Did You Buy a Lemon? Here’s How to Make a Claim Under New York’s Lemon Law

If you bought a brand new car and found out it was prone to mechanical problems, wouldn’t you want your money back? The New York State Lemon Law gives consumers in the state the right to do just that. If you think your new car purchase may be considered a lemon under New York law, here’s how to make a claim under the Lemon Law and what information you need to gather beforehand.

What is Lemon Law?

Lemon law is an informal term used to describe state and federal laws that offer protection for consumers who purchase defective vehicles. Because manufacturers are subject to recall due to defects, vehicle recalls are relatively common. If your car is part of a recall issued by an automaker and you don’t have it repaired, or if it fails soon after you buy it, you may be able to use your vehicle manufacturer’s lemon law—at least in some states.

1. Contact an Experienced Lemon Lawyer

Contact an experienced lemon law lawyer in New York today if you suspect your car is a lemon. Your attorney will be able to help you determine whether or not your vehicle qualifies for protection under state law. It’s important not to wait until it’s too late before taking action, as you have strict requirements and time limits to file for your claim under the lemon law in New York.

Your lawyer will also be able to guide you through each step of the process, which can often seem overwhelming. You don’t want to miss out on your rights due to a lack of knowledge about how to claim under New York’s lemon law. If you don’t follow these steps and deadlines, you could lose your right to pursue legal action against a manufacturer for damages related to your defective vehicle.

2. Determine if Your Vehicle Qualifies for Protection

The law in New York protects new motor vehicles leased or purchased for personal, family, or household use. A manufacturer’s warranty must cover your vehicle to qualify for protection under the lemon law. Suppose your car is still under the manufacturer’s warranty.

In that case, you may be able to bring an action against your vehicle’s manufacturer or its dealer if you believe that you have purchased or leased a lemon. To determine whether you are eligible for protection under New York’s lemon law, you should consult with a lemon attorney familiar with these law cases.

3. Gather Documents that Provide Proof of Ownership

When you buy a used car, you’ll need proof of your ownership. There are various documents that you can use to prove your ownership. You can bring or send copies of these documents when you make your claim. If possible, make sure that they are originals and not photocopies.

The most crucial documentation is the proof of purchase. Most state lemon laws require this documentation, and it provides evidence that you were the first or second owner of the vehicle. The documents may also act as evidence for the period you have owned the car.

4. Compile Documents Supporting All Repair Attempts

If you believe you have bought a lemon from an auto dealer or manufacturer in New York State, keeping all repair orders and receipts is crucial. If your vehicle has been in and out of service several times without being appropriately fixed, take pictures of your car showing its current condition. These documents will help claim under New York’s Lemon Law. The records should clearly show repair dates, mileage at the time of repair, and repairs attempted.

The documentation will help you comply with one of the requirements for a successful lemon law claim. Proof that there was a reasonable number of repair attempts by the manufacturer or an authorized dealer. However, keep in mind that you can only make one attempt per issue—so if there are multiple problems with your car, you’ll need to create separate repair orders for each situation.

5. File a Notice of Claim with the Manufacturer

When you believe your car is a lemon, your first step is to file a notice of claim with either the manufacturer or its authorized distributor. That notifies them that you’re planning on filing for legal action. You would have up to three years from purchase or delivery of your vehicle for defects at the time of sale—or one year if you purchased as used—to file with manufacturers under their warranty. That gives consumers certain rights if they experience issues within those terms.

However, you may need a lemon lawyer to help you file a notice of claim to ensure you meet all requirements and deadlines. If you don’t follow these steps and deadlines, you could lose your right to pursue legal action against a manufacturer for damages related to your defective vehicle.

6. File a Lemon Law With the State’s Lemon Law Arbitration Program

People don’t think about lemons much until they’re banging their heads against the wall when their brand new car won’t start. An easy first step to troubleshooting your lemon vehicle is to file a New York Lemon Law Arbitration claim. However, you will be out of luck if you do not do this within 24 months of purchase.

To file a lemon law with the New York lemon law arbitration program, head to the NY Attorney General’s Office website and click the “New Cars” tab under lemon law to access the “New Car Lemon Law Form- Revised 2021”. However, hiring an experienced lemon lawyer in New York is crucial to ensure you pursue your claim without making costly mistakes.


Hopefully, you’ll never buy a lemon car. However, if you do, your next step is easy: follow these steps for making lemon law claims in New York State. Contacting an experienced team of lemon lawyers can help you walk through every step of claiming your rights as an automobile owner under the lemon law in New York. Whether your car has become a lemon due to its defective safety features or functionality, do not hesitate to fight for your rights through experienced lemon lawyers.

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