New Car Lemon Law

The Lemon Law protects non-commercial motor vehicles sold, leased or registered in New York State, except for motorcycles, certain motor homes, and off-road vehicles. You are protected against all material defects for 18,000 miles or two years, whichever comes first. You must be the original purchase, lessee, or person to whom the vehicle was transferred during the warranty period.

If you experience problems, you must report them to the manufacturer or authorized dealer who must correct them free of charge. If the same problem cannot be repaired after four or more attempts, or if your car is out of service for 30 or more days, you may be entitled to a new car or refund. Refunds are for the amount of purchase, plus license and registration fees, minus a mileage allowance if the vehicle has been driven more than 12,000 miles. All new car dealers are required by New York State to provide consumers, at the time of purchase or lease of a motor vehicle, with a copy of the new car lemon law.

To enforce the law, you may sue the manufacturer or participate in an approved arbitration program. The Better Business Bureau offers AUTO LINE, a free and easy way to resolve car problems. In fact, if your car is a Chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick, Cadillac, Chevy/GEO/ or GM Truck, you can use AUTO LINE for most engine or transmission problems. In some cases, current ownership is not required to get reimbursement of past repairs. Other cars eligible for AUTO LINE are Honda, Acura, Volkswagen, Audi, Nissan, Infinity, Saab, Saturn, Sterling, Toyota, Alfa Romeo, Izuzu, Hyundai, Kia, Lexus, Hummer, Land Rover, Range Rover and Porsche. To file a complaint through the Bureau's AUTO LINE program call (800) 955-5100.

You may also participate in the New York State Attorney General's arbitration program upon payment of a $200 filing fee. This program is open to all car models but accepts lemon law replacement or buy back requests only.