Lemon Law Protection for Used Cars
Is There a Lemon Law That Covers Used Cars?
Pennsylvania and New Jersey Lemon Laws cover new vehicles. The federal Moss Magnuson Warranty Act gives rights to consumers purchasing items (tangible personal property normally used for personal, family or household purposes including used cars) that come with warranties. If that used car you bought came with a warranty, you may have some legal protections.
The law requires manufacturers and sellers of consumer products to provide consumers with detailed information about warranty coverage (including consumers’ rights and the obligations of sellers under written warranties). Armed with this information, consumers should know what to expect if the item breaks down and be able to be more easily compare warranties and better judge what they want to buy.
The law encourages sellers to promote their products based on warranty coverage with the hope this promotion and market competition may result in improved warranties. While the law makes it easier for purchasers to seek a remedy in the courts if the warranty is breached, sellers can set up a system for inexpensive and informal dispute resolution as a way to avoid litigation.
There are limits on the Magnuson Moss Act, including:
- Warranties are not required, but if one is offered, it must comply with the law.
- Only written warranties are covered, not oral warranties (verbal promises to cover repairs).
- Warranties on services are not covered, but if your warranty covers parts needed for a repair and the workmanship in making that repair, the law applies.
- The law does not apply to warranties for vehicles sold for commercial purposes, only consumer purchases.
If the warranty or the law is violated, consumers can sue as individuals or as part of a class action. A violation can be the failure to honor a written warranty or any implied warranty created by state law or failing to follow requirements of the law or its regulations. If a seller is found to be in violation, “(d)amages and other legal and equitable relief” are available under the law and a successful consumer could be awarded attorney’s fees and costs but not punitive damages.
If you purchased a used vehicle that came with a warranty and believe that warranty, or the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act, has been violated, contact an experienced Lemon Law attorney today!