by Contributor

(Mar. 30, 2022) — “Lemon Law” is a casual term that designates both federal and state laws in place to protect a citizen’s consumer rights if they are ever duped into buying an inferior product that does not live up to the manufacturer’s claims. The United States Code Title 15, Chapter 50 (Sections 2301-2312) explains how the lemon law works in detail, but there is more to it.

Since the US follows a federal administrative system, most states have the freedom to make alterations to the core rules of federal lemon law, if deemed necessary by the state government. This means that different states often have different standards and criteria for filing, processing, and judging lemon lawsuits. With that in mind, let’s look at the lemon law, as it is applicable within the jurisdictions of New Jersey in 2022.

Understanding the “Lemon”

The term “lemon” in lemon law is used to designate the faulty product in question. The majority of all alleged lemons are cars, which is why the lemon law has almost become synonymous with lawsuits related to problematic vehicles. In truth, the lemon law is a consumer protection law, and technically, it can be applied to any faulty consumer product that fails to live up to the customer’s expectations, as well as the manufacturer’s/seller’s claims.

Can a Used Car Qualify as a Lemon in New Jersey?

Yes, any vehicle sold to a consumer, whether it’s new or refurbished, can qualify as a lemon if it meets the criteria set by the state jurisdiction. Any automotive manufacturer or second-hand car dealer in breach of their own warranty through the sale of a faulty car, can be sued for compensation by the suffering consumer.

Can You Receive a New Car as Replacement for the Faulty Vehicle?

If the condition of the concerned car makes it necessary for its manufacturer or dealer to replace it with a new vehicle, then yes. This may or may not happen, depending on the case’s specifics, but the consumer will at the very least get a legally binding guarantee from the manufacturer/dealer that their vehicle will be fixed for free. It isn’t uncommon for an aggrieved consumer in New Jersey to receive monetary compensation in addition to car repairs/replacements.

Do You Need to Pay Your Lawyer if they Lost the Case?

This may vary in accordance with the legal firm that you are dealing with. However, a good law firm like the Simon Law Group in New Jersey does not charge their clients, irrespective of the verdict. Lemon law attorneys will receive their due payments from the manufacturer’s/dealer’s insurer instead. They also offer free consultation on the merit of a case, so that the consumer knows whether they have a valid lemon law claim or not.

In case you have bought a vehicle that makes you feel like you were cheated, it is highly advised that you seek legal assistance at the earliest. The older a vehicle gets, the lower are one’s chances of retrieving significant compensation for their trouble. Also, check to see if the entire model of the car you bought has an established faulty design. That might entitle you to a full refund.

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