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New Jersey Lemon Law

At-a-Glance

There are few worse feelings that the sinking feeling you get when you realize that the car you’ve purchased is a lemon. If you live in New Jersey, you may be protected by the state’s lemon law. Here’s a summary of the law:

New cars: Yes
Used cars: Yes
RVs: Yes
Business vehicles: Yes
Motorcycles: Yes
Leased vehicles: Yes
Lemon law period: 2 years/24,000 miles

What is a Lemon Car Under New Jersey Law?

New Jersey lemon law covers new passenger vehicles, combination vehicles, SUVs, trucks, business vehicles, RVs, and motorcycles that are purchased, leased, or registered in New Jersey. If you are not the original owner of the vehicle, but your vehicle meets all of the requirements, it is covered under New Jersey lemon law. 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 first two years from the original owner’s delivery date or the first 24,000 miles on the odometer (whichever period ends first)
  • Has been taken in three times for the same problem or if it has been out of service for 20 days due to a series of unrelated problems

New Jersey Revised Statutes Section 56:12-29 to 56:12-70 is the state’s lemon law.

Getting Lemon Justice: New Jersey Lemon Law Relief

New Jersey lemon law provides several options for a successful lemon law claimant. The manufacturer may offer to replace your vehicle, but you do not have to accept the offer and can instead demand a refund. If you choose to receive a refund, you will receive the full purchase price, less an allowance for your use of the vehicle. The full refund can include:

  • Credits and allowances for a trade-in
  • Costs of options added by the manufacturer or dealer within 30 days of the original delivery date
  • Cost of sales tax, license and registration fees, and finance charges
  • Towing
  • Cost of vehicle repairs that you paid for
  • Cost of renting a similar vehicle while yours was out of service
  • Attorney’s fees
  • Expert witness fees
  • Lemon law filing fee

The amount deducted for using the vehicle is calculated by taking the purchase price multiplied by the mileage at the time the vehicle was first brought in for repair, divided by 100,000 miles.

If you choose to participate in the Division of Consumer Affairs’ Automotive Dispute Resolution Program and you win your case, or if you win in court, you can receive the following:

  • Refund of your vehicle purchase price or leasing costs
  • Finance charges
  • Reasonable attorney’s fees
  • Lemon law filing fee
  • Cost of vehicle repairs that you paid for
  • Cost of renting a similar vehicle while yours was out of service

Pursuing a NJ Lemon Law Claim

Under New Jersey lemon law, you must send the manufacturer a letter stating that you may have a claim and that you are giving the manufacturer one last chance to repair the defect. The letter can be sent after your vehicle has had two repair attempts for the same problem or it has been out of service for a cumulative totally of 20 days for one or more problems. If the problem is a serious safety defect, you can send the letter after one repair attempt.

You should send the letter by certified mail, with a return receipt requested. Here’s a sample demand letter that you can adapt for your use.

The manufacturer has 10 days to attempt a final repair. If the defect is not repaired and the manufacturer won’t give you a refund or a replacement vehicle,

If the manufacturer doesn’t accept your lemon law claim, and will not refund your money or replace your vehicle, you have three choices: use the Division of Consumer Affairs’ Automotive Dispute Resolution Program; use the manufacturer’s dispute settlement program; or go to court.

The Dispute Resolution Program allows you to have your case heard by an administrative law judge in the Office of Administrative Law. Once your application is accepted, your hearing will be scheduled within 20 days. Likewise, a decision will be issued within 20 days of your hearing. The director of the Division of Consumer Affairs can accept, modify, or reject the decision. If no action is taken by the director, the decision of the administrative law judge becomes final.

You or the manufacturer can file an appeal in superior court within 45 days of the final decision.

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 15,000 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 New Jersey 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