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South Dakota Lemon Law Summary

  • Eligibility: 4 unsuccessful repairs, 1 of which occurred during the shorter of 1 year or 12,000 miles, or 30 calendar days out of service during shorter of 24 months or 24,000 miles.
  • Resolution Attempt: Certified mail notice to manufacturer and final opportunity to repair + 7 calendar days to notify consumer of repair facility.
  • (Manufacturer's informal arbitration process serves as prerequisite to consumer refund or replacement.)


Whether heading into Sioux Falls for the day or simply running some errands, most daily tasks can’t be done these days without a reliable vehicle. If you have found yourself in a pickle when you discovered your car is a lemon, you’re not completely out of luck.

If you know your way around South Dakota’s lemon laws, you could be that much closer to getting your problems fixed. And if you don’t know your way around SD’s lemon laws, you’ve come to the right place.

I spoke with an advisor from South Dakota’s Department of Motor Vehicles, who informed me of the basic characteristics a lemon must have. “The defect must occur within 1 year after the date of the delivery of the motor vehicle, or the first 12,000 miles of operation, whichever comes first,” she said. She also explained that leased vehicles are covered as well, as long as they are leased new. Motor cycles are also covered, but motor homes or vehicles weighing over 10,000 pounds are not covered under the lemon law.

The advisor explained the benefits available to South Dakota residents if their vehicle qualifies as a lemon. “In our state they are required to make the person entirely whole,” she clarified. “So that includes reimbursement for the license plates and any taxes they paid on it…manufacturers would try to treat the vehicle as a trade in, and the vehicle is a complete buy-back, so they have to reimburse the customer for all of those costs.”

The advisor also directed me to the actual statute regarding lemon laws found in Title 32 of S.D. Codified Laws.

For more information, you can contact South Dakota Attorney General’s Office, Division of Consumer Protection at (605) 773-4400.