New Jersey Lemon Law — New Vehicles
The New Jersey Lemon Law applies when, during the two (2) years or 24,000 miles (whichever occurs first) following delivery of a new vehicle:
- the dealer has attempted at least once to fix a defect that's likely to cause death or serious bodily injury, or
- the dealer has attempted to repair the same problem three (3) or more times, or
- the vehicle has been out of service due to repair attempts by the dealer for a total of 20 or more cumulative calendar days.
You must write to the manufacturer (NOT the dealer) giving notification of one last chance to repair the defect. For the "3-or-more repairs" criteria, this counts as the third attempt. If the defect has not been corrected within 10 calendar days after the manufacturer receives the written notice, you may continue with the legal Lemon Law process.
To qualify for the New Jersey Lemon Law, the defect must materially impair the use, safety or value of the car. Defects caused by an accident, vandalism, abuse or neglect do not apply; nor do defects caused by attempts to repair or to modify the vehicle by anyone other than the manufacturer or dealer.
New Jersey Lemon Law — Used Vehicles
Under the used car lemon law, used car dealers are required to provide warranties on every used car that is:
- sold for more than $3,000,
- less than eight (8) years old,
- has not been declared a total loss by an insurance company, and
- has an odometer reading of 100,000 miles or less.
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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.