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Lemon Law for Used Cars in NY

New York's Used Car Lemon Law applies to purchased or leased cars, SUVs, light duty trucks, and motorcycles. Motor homes (RVs) are not covered by NY Lemon Law.

Used vehicles covered by New York’s new car Lemon Law must meet five conditions:

  • The vehicle was purchased, leased, or transferred after 18,000 miles or two years from the date of original delivery, whichever comes first; and
  • The vehicle was purchased or leased from a New York dealer; and
  • It had a purchase price or lease value of at least $1,500; and
  • It had been driven 100,000 miles or less at the time of purchase or lease; and
  • The vehicle is primarily for personal use (more than 50% of the time).

In order to be considered a “lemon,” the vehicle must meet the following requirements: 

  • Does not conform to the dealer’s express warranty
  • Has substantial defects affecting the use, safety or value of the vehicle
  • Has been taken in three times for the same problem or if it has been out of service for 15 days due to repairs for one or more problems
  • Cannot have problems associated with any modifications that you made
  • Has defects that fall within the scope of the required Lemon Law warranty (see Used Car Warranty Term, below)

Used Car Warranty Term

According to New York’s used car Lemon Law, the length of the required warranty is based on the vehicle's mileage. If the mileage at the time of purchase or lease was 18,001 to 36,000, the warranty lasts for 90 days or 4,000 miles, whichever comes first. If the mileage at the time of purchase or lease was 36,001 to 79,999, the warranty lasts for 60 days or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first. If the mileage at the time of purchase or lease was 80,000 to 100,000, the warranty lasts for 30 days or 1,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Miles at Purchase the earlier of: Lemon Law Duration
18,001 to 36,000  90 days or 4,000 miles
36,001 to 79,999 60 days or 3,000 miles
80,000 to 100,000 30 days or 1,000 miles 

Used Car Warranty Coverage

According to New York’s Used Car Lemon Law, the warranty must cover at least:

  • Engine – Lubricated parts, water pump, fuel pump, manifolds, engine block, cylinder head, rotary engine housings, and flywheel.
  • Transmission – Transmission case, internal parts, and torque converter.
  • Drive Axle – Front and rear axle housings and internal parts, axle shafts, propeller shafts, and universal joints.
  • Brakes – Master cylinder, vacuum assist booster, wheel cylinders, hydraulic lines and fittings, and disc brake calipers.
  • Steering – Steering gear housing and internal parts, power steering pump, valve body, piston, and rack.
  • Radiator, alternator, generator, starter, ignition system (excluding battery).

NY used car Lemon Law allows dealers to exclude coverage for a number of factors, including lack of maintenance, accident or collision, odometer alteration, tune-ups, racing, towing, normal wear, property damage, and loss of use and time.

Related Used Car Provisions

In addition minimum statutory warranties provided by New York used car Lemon Law, Vehicle and Traffic Law, section 417 requires inspections and prohibits dealers from selling a used vehicle “as is.” The dealer is required to certify that the car will, under normal use, be in satisfactory condition.

The most important of these remedies is the warranty of serviceability (Vehicle and Traffic Law, section 417). This warranty cannot be waived by the buyer. No car can be sold by a dealer to you "as is." The warranty of serviceability requires the dealer to certify to you that the car is in condition and repair to render, under normal use, satisfactory and adequate service at the time of delivery.

Lemon Law Exclusions

New York’s used car Lemon Law does not apply to sales:

  • of vehicles with mileage under 18,000 or over 100,000;
  • between dealers; or
  • of vehicles used primarily for business purposes.

Other Applicable Laws

In addition to New York’s used car Lemon Law, there are other laws on the books that can help you get justice if you have a lemon. These include the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, the Warranty of Merchantability, the Truth in Lending Act, and the Federal Odometer Act.

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