Is Lemon Law Only for New Cars? A Lemon Law FAQ by Quill & Arrow LLP

Lemon laws exist to protect consumers who purchase defective vehicles. Many people have the belief that lemon laws only apply to new cars. In this article, we’ll answer some common lemon law questions. This will include whether they exclusively cover new cars or if they apply to used vehicles as well. 

Quill & Arrow LLP is a leading lemon law firm specializing in consumer protection. We offer insights into the commonly misunderstood aspects of lemon law.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Is Lemon Law Only for New Cars?

Is the lemon law only for new cars is arguably the most common question lemon owners ask. Contrary to popular belief, lemon laws do not only apply to new cars. At first, most states established lemon laws only for new vehicle purchases, but now several jurisdictions have extended their lemon law protections to include used cars as well. These expanded laws recognize that used car buyers also deserve protection against purchasing defective vehicles.

2. What Qualifies a Vehicle for the Lemon Law?

The specific criteria for qualifying a vehicle as a lemon can vary by state. It must meet certain requirements specified in their law. In general, the defects must impair the vehicle’s use, value, or safety in a significant way. Also, the issues must persist even after a reasonable number of repair attempts. These repair attempts must have been done by the manufacturer or authorized dealership within the warranty period. 

To determine if your vehicle meets the lemon law criteria, consult with a lemon law attorney. The lawyers at Quill & Arrow LLP are all well-versed in the laws of your state.

3. Does the Lemon Law Only Apply to New Cars?

Lemon laws focused on new cars at first, but many jurisdictions now include used vehicles within their lemon law protections. This expansion recognizes that the purchase of a used vehicle still entails a significant financial commitment. As a result, they decided that used cars should be safeguarded by lemon law provisions. Consult with a lemon law attorney at Quill & Arrow LLP so you can understand the specific lemon law protections for used cars in your state. 

4. Can I Get The Dealer or Automaker to Replace My Car Without Getting Legal Counsel? 

In theory, yes. However, in practice, a lot of customers give up midway through the process. As such, they end up driving around a lemon since the dealership won’t stand behind their offering. It is nearly impossible for customers to win a lemon law case on their own. If you want to get a new car or a refund using the lemon law, it is best done with a lawyer.

Car shops frequently employ the tactic of feigning to look into and settle your claim.  The dealer may appear genuinely interested in helping you resolve your issue, but their true goal is to wear you down and have you withdraw your claim.  They hope that you will become mentally exhausted and give up. When the dealer learns that you have a skilled lemon law lawyer, their demeanor changes. This is especially true if you get one with a proven track record of winning consumer protection cases

Without the assistance of a knowledgeable lemon law attorney, customers may negotiate in ignorance. If you proceed on your own, you must carefully read and comprehend the fine print pertaining to the refund clause.  A discrepancy between the conditions of the negotiation and the contract’s wording might be a trap for the unsuspecting buyer.

5. How Can I Seek Compensation under Lemon Law After Warranty Expires?

The lemon law offers protection beyond the expiration of the vehicle’s warranty. If your car qualifies as a lemon, you may qualify for compensation or a replacement vehicle. This is true even if the warranty period has ended. Lemon law attorneys at Quill & Arrow LLP have extensive experience navigating such cases. They can guide you through the process of seeking compensation under lemon law after the warranty expires. 

6. Is It Possible To Secure A Refund If The New Vehicle I Bought Turns Out To Be A Lemon? 

The answer to this query depends on your specific circumstances. However, many consumers find they are eligible for a refund or other forms of financial relief. There have been several reports where auto dealers or manufacturers attempt to mislead consumers that once the warranty expires they’re out of luck. They do this so consumers think that lemon laws exclusively apply to late-model or new vehicles. 

In reality, though, numerous state lemon laws encompass used car purchases or leases. Moreover, even in states where lemon laws primarily pertain to new vehicles, federal lemon laws often extend protection to buyers or lessees of used cars.

7. Are Lemon Laws Only for Cars?

Lemon laws are not exclusive to cars. In many jurisdictions lemon law protections extend to various types of vehicles. These include trucks, motorcycles, recreational vehicles (RVs), and even boats. If you experience persistent defects with any of these vehicles, you may be eligible for lemon law protections. You can always contact Quill & Arrow LLP,  a lemon law firm specializing in a wide range of vehicle types. With us, you can learn more about the lemon law coverage for your specific vehicle.

8. What amount of retainer should I expect to pay for a lemon law attorney? 

Lemon laws offer consumers the benefit of making the manufacturers cover potential attorney fees if you succeed in your lemon law claim. At Quill & Arrow LLP, we do not impose a retainer fee on consumers pursuing lemon law claims. We have sufficient confidence in the successful resolution of lemon law cases. 

As such, we seek attorney fees payment separately from the recovery awarded to our clients. This recovery may include a replacement vehicle, a refund of the purchase amount, or a settlement. We draw on years of experience challenging large corporations, and thus, Quill & Arrow LLP does not find it necessary to charge its clients a retainer. We are confident that the automakers will cover the attorney’s fees.


Lemon laws are not limited to new cars, as many people may believe. The protections provided by lemon laws extend to used vehicles as well. The law recognizes that all consumers should be safeguarded against purchasing defective products. 

Quill & Arrow LLP, a trusted lemon law firm, can assist you in understanding the specific lemon law provisions applicable to your state. They will guide you through the process of seeking compensation or a replacement vehicle. Don’t hesitate to consult with a lemon law attorney if your vehicle qualifies as a lemon. We have the expertise to navigate the complexities of lemon law cases.

Media Contact: 

Carlo V. DeFalco

eCustom Solutions

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