New Jersey “Lemon Law”

Among the many consumer oriented laws enacted by the State of New Jersey is the “Lemon Law”. The intent of the Lemon Law is to require manufacturers of new motor vehicles to correct defects originally covered under the manufacturers’ warranty and to provide procedures to expeditiously resolve disputes. If a defect impairs the “use, value or safety” of a motor vehicle within the first eighteen thousand miles of operation or within two years of delivery to the consumer, whichever is earlier, and the manufacturer is unable to repair the defect in a reasonable period of time, the consumer may be entitled to a refund of the full purchase price, less an allowance for the consumer’s use of the returned vehicle. Similar rules apply to a motor vehicle acquired by way of a lease. It is presumed that a manufacturer is unable to repair a vehicle if substantially the same non-conformity has been subject to repair three or more times and the non-conformity continues to exist or that a motor vehicle is out of service for a cumulative period of twenty days or more since the motor vehicle was purchased and the non-conformity continues to exist. It is essential that the consumer notify the manufacturer of the defective condition of the motor vehicle by certified mail, return receipt requested. If the consumer fails to notify in this manner, the remedies afforded by the Lemon Law are unavailable.

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