New York Used Car Lemon Law Procedures

The Used Car Lemon law provides a legal remedy for consumers who are buyers or lessees of used cars that turn out to be lemons.


The law requires dealers to give consumers a written warranty.  This page incorporate a New York State explanatory page with our comments.  Under this warranty, dealers must repair, free of charge, any defect in covered parts. If the dealer is unable to repair the car after a reasonable number of attempts, the consumer is entitled to a full refund.

     Unfortunately, there is essentially no penalty for the dealer’s non-compliance so in many cases, they will refuse a refund even if they failed to adequately repair the car.


Frustrating Phone Conversation

For that reason, we sometimes use other laws which do have some teeth or penalties.  

Cars Covered by the Used Car Lemon Law Include any car that:

  • was purchased, leased or transferred after the earlier of 18,000 miles or two years from original delivery; AND
  • was purchased or leased from a New York dealer; AND
  • had a purchase price or lease value of at least $1,500; AND
  • has been driven less than 100,000 miles at the time of purchase/lease; AND
  • is used primarily for personal purposes.

Statutory Warranty Length:

Miles of Operation Duration of Warranty (the earlier of)
18,001-36,000 miles 90 days or 4,000 miles
36,001-79,999 miles 60 days or 3,000 miles
80,000-100,000 miles 30 days or 1,000 miles

    The question of what has been fixed is frequently disputed.  A dealer may suggest it has fixed problem A and another problem B arose outside the New York Lemon Law warranty period.  

Warranty Requirements:

Auto dealers are required by law to provide you a written warranty to covers the following parts:

Engine: lubricated parts, water pump, fuel pump, manifolds, engine block, cylinder head, rotary engine housings and flywheel.
Transmission: the transmission case, internal parts, and the torque converter.
Drive Axle: the 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: the steering gear housing and all internal parts, power steering pump, valve body, piston and rack
Other Parts: Radiator, Alternator, Generator, Starter, and Ignition System (excluding battery)

A Dealer’s Duty to Repair: A reasonable chance for an auto dealer to repair a problem for a used car is considered to be:

  • three or more repair attempts and the problem continues to exist; OR
  • the car is out of service by reason of repair for a cumulative total of 15 days or more (although unavailability of parts may extend this time).

Exceptions When an Auto Dealer May Not Be Required to Provide a Refund:

  • the problem does not substantially impair the value of the car to the consumer; OR
  • the problem is a result of abuse, neglect or unauthorized alteration of the car.The judge finds the consumer has failed to prove a covered defect.

What consumers should do if they become aware of a problem with the car:

  • immediately report any malfunction or defect of a covered part to the dealer and request the necessary repairs. If the consumer has notified the dealer of a problem within the warranty period, the dealer must make the repair even if the warranty has subsequently expired.
  • keep careful records of all complaints and copies of all work orders, repair bills and correspondence.
  • obtain a report from an independent mechanic that shows a covered part was presented for repair and the problem still exists.  

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CALL (973) 598-1980 for a Free Consultation to Discuss your Rights r

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