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Washington Lemon Law Information

The Washington Lemon Law applies when, during the first two (2) years or 24,000 miles (whichever comes first), following delivery of a new vehicle:

  • the dealer has attempted to repair the same problem four (4) or more times, with at least the first repair attempt occuring during the 2 years/24,000 mile period, or
  • the dealer has attempted to repair the same "serious safety defect" two (2) or more times, with at least one repair occuring during the 2 years/24,000 mile period, or
  • the vehicle has been out of service for repairs at the dealership for a cumulative total of 30 or more calendar days, with at least 15 of those days occuring during the 2 years/24,000 miles.

A "serious safety defect" is defined as a life-threatening malfunction that impairs the driver's ability to control or operate the vehicle, or creates a risk of fire or explosion.

To qualify for the Washington Lemon Law, the problem must not have been caused by owner abuse or negligence, or by any unauthorized modifications or alterations made to the vehicle.

In Washington State, the Lemon Law process is done through an Arbitration Hearing before a board, rather than through the court system. However you may still (and probably should) be represented by an attorney. See the link below for more information.

Washington Lemon Law information — Attorney General's Office »

Helpful Lemon Law Tips

Most states require you to notify the dealer and the manufacturer that you have a Lemon Law claim. Always use Certified Mail with Return Receipt.

If the manufacturer has an informal mediation or dispute resolution process, most states require you to do that first before pursuing litigation. However, you should contact a lawyer immediately.

Most lawyers will not charge you for an initial consultation or legal fees for Lemon Law arbitration. If they decide you have a case, normally the manufacturer is forced to pay your legal costs.

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