Lemon law program

Car & Auto

The "lemon laws" for new cars, used cars, wheelchairs, and farm equipment provide a legal remedy for you if you buy or lease an item that turns out to be defective (a "lemon").  

New York state arbitration programs for cars and other vehicles

You may be able to pursue arbitration under the lemon laws if all of the following are true:

  • The car, wheelchair, or farm equipment that you bought or leased turns out to be defective.
  • You are unable to resolve the problem directly with the manufacturer or its authorized dealer.
  • The manufacturer or dealer is unable to repair the item after a reasonable number of tries.

An arbitrator hears from both you and the seller. The arbitrator decides whether you should receive a refund and, if so, how much you should receive. 

One arbitration program is for the following items that you have bought (including lease-to-own purchases): 

  • new cars 
  • new motorcycles 
  • new motorhomes 
  • new wheelchairs 
  • new self-propelled farm equipment 
  • used cars 
  • used motorcycles 

New York state has a separate arbitration program for "excess wear and tear" charges on leased cars. If you are charged for excess wear and damages at the end of your lease, this program allows you to challenge the charges. 

Who manages the arbitration process?

After the Office of the New York State Attorney General (OAG) determines your eligibility for arbitration, the arbitration itself is done by the New York State Dispute Resolution Association (NYSDRA). NYSDRA is not part of OAG. It is contracted by OAG to administer the arbitration program.

The arbitrators are volunteers who work through local Community Dispute Resolution Centers (CDRCs) in all 62 counties.  

These arbitrations are a program of the New York State Unified Court System’s Alternative Dispute Resolution program.   

If you have questions about the process, contact NYSDRA’s lemon-law program manager

For guidance and forms for your situation, see the following sections.

If you wish to expedite this process you may complete the appropriate form online, save it as a PDF, and then simply email it to us at: nyag.lemonlaw@ag.ny.gov