Is Your Car a Lemon? Know if You Qualify for a Lemon Law Case in New Jersey
If your new car has severe defects that make it unsafe to drive or if it requires repeated repairs to fix the same problem, you may qualify to have the car declared a lemon under New Jersey law. A lemon law case allows you to demand a refund, replacement vehicle, or other compensation from the manufacturer when the auto defect prevents you from using your car as intended. But there are strict legal requirements to qualify for this kind of relief under New Jersey’s lemon law.
1. Substantial Damages within First 2 Years or 24000 Miles
In New Jersey, the lemon law covers your new car against severe warranty defects throughout your first two years of owning the vehicle or within 24000 miles. To be considered a lemon under this law, the car must suffer substantial damages within these limits, which the manufacturer or even a licensed car dealer cannot fix.
Also, the vehicle owner has attempted repairs themselves but was unsuccessful. You can contact the NJ Board of Consumer Affairs (BCA) and fill out a Lemon Law Questionnaire form. However, getting a lawyer with experience in lemon law in New Jersey is crucial before filing anything to avoid making costly mistakes and ensure you’re eligible to file.
2. The Defect Presents an Unreasonable Safety Risk
It’s a requirement by law for all cars to be safe and free from inferior quality and materials. However, there are certain circumstances where the defect is so severe that it poses a significant risk. For example, if your car has been diagnosed with an unreasonable safety risk, such as malfunctioning equipment linked to the steering or braking system, you may have grounds for a lemon law case.
In this case, you can contact an experienced lemon law attorney who will guide how to proceed with a claim. They’ll also file the necessary paperwork on your behalf, which saves you time and stress.
3. Must Meet Repair Attempts Threshold or Out of Service for the Defect
Lemon law cases involve defective vehicles and the manufacturer’s refusal or inability to repair them. In New Jersey, if the issue remains irreparable after three trips to your manufacturer or an approved dealer for repairs, you can seek recourse under state law by filing suit against them.
Also, suppose your manufacturer cannot resolve the problem or defect after your vehicle is in their repair shop for 20 days (out of service). In that case, they may be responsible for paying a refund or replacement as determined by the court. However, there is no limit on how often your car can return to the factory before it becomes ineligible.
4. Defect Reduces Vehicle’s Value, Safety, and Usefulness
If the defect in your vehicle reduces your car’s value, marketability, or usefulness of the car by 50% or more, you may have grounds to file a lemon law claim. A defect is any condition that renders the vehicle unsafe and unusable. Examples include non-functional brakes and transmission, defective airbags, steering wheel alignment or suspension problems, and unexpected power loss (car shuts down while driving).
Suppose these defects substantially impair vehicle operation and pose a significant safety hazard. Then, it would qualify as a substantial impairment under NJ lemon law if repeated attempts by the manufacturer or authorized dealer to fix the same problem are unsuccessful
5. Warranty Coverage Expires While Still Seeking Repairs
Suppose your car still has warranty coverage, but the warranty coverage expires before you can complete all necessary repairs. In that case, you may qualify for lemon law. The NJ lemon law does not cover cars that have reached the end of their manufacturer’s warranty. For example, if your vehicle is out of warranty and you’re seeking compensation because the dealer could not fix it, the NJ lemon law doesn’t apply to this situation.
However, other laws will protect consumers who find themselves in this situation. A reliable and experienced lemon law attorney will be able to evaluate your case and help determine whether or not your manufacturer may still be responsible.
Suppose you think your car qualifies as a lemon under the NJ lemon law. In that case, you must contact an experienced lemon law attorney before making any drastic decisions like trading in or selling the vehicle. An attorney will guide you in determining whether or not your car is eligible and guide you through the process of filing suit against the manufacturer. The law protects consumers from defective cars by requiring manufacturers to replace, repair or refund vehicles. Unfortunately, there are many cases where manufacturers refuse to comply with their obligations under this law. Consumers must take all necessary precautions by hiring an experienced lemon law attorney to know what rights they have if their new car proves defective within 24 months after purchase.