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Virginia Lemon Law Information

The Virginia Lemon Law applies when, during the first eighteen (18) months following delivery of the new vehicle:

  • the dealer has attempted to repair the same problem three (3) or more times, or
  • the dealer has attempted to repair a "serious safety defect" one (1) or more times, or
  • the vehicle has been out of service due to repair attempts by the dealer for a total of 30 or more calendar days.

"Serious Safety Defect" means a life-threatening malfunction or nonconformity that impedes the consumer's ability to control or operate the new motor vehicle for ordinary use or reasonable intended purposes or creates a risk of fire or explosion.

To qualify for the Virginia Lemon Law (a.k.a. the "Virginia Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act"), the problem must significantly impair the use, market value, or safety of the motor vehicle, although it does not necessarily have to affect the driveability of the vehicle. You must notify the manufacturer in writing before the end of the 18 month period that the defect has not been effectively repaired.

Virginia Lemon Law information from the Department of Motor Vehicles »

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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.

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