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North Carolina Lemon Law


A new car is one of the largest purchases you’ll ever make. That’s why consumer protection lemon laws exist. If you live in North Carolina and think you have a defective vehicle, here’s a summary of NC lemon law:

New cars: Yes
Used cars: No
RVs: No
Business vehicles: Yes
Motorcycles: Yes
Leased vehicles: Yes
Lemon law period: 2 years/24,000 miles

What is a Lemon Car Under North Carolina Law?

North Carolina lemon law covers new passenger vehicles, SUVs, vans, trucks, and motorcycles under 10,000 pounds that are purchased in North Carolina. In order to be considered a “lemon,” the vehicle must meet the following requirements:

  • Does not conform to the manufacturer’s express warranty
  • Has substantial defects affecting the use, safety or value of the vehicle
  • Has manufacturer’s defects that occurred during the warranty period
  • Has been taken in four times for the same problem, or has been out of service for a cumulative total of 20 business days for a series of unrelated problems within any 12-month period during the warranty
  • The manufacturer has been notified in writing of the defect and is given one final opportunity to repair the vehicle
  • You have participated in the manufacturer’s informal arbitration program, if the manufacturer requires it

North Carolina Statutes Sections 20-351 is the state’s lemon law.

Getting Lemon Justice: North Carolina Lemon Law Relief

North Carolina lemon law provides several options for a successful lemon law claimant. First, you may be awarded a replacement vehicle of the same year, make, and model. You may also qualify for a monetary award, which can include:

The full purchase price
Charges for undercoating
Dealer preparation and transportation fees
Dealer- or manufacturer-installed options
Non-refundable portions of extended warranties and service contracts
Finance charges
Incidental and collateral charges
Sales tax
License fees
Registration fees
Attorney’s fees

The amount of the monetary reward may be reduced by a deduction for your use of the vehicle, which is calculated by the number of miles multiplied by the purchase price, and then divided by 120,000.

If a court finds that the manufacturer unreasonably failed or refused to repair, refund, or replace the lemon, you may be awarded triple damages.

Pursuing a NC Lemon Law Claim

If you want to pursue a claim under North Carolina’s lemon law, you must first send a notification to the manufacturer. You should send this letter after the third repair attempt. Send your letter by certified mail, with a return receipt requested. Here’s a sample demand letter that you can adapt for your use.

After receiving your letter, the manufacturer has 10 days to make a final repair attempt. If the manufacturer requires it, you must participate in their informal dispute resolution process before you are eligible to file a lemon law claim in court.

How We Can Help

Wherever you are in the lemon law claim process, we’re happy to help. Whether you need help gathering the material documenting your lemon, submitting the final demand letter, negotiating a settlement, or appealing the arbitration decision, Lemberg Law will be at your side every step of the way.

Helping consumers is what we do. We’ve helped more than 12,000 people recover more than $35 million. You can read more about us here.

Remember that vehicle manufacturers have teams of lawyers that do nothing but fight lemon law claims. Lemon laws try to level playing field by forcing automakers to pay the consumer’s attorney fees in successful lemon law claims. That’s why our representation won’t cost you a dime.

There’s a limited window of opportunity for filing a lemon law claim. If you suspect you have a North Carolina lemon, give us a call today. We understand your frustration, and will do our best to deliver the justice you deserve.

Call Us. We’ll explain. 877-79-LEMON