Used Car Lemon Law Fact Sheet

Lemon Law Program

The Used Car Lemon law provides a legal remedy for consumers who are buyers or lessees of used cars that turn out to be lemons. The law requires dealers to give consumers a written warranty. Under this warranty, dealers must repair, free of charge, any defect in covered parts. If the dealer is unable to repair the car after a reasonable number of attempts, the consumer is entitled to a full refund. 


Cars Covered by the Used Car Lemon Law Include any car that: 

  • was purchased, leased or transferred after the earlier of 18,000 miles or two years from original delivery; AND 
  • was purchased or leased from a New York dealer; AND
  • had a purchase price or lease value of at least $1,500; AND
  • has been driven less than 100,000 miles at the time of purchase/lease; AND 
  • is used primarily for personal purposes.


Statutory Warranty Length: 

Miles of Operation Duration of Warranty (the earlier of)
18,001-36,000 miles 90 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


Warranty Requirements:

Auto dealers are required by law to provide you a written warranty to covers the following parts:

Engine: lubricated parts, water pump, fuel pump, manifolds, engine block, cylinder head, rotary engine housings and flywheel. 

Transmission: The transmission case, internal parts, and the torque converter.

Drive Axle: the front and rear axle housings and internal parts, axle shafts, propeller shafts and universal joints. 

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

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

Other Parts: Radiator, Alternator, Generator, Starter, and Ignition System (excluding battery)


A Dealer's Duty to Repair:

A reasonable chance for an auto dealer to repair a problem for a used car is considered to be:  

  • three or more repair attempts and the problem continues to exist; OR 
  • the car is out of service by reason of repair for a cumulative total of 15 days or more (although unavailability of parts may extend this time). 


Exceptions When an Auto Dealer May Not Be Required to Provide a Refund:  

  • the problem does not substantially impair the value of the car to the consumer; OR 
  • the problem is a result of abuse, neglect or unauthorized alteration of the car. 


What consumers should do if they become aware of a problem with the car:  

  • immediately report any malfunction or defect of a covered part to the dealer and request the necessary repairs. If the consumer has notified the dealer of a problem within the warranty period, the dealer must make the repair even if the warranty has subsequently expired. 
  • keep careful records of all complaints and copies of all work orders, repair bills and correspondence.