Can I Return a Problem Car I’m Leasing?
Don’t believe everything you hear.
Peggy Sutter heard she should forget about state Lemon Laws–even though her 2003 Ford Focus has been in for repairs multiple times within the past year. It even needed a new transmission at three months.
’so far, the car has been at the shop seven times. Countless times, I’ve had to go without a car, the New Jersey woman explained. But from what I hear, there’s nothing I can do.
Why? Because I’m leasing the car, she continued, and I can’t afford to hire a lawyer.
Sutter heard New Jersey’s Lemon Law only kicks in when you buy a new car or truck. But she heard wrong.
The Garden State has two lemon laws that provide broad coverage for almost every new and used passenger vehicle and motorcycle that consumers buy, lease or register in New Jersey.
Under Lemon Law statutes in New Jersey and most other states, consumers like Sutter who lease new cars may be entitled to reimbursement or a replacement vehicle under certain circumstances.
Most states require manufacturers of new motor vehicle to correct the defects covered originally under the manufacturer’s warranty and identified and reported within 18,000 miles or two years, whichever comes first.
The specifics vary slightly state by state, but, in general, consumers who want protection under Lemon Laws have to show that the defect substantially impairs the use, value or safety of their vehicles. In New Jersey, a new car or truck is presumed to be a lemon if it has one or more defects that defy three attempts at repairs, or if it has been out of service for at least 20 days.
In New York, consumers may also be entitled to a new vehicle or a refund, but only if the same problem cannot be repaired after four or more attempts or if the car or truck is out of service for 30 or more days. The law in NYS excludes motorcycles and off-road vehicles.
Read more about this issue here.