The New York Lemon Law And Related Statutes
- Is a “consumer protection statute” providing implied warranties for lease or purchase of new and used vehicles (autos, motorcycles and motor homes) and motorized wheel chairs, but excludes classic cars and off road vehicles.
- Governed by New York General Business Law, Article 11-A.
- New Cars §198-a: 4 repairs or 30 days out of service within 18,000 miles or 2 years, whichever is sooner.
- Used Cars§198-b: 3 repairs or 15 days out of service depending on miles at time of delivery, under 100,000 and for vehicles manufactured after 1983, excluding motor homes:
Limited Warranty: 18,001 – 36,000 miles: 90 days or 4,000 miles
36,001 79,999 miles: 60 days or 3,000 miles
80,000 – 100,000 miles: 30 days or 1,000 miles
- 4 year statute of limitations.
- Must use vehicle primarily for personal purposes.
- Applies to purchased and leased vehicles.
- From a New York Dealer or Retail Auction (Used) or Manufacturer (New).
- The defects or problems must either “substantially impair the value of the vehicle” to the consumer or involve safety in any case, and for used cars must involve certain parts covered under the statute:
Engine, transmission, drive train, brakes, steering, radiator, alternator, generator, starter or ignition, excluding battery.
- The warranty period is extended for each day the vehicle is in the shop for repairs.
- If successful, it is the consumer’s choice whether to get a refund (full amount for used cars and up to 12,000 miles use on new cars) OR replacement vehicle, less any damages and finance costs.
- Filing fees are $250.00 for New Cars and $120.00 for Used Cars.
Summary of vehicles not covered by New York Lemon Law:
- Manufactured before 1983
- Over 100,000 miles at delivery.
- Cost $1,500.00 or less to current owner.
- Used primarily for business, taxi or rental.
- Registered as a classic car or off road vehicle under VTL §401.
- Delivered over four (4) years before commencement of arbitration or lawsuit.
- Sold or leased by private individuals (who do not sell/lease 3 or more vehicles per year) unless a licensed auto dealer.
- Defects not substantial or safety concerns.
- Not bought or leased in New York, unless a new vehicle currently registered in New York.
Other Remedies where New York Lemon Law exceeded or are not applicable:
- Federal Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act: provides damages and attorneys’ fees against manufacturers and dealers for breaches of written warranties beyond the terms of state Lemon Laws and for the term of the subject warranty.
- Uniform Commercial Code Article 2, §2-314 Sale of Goods: provides express and implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for particular purposes against merchant sellers and dealers up to 4 year statute of limitations.
- New York General Business Law §349: provides treble damages up to $1,000 plus actual damages and attorneys’ fees for “deceptive trade practices”, but only 3 year statute of limitations.
- New York Vehicle Traffic Law §301 and 15 NYCRR §78.13 requires a valid certificate of inspection for every vehicle sold by a dealer and the vehicle, its brakes, steering, alignment, lights, odometer, etc. be working and in safe condition at time of delivery.
- New York Vehicle Traffic Law §417: provides warranties of serviceability, for parts and extended warranties for used cars. See also General Business Law §617(2)(a) for express parts warranty of 3,000 miles or 30 days.
- Common Law Fraud (6 year statute of limitations) and Law of Contracts (4 year statute of limitations) are additional causes of action. See also NY Executive Law §63 involving powers and duties of the New York Attorney General to investigate and prosecute fraudulent acts.
- New Car Damage Disclosure IF 5% of more vehicle’s value. General Business Law §396-P(5)(a).
- Used Car Damage Disclosure IF 75% or more of vehicle’s current value. See 15 NYCRR §78.13, 11 NYCRR §216.7 and Insurance Law §3412.
- Also all junked or salvaged vehicles and mileage must be disclosed in writing before the sale pursuant to Vehicle and Traffic Law §429 and 15 NYCRR §78.13 requiring additional documents, disclosure and working conditions at time of sale.
- Other and further statutes may apply to individual cases and claims.