I think almost everyone has experienced car buyers remorse, after purchasing a vehicle and later finding out it was defective, needing hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs. If the vehicle was purchased new, it would have a warranty to cover most defects; however, even if the dealer and manufacturer is willing to repair the vehicle it may be necessary for you to return numerous times to the dealer until, if ever, the defect is corrected. Or some dealers/manufacturers will create a temporary repair, hoping it extends you beyond the warranty period, or you sell the vehicle.
In order to qualify for relief under the Lemon Law, the vehicle(which includes motorcycles) must be less than two years old and have fewer than 24,000 miles. The defect must substantially impair the use, value or safety of the vehicle or be a serious safety defect which is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury if the vehicle is driven.
The Lemon Law does not cover vehicles registered
for commercial use.
■ The Lemon Law does not cover the living quarters
of motor homes.
■ The Lemon Law does not cover defects caused by
accident, vandalism, abuse or neglect.
■ The Lemon Law does not cover defects caused by
attempts to repair or modify the vehicle by a person
other than the manufacturer, its agent or an
There are specific procedures you must follow to file a Lemon Law claim and, although an attorney is not required, due to the complexities of the law, and the fact the manufacturer will be represented by an attorney, it is recommended that you have one. If you succeed in your claim, the manufacturer must pay your attorneys fees.
But what if you purchased the vehicle used? New Jersey has a separate law that protects purchasers of used vehicles from a dealer. Under this law, used car dealers are required to provide warranties on every used car that is sold for more than $3,000, that is seven  years old or less, has not been declared a total loss by an insurance company and has an odometer reading of 100,000 miles or less.
***In negotiating a better price for the vehicle,
consumers may waive their right to a warranty. The
vehicle must have more than 60,000 miles on its
odometer and the waiver must be in writing. It's not recommended you waive the warranty, unless you have a reliable mechanic inspect the vehicle prior to purchase and you believe you are receiving a fair discount n the price for the waiver.
Here's what must be coverd by the warranty:
The statute requires a dealer “to correct a material defect
of the used vehicle.” The statute also expressly covers:
■ The Engine – All internal lubricated parts,
timing chains, gears and cover, timing belt,
pulleys and cover, oil pump and gears, water pump,
valve covers, oil pan, manifolds, flywheel,
harmonic balancer, engine mounts, seals and
gaskets, and turbo-charger housing. (Housing,
engine blocks and cylinder heads are covered only
if they are damaged by the failure of an internal
■ Transmission Automatic/Transfer Case – All
internal lubricated parts, torque converter, vacuum
modulator, transmission mounts, seals and gaskets.
■ Transmission Manual/Transfer Case – All
internal lubricated parts, transmission mounts,
seals and gaskets (excluding a manual clutch),
pressure plate, throw-out bearings, clutch master
or slave cylinders.
■ Front-Wheel Drive – All internal lubricated parts,
axle shafts, constant velocity joints, front hub
bearings, seals and gaskets.
■ Rear-Wheel Drive – All internal lubricated parts,
How long is the warranty? It depends.
■ a motor vehicle has 24,000 miles or less on its
odometer, the dealer must provide the customer
with a warranty for 90 days or 3,000 miles,
whichever comes first.
■ a motor vehicle has more than 24,000 miles but
less than 60,000 miles on its odometer, the dealer
must provide the customer with a warranty
lasting 60 days or 2,000 miles, whichever comes
■ a motor vehicle that has between 60,000 and
100,000 miles on its odometer, the dealer must
provide the customer with a warranty for 30 days
or 1,000 miles, whichever comes first.
WHAT MUST THE DEALER DO?
The warranty requires the dealer to correct a defective or
malfunctioning part of a used motor vehicle which is
covered by the warranty if the defect occurred during the
applicable warranty period.
The consumer is responsible for bringing the motor
vehicle to the dealer and may be entitled to a refund of
the used motor vehicle’s full purchase price if:
■ the dealer has been unsuccessful at fixing the same
material defect after at least three attempts; or
■ the vehicle has been out of service for twenty
(20) cumulative days while the dealer is
attempting to fix it.
The consumer must pay a $50 deductible for each
repair of each covered item.
If you're having problems with a vehicle you purchased, you need to contact the dealer immediately, contact an attorney for the best way to proceed, make sure everything is in writing with the dealer and keep all your records.