New Jersey Lemon Law Summary

  • Eligibility: 3 unsuccessful repairs or 20 calendar days out of service within shorter of 2 years or 18,000 miles.
  • Resolution Attempt: Certified mail notice, return receipt requested to manufacturer who has 10 days to repair.
  • State has certified guidelines for arbitration. Law specifically applies to leased vehicles.

More information:

Whether you’re on your way to your summer getaway spot at the Jersey Shore, or simply heading to work, nothing is more inconvenient than an unreliable vehicle that leaves you stranded on the Garden State Parkway. If your car is constantly in the shop for the same problem, you may have a lemon.

I inquired further about New Jersey’s lemon laws, and the Attorney General’s office offered me more information. An advisor within the office explained that in order for a vehicle to be classified as a lemon it must have a defect that exists after the final repair attempt, and that said defect substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of the vehicle.

The advisor added that there are different laws in place to help rectify cases for not only new cars, but also used cars as well.

“The Used Car Lemon Law and the Motorized Wheelchair Lemon Law were both enacted in 1996,” he said. “Since the LLU was established, a combined total of over $53 million has been returned to consumers in the form of refunds, replacement vehicles, and repairs through hearings and informal settlements.”

While the advisor said that an attorney is not required, if you plan on going to court it’s wise to come knowledgeable and to have done your homework about the subject.

“Be prepared,” he said. “The defect must be substantial if you hope to win.”

For more information on New Jersey’s lemon law proceedings, you can contact the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs at (973) 504-6200.