
Main Telephone: (860) 713-6050
Consumer Info / Complaints: (860) 713-6100
Toll-Free: (800) 842-2649
TDD: (860) 713-7240
Fax: (860) 713-7239

Connecticut Auto Auctions

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Category: Automobile, Lemon Law

About the Author ()

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

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