Connecticut Lemon Law
The Connecticut lemon law provides consumers with aid after the purchase of a lemon vehicle. In order for a vehicle to be considered a lemon, it must have significant mechanical failings that affect the use, safety and value of the vehicle.
Furthermore, the vehicle must fail numerous repair attempts by the vehicle’s manufacturer. If you purchase an eligible new vehicle that has not been able to be repaired, you may be entitled to a refund or replacement from the manufacturer.
A used car lemon law is not available in Connecticut and, generally, only new vehicles will be eligible for protection beneath the law. A federal law may offer some relief, depending on the circumstances revolving around the vehicle.
It is important to consider a lemon law attorney if you are experiencing significant problems with a vehicle that may, in fact, be a lemon.
What is the Lemon Law in Connecticut?
The car lemon law in Connecticut was put into place in order to protect consumers from the financial burden of purchasing a new vehicle that has severe defects that affect the overall safety, use and value of the vehicle.
By the Connecticut lemon law definition, the defect cannot be caused by abuse, neglect or unauthorized modifications or additions. In order to qualify for protection under the law, you must be leasing or buying a new vehicle that does not conform to the vehicle manufacturer’s warranty.
Additional eligibility requirements include:
- The vehicle manufacturer attempted to repair the vehicle at least four times, which is considered a reasonable amount of repair attempts within the state.
- The vehicle must be within the first two years of its original purchase, or the vehicle must have less than 24,000 miles; whichever comes first.
- The mechanical failing of the vehicle is a persistent problem that has not been resolved through repair attempts.
The Connecticut lemon law can be applied to passenger, combination or motorcycle vehicles that are purchased or leased new within the state. The law cannot be applied to used vehicles.
A lemon law buyback may be available if your vehicle meets all of the above criteria. In this case, the vehicle manufacturer may be required to refund or replace the faulty vehicle. If refunded, the refund must include the contract purchase price, but with a deduction to the mileage on the vehicle.
Additionally, you may be entitled to compensation regarding repair, towing or rental vehicle expenses.
Does the Connecticut Lemon Law apply to used cars?
In Connecticut, 30 day lemon laws on used cars do not exist; however, there are other options that may be available to you if you are experiencing severe and persistent mechanical failings on a used vehicle after its purchase.
There is a federal lemon law called the Magnuson-Moss-Warranty Act, which regulates warranties that dealerships are permitted to provide to customers. In Connecticut, dealerships are required to provide warranties to vehicles that meet certain eligibility requirements. If you have a warranty for your vehicle, you may qualify for assistance beneath the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.
Since the new car lemon law cannot be applied to used vehicles, it is worth learning about other state laws that provide some protection if you are purchasing a used vehicle, as well as steps you can take to avoid the purchase of a lemon. Used car laws do regulate dealership-provided warranty requirements that could aid in the repair of a faulty vehicle, depending on whether or not it meets eligibility requirements.
How does the Lemon Law Work in Connecticut?
To gain protection of the state lemon law, you are required to inform the manufacturer of a vehicle’s mechanical issues immediately, and allow the manufacturer with at least four attempts to repair the vehicle.
If the vehicle’s mechanical failings persist through all four attempts, and the vehicle meets the eligibility requirements that have been outlined above, you may be entitled to a refund or replacement vehicle.
As part of the lemon law warranty, you may be required to inform the manufacturer of your request of a refund or replacement vehicle before you can submit a complaint and proceed with the informal arbitration process.
You will need to check your warranty booklet or owner’s manual in order to determine whether or not you are required to provide a written notice to the manufacturer. If you are, it is important that you mail this notice to the manufacturer by certified mail and that you keep a copy of the letter in order to provide proof of your compliance during the arbitration hearing.
If your vehicle is eligible for the lemon law in Connecticut, but it is a leased vehicle, you must also send a letter to the leasing company that you are applying for arbitration.
You must inform the company that, should the company wish to be party to the proceedings, that a representative must notify the state department within 10 days of receiving your letter. It is important to maintain a copy of your letter to present during the arbitration hearing, if required.
To move forward with Connecticut lemon law proceedings, you must next file a complaint by completing a request for arbitration application, and mail the completed application, along with the required fee to the Department of Consumer Protection.
If your vehicle is deemed eligible, a hearing will be set. If the department makes a ruling in your favor, you will be eligible for a new replacement vehicle or a refund for the faulty vehicle from the vehicle manufacturer. If your claim is denied, your only option will be to sue the manufacturer in a civil court.
Connecticut Lemon Law Lawyers
It is important to consider a lemon law attorney in Connecticut if you purchase a vehicle that has been declared a lemon after numerous attempts to repair a severe mechanical defect.
A lemon law attorney can help you in a number of ways, and is especially important if the arbitration hearing ends in a ruling that is not in your favor. If your claim must go to a civil court, an attorney can represent you in the proceedings. In addition to court proceedings, a lawyer can assist you outside of court with benefits such as:
- Providing you with further details on the compensation to which you may be entitled.
- Ensuring that the vehicle manufacturer is obeying the law when providing compensation.
- Negotiating with the manufacturer, which can also hasten proceedings.
- Collecting any required documents that may be needed in your case.
- Corresponding with the vehicle manufacturer on your behalf.
Additional New and Used Car Laws in Connecticut
While a used car lemon law is not available in Connecticut, the state does provide some level of protection to used car buyers. Beneath state law, dealerships are required to provide warranties on certain used vehicles.
A warranty may be required if the vehicle in question is less than seven years old, and has a purchase price of at least $3,000. If the vehicle in question costs less than $5,000, the warranty that is provided must be valid for at least 1,500 miles or 30 days; whichever comes first. However, if the vehicle in question costs more than $5,000, this warranty must be extended for 3,000 miles or 60 days; whichever comes first.
If the car does not meet this used car law, the state will not require that the dealership provide a warranty for the vehicle. If you are considering the purchase of a used vehicle, there are some ways that you can help yourself avoid signing for a lemon car. You can reduce the likelihood of purchasing a lemon by:
- Reviewing a vehicle’s history report.
- Inquiring as to whether or not the vehicle has ever been bought back by the vehicle manufacturer under the state law.
- Ensuring that any promises of a warranty or repair are included in writing in the terms of sale or vehicle contract.
- Hiring a licensed mechanic to inspect the vehicle in order to determine whether or not the vehicle has any notable problems.
How to Tell if Your New Car is a Lemon in Connecticut
When determining if a vehicle qualifies for the lemon law in Connecticut, it is important to review whether or not the mechanical failing of the vehicle possess a substantial threat to the use, safety or value of the vehicle.
Minor problems and defects do not designate a lemon vehicle. However, if the problem is substantial, the vehicle meets the law’s requirements and numerous repairs have been attempted, then the vehicle may be deemed a lemon, under state law.