Lemon Law in New Jersey

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New Jersey lemon law is aimed for protecting buyers who buy or lease a lemon vehicle. This law ensures that you are protected from being stuck because of a vehicle developing defects that are unable to be resolved after 3 repair attempts. In addition, they ensure you are protected from a vehicle that has remained out of service for a period of 20 days during the 1st two years you’ve been with the car.

How the Law Works

New Jersey lemon law is charged with establishing procedures meant to help resolve disputes between a manufacturer and a consumer as well as providing remedies for uncorrected defects that can lead to lack of usage of the car. What New Jersey Lemon Law does not cover is the defects caused by vandalism, accident, abuse or neglect.

What You Can Do

If your vehicle is well within the requirements of the Lemon Law, you need to complete the application form provided and then pay $50 application fee. This will be refundable for a successful application. You can also call (973) 504-6226 to reach the consumer affairs division to begin the application process. You can alternatively write to: Lemon Law Unit, P.O. Box 45026 Newark, NJ 07101 to apply. They require you to send a letter to the manufacturer via a certified mail. Then return the receipt requested and then indicate that you have a claim and you’re giving the manufacturer the last opportunity to resolve the issue.

Keep Records

It’s very important to file detailed receipts of all your repair attempts as well as the complete list of your contacts with dealer/manufacturer. In most cases, the warrant of the manufacturer covers all repairs from at least the first year from the original date of first cited miles or delivery or whichever comes first. Though, you need to check as your particular warrantee may differ.

Replacement vs. Refund

You have a right to refuse the offer and demand a refund if the manufacturer offers to replace your vehicle. If your request is rejected, then you’re at liberty to pursue the matter through a hearing or in court. You should accept a replacement vehicle, when your original vehicle was financed, then the manufacturer must be able to see that the financing has been transferred from the original to the replacement vehicle. Just in case you’ve accepted a refund, you’ll receive the full purchase price of your original vehicle, of course minus “some small allowance for vehicle use.”

Rights under New Jersey lemon law

You will be forced to do the following if the manufacturer rejects your claim and refuse to refund your money or replace your vehicle:

  • You may opt to forward your complaint to the manufacturer's informal dispute settlement program.
  • File a civil action in court.
  • Request for a hearing via the Division of Consumer Affairs. In this case, the Lemon Law attorney should be present for your advantage.

The Lemon Law Hearing Process

If the case is decided in your favor and then the director of Consumer Affairs agrees with that, you will be given all your refund plus other costs. If you are unsatisfied by the decision of the arbitration process, then you have 45 days to appeal in the Superior Court’s Appellate Division. Reach the court at (609) 292-4822.