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Leased Vehicle Lemon Law in North Carolina

North Carolina Lemon Law covers leased vehicles, SUVs, vans, and trucks 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 first year from the delivery date, the first 12,000 miles on the odometer, or the expiration of the express warranty (whichever period ends last)
  • 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 one exists

Under North Carolina Lemon Law, you must notify the manufacturer in writing of the problem with your vehicle and give them a final opportunity to repair your vehicle. Sample demand letter. You must also participate in the manufacturer's informal dispute resolution process (if one exists) before you are eligible to file a Lemon Law claim in court.

Wherever you are in the Lemon Law claim process, it is generally in your best interest to have an attorney represent you. After all, vehicle manufacturers have teams of lawyers that do nothing but fight Lemon Law claims. As you consider your options, imagine the difference between going up against a team of lawyers on your own, versus having a Lemon Law attorney speak on your behalf. Also keep in mind that being represented by a Lemon Law attorney won't cost you a dime if you go to court; the law says that the car manufacturer has to pay your attorney's fees in successful Lemon Law claims.

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:

  • Lease payments
  • Capitalized cost reduction
  • 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 divided by 100,000, and multiplied by the purchase price of the vehicle.

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

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