What is a “lemon law?”
In the 1800s people referred to others who were unfriendly as “lemons.” Over time the word was used to describe anything that was broken or defective. A car, for example, that continuously broke down was called a lemon.
In 1975, a federal law was passed regarding warranties on consumer products.* Since then, the states have added their own lemon laws that differ from each and must be referred to for the specifics.
- prior history of mechanical problems known to the
- a rolled back odometer
- previously salvaged or wrecked
- stolen, stripped or rebuilt car
- car involved in a flood
- undisclosed rental, police car or taxi
In some states lemon laws do not apply to used or leased vehicles. The laws are not necessarily limited to cars. RVs, boats, motorcycles and wheelchairs may be included under your state’s lemon law.
If you’re buying a car for the first time, new or used, take a parent or someone you trust with you. If you think you got stuck with a lemon, talk with your parents and possibly a lawyer for advice.
*Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, 15 U.S. Code 2301 (1975).
For detailed information about your state’s Lemon Law, go to: http://www.lemonlawamerica.com/