New Car Lemon Law Fact Sheet

I bought or leased a defective new car.

You may be able to get a refund or replacement under New York’s lemon law if: 

  • Your new car is not in the condition described in your written warranty and
  • The manufacturer or the manufacturer’s authorized agent cannot fix the car after a reasonable number of tries.

Is my car covered under the lemon law?

Your car must have been:

  • Covered by a manufacturer’s warranty when you first received the car and
  • Bought, leased, transferred before it had 18,000 miles on it or less than two years since it was first delivered to the dealer and
  • Bought, leased, or transferred in New York state or is currently registered in New York state and
  • Used mostly for personal purposes.   

Can my car be fixed?

Your car’s manufacturer must try a certain number of times to fix your car for any defect covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, free of charge. You may be able to get a refund or replacement for your car if:

  • The manufacturer cannot fix your car after four repair efforts or
  • You are unable to use your car for a total of 30 days or more while the dealer is fixing it. 

Why might I not be covered by the lemon law?

The manufacturer is not required to refund or replace your car if the problem:

  • Does not greatly reduce your car’s value or 
  • Is a result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modifications.

My car has a problem. What should I do?

  • Immediately report any problems to the manufacturer or your dealer. If you report a problem to the dealer, the dealer must notify the manufacturer within seven days. 
  • Keep careful records of all your complaints and copies of work orders, repair bills, and communications with the dealer or manufacturer.
  • If you have any problems having repairs done, contact the Department of Motor Vehicles at (518) 474-8943.

I have more questions.

I think I may be due a replacement or refund.

You can ask our office to review your case and decide whether your situation qualifies. This process is called “arbitration.” 
Fill out the form for the new car you bought or leased. Mail or email it back to us (see directions on the form).