What Is the 30 Day Lemon Law?

by JaKaye Jesse

All consumers in each state are covered under the federal lemon law. The lemon law protects all consumer products, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, RV's, boats and all other consumer products. The 30 day lemon law addresses the repair interval and coverage period defined by each state, under the state's lemon law.

Repair Attempts

Most states consider a product or vehicle a lemon under the 30 day lemon law if it has undergone three to four repair attempts for the same problem, six to eight repair attempts made to the entire product or if the product has been out of service for 30 days. "Repair attempt" refers to the number of times efforts are made to fix a specific problem or multiple problems.

Laws

State-specific laws vary from state to state and it may take a lawyer who is well versed in your state's lemon law to interpret the rights of the consumer. Most states require that a manufacturer give a consumer a refund, or a replacement, if a vehicle is out of service for 30 days within the first 12,000 to 18,000 miles or 12 to 24 months of purchase. The 30 day lemon law may not cover certain consumer products. Two federal laws, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), were designed to protect consumers against defective consumer products that fall outside state lemon laws. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act protects the buyer of consumer goods as long as the product is used for personal, family or household purposes and cost more than $25.00. If the state enacts the law, the consumer is entitled to a repair, replacement, or repurchase. The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) governs the sale of goods, bank instruments, negotiable instruments, letters of credit, bills of receipt, bulk transfers and investment securities. The goal of the UCC is to simplify commercial paper transactions. The UCC governs commercial trade.

Arbitration

Some states may require you to go through an arbitration process to resolve disputes concerning a "lemon." Only if, following arbitration, you remain dissatisfied with the decision reached can you pursue restitution through a court of law concerning your defective product or vehicle. While not required during arbitration, it is advisable to consult with a lawyer to determine the best course of action.

Success

The definition of a product as a "lemon" depends on the vehicle owner's ability to keep accurate records about the vehicle's, or the product's, repair history. For vehicles, records should show an accurate timeline of its history, including repair dates and the total time it has been out of service.

Advice

Do not be intimidated by dealers and technicians. Do not allow them to minimize problems with your vehicle or tell you that the problem with your vehicle doesn't fit the definition of a lemon according to federal and state laws. Only an attorney who is well versed in the appropriate federal and state statutes can determine if your defective vehicle or product fits the legal definition of a lemon.

About the Author

JaKaye Jesse lives in sunny Florida where she has been a freelance writer since 2009. Jesse is currently writing for Demand Studios and has published several articles on eHow. She holds a master's degree in film from Miami International University, a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and a bachelor’s degree in film studies.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Girl repair car on road image by Vasyl Dudenko from Fotolia.com