An important concern many New Yorkers have when buying or leasing a car, is the fear that their new vehicle will turn out to be a "lemon." But New Yorkers have a series of rights under the "New Car Lemon Law" that many drivers may not realize they possess.
"The New Car Lemon Law serves as an important legal remedy for consumers who come to find that the car they just purchased or leased, unfortunately turned out to be a lemon," said Senator Kemp Hannon (6th Senate District). "New Yorkers need to know that they have basic rights which are established for their protection. These rights will help ensure that consumers receive a fair deal when purchasing or leasing a vehicle."
The New Car Lemon Law "Bill of Rights," which Senator Hannon says "all New York motorists should review," includes:
In addition to any warranties offered by the manufacturer, your new car, if purchased and registered in New York State, is warranted against all material defects for 18,000 miles or two years, whichever comes first.
You must report any problems to the manufacturer, its agent, or authorized dealer.
Upon notification, the problem must be corrected free of charge.
If the same problem cannot be repaired after four or more attempts; or if your car is out of service to repair the problem for a total of 30 days during the warranty period; or if the manufacturer or its agent refuses to repair the substantial defect or condition within 20 days of receipt of notice sent by receipt requested; then you may be entitled to either a comparable car or a refund of your purchase price, plus license and registration fees, minus a mileage allowance only if the vehicle has been driven more than 12,000 miles. Special notification requirements may apply to motor homes.
A manufacturer may deny liability if the problem is caused by abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modification of the car.
A manufacturer may refuse to exchange a comparable car or refund your purchase price if the problem does not substantially impair the value of your car.
If a manufacturer has established an arbitration procedure, the manufacturer may refuse to exchange a comparable car or refund your purchase price until you first resort to the procedure.
If the manufacturer does not have an arbitration procedure, you may resort to any remedy by law and may be entitled to your attorney?s fees if you prevail.
No contract or agreement can void any of these rights.
As an alternative to the arbitration procedure made available through the manufacturer, you may instead choose to submit your claim to an independent arbitrator, approved by the Attorney General. You may have to pay a fee for such an arbitration. Contact your local consumer office or Attorney General?s office to find out how to arrange for independent arbitration.