Used Car Lemon Law Fact Sheet

I bought or leased a defective used car.

New York state’s lemon law may be able to help. Under this law:

  • Your dealer must give you a written lemon-law warranty
  • Under the lemon-law warranty, the dealer must repair any defect in the covered parts, free or charge
  • If the dealer is unable to fix your car after three or more tries, you may be eligible to receive a full refund. 

Is my car covered?

We consider your car a “used car” if:

  • you bought, leased, or received it after it already had 18,000 miles on it or
  • it had been originally delivered to the dealer two years before.

As a used car, it is covered under the lemon law if:

  • You bought or leased the car from a New York dealer and
  • The car had a purchase price or lease value of at least $1,500 and
  • The car had been driven less than 100,000 miles when you bought or leased it and
  • You use the car for mostly personal purposes. 

What does my dealer have to cover in the lemon-law warranty?

Your New York state car dealer must give you a lemon-law warranty with the following terms:
Mileage
Number of miles the car had been driven when
you first received it 
Warranty length
You have owned the car the following number of
days or driven it the following number of miles,
whichever happens first
18,001-36,000 miles 60 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 lemon-law warranty must cover the following parts:

Engine. Lubricated parts, water pump, fuel pump, manifolds, engine block, cylinder head, rotary-engine housings, flywheel

Transmission. Transmission case, internal parts, torque converter

Drive axle. Front- and rear-axle housings and internal parts, axle shafts, propeller shafts, universal joints

Brakes. Master cylinder, vacuum assist booster wheel cylinders, hydraulic lines and fittings, disc-brake calipers

Steering. Steering gear housing and all internal parts, power steering pump, valve body, piston, rack

Other parts. Radiator, alternator, generator, starter, ignition system (excluding battery)

Can the dealer fix my car?

Your car’s manufacturer has a “duty to repair,” or try a certain number of times to fix your car for any defect covered by the lemon-law warranty, free of charge. You may be able to get a refund or replacement if:

  • The problem is still there after the dealer tries to fix it three or more times or
  • You cannot use your car for a total of 15 days or more while the dealer is fixing it.

Why might I not be covered under 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 notify the dealer, the dealer must alert 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 requesting repairs, contact the Department of Motor Vehicles at (518) 474-8943.

I have more questions.

I think I may be due a 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 used car you bought or leased. Mail or email it back to us (see directions on the form).