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Virginia Lemon Law Summary

  • Eligibility: 3 unsuccessful repairs, or 1 repair attempt of serious safety defect, or 30 calendar days out of service within 18 months.
  • Resolution Attempt: Written notice to manufacturer. If 3 unsuccessful repairs or 30 days already exhausted before notice, manufacturer has 1 more repair attempt not to exceed 15 days.
  • State has certified guidelines for arbitration. Law specifically applies to leased vehicles.


If your recently purchased vehicle has been in and out of the shop constantly and you’re just waiting for that 8th breakdown on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, now may be the time to do some research on lemon laws. Your consumer rights could cover your dud of a car.

An advisor at Virginia Attorney General’s office explained that a lemon car can be new or used vehicle, as long as it is under 18 months old. The vehicle will need to have had 3 failed repairs or 1 repair attempt of a serious malfunction of safety on the vehicle, or be out of service for at least 30 days within those months.

“It’s called the Virginia Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act,” she said. “It can cover used and new as long as the vehicle is less than 18 months old. Mileage doesn’t play into it.”

She added that motorcycles can also be covered, depending upon the cc. In addition to that, there are ways to pursue your claim once you have confirmed it is a lemon. The advisor said attorneys aren’t mandatory, and there are other options available for consumers.

“You can certainly get counsel if you want to,” she explained. “Or you can read the law and pursue it on your own if you want. The BBB also does arbitration for most manufacturers.”

For more information, you can reach the Attorney General’s office at (804)786-2042.