Law Office Of Paul DePetris
paul@newjerseylemon.com

Buy a New Jersey Lemon?

INTRODUCTION
Read below to learn more about this topic.  Or, to receive a no cost phone consultation, call Mr. DePetris at 609-714-2020 or send him an email.  Warning – this article does not necessarily include every New Jersey court rule, code or law that may apply to your New Jersey case!  The Law Office of Paul DePetris does not guarantee that the statutes, rules, codes, files or forms on this website are the latest versions, that they lack typographical errors or that they have not changed, repealed or superseded by other laws.  Before taking any action, read all applicable federal and state source law and case law and consult with an attorney.  Court addresses, hours of operation and directions may change so check with the court in advance of mailing documents to court or going there!  Some of the webpages on this site don’t apply to all types of New Jersey cases, since there are different rules for different case types!


DID YOU BUY A NEW JERSEY LEMON CAR?
Every year, many New Jersey car buyers buy a new car in New Jersey only to find out that the car has one or more problems that causes the New Jersey lemon buyer nothing but trouble.  However, New Jersey has a strong lemon law that protects New Jersey lemon buyers.  This article only discusses the New Jersey Lemon Law that applies to manufacturers’ new vehicle warranties.  The New Jersey Used Car Lemon Law is an entirely different New Jersey Law discussed in a separate article located on this website.


WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE NEW JEREY LEMON LAW?
Did you buy a New Jersey lemon car or do you think you might be a New Jersey lemon buyer?  The New Jersey Lemon Law protect New Jersey buyers or New Jersey lessees when they buy or lease a New Jersey lemon car, New Jersey lemon truck, New Jersey lemon SUV, New Jersey lemon recreational vehicle or New Jersey lemon motorcycle and the New Jersey lemon manufacturer cannot correct defects in the New Jersey lemon car, New Jersey lemon truck, New Jersey lemon SUV, New Jersey lemon recreational vehicle or New Jersey lemon motorcycle.  


WHAT VEHICLES DOES THE NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW APPLY TO?
To buy a New Jersey lemon car, you must buy or have transferred to you a specific type of vehicle.  The New Jersey Lemon Law does not apply to every New Jersey car, New Jersey truck, New Jersey SUV, New Jersey recreational vehicle and New Jersey motorcycle.  It is not a guarantee against every defect.  To buy a New Jersey lemon car, you must be the owner of a vehicle with a defect or the complaint of a defect that substantially impairs the use, value or safety of the New Jersey New Jersey lemon car, New Jersey lemon truck, New Jersey lemon SUV, New Jersey lemon recreational vehicle and New Jersey lemon motorcycle.   The vehicle must be a passenger automobile (automobile used and designed for the transportation of passengers other than an omnibus or school bus) or motorcycle purchased or leased in New Jersey or registered by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.  The living facilities of mobile homes are excluded from coverage under the New Jersey Lemon Law but other parts are included.  The New Jersey lemon buyer must be the lemon vehicle’s buyer or lessee, other than for purposes of resale or sublease or a person to whom the New Jersey lemon car, New Jersey lemon truck, New Jersey lemon SUV, New Jersey lemon recreational vehicle or New Jersey lemon motorcycle was transferred during the duration of a manufacturer’s warranty applicable to the vehicle or any other person entitled by the warranty’s terms to enforce the warranty’s obligations.


WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR NEW JERSEY LEMON CAR DEFECTS?
If you buy a New Jersey lemon car, those engaged in the business of manufacturing, assembling or distributing the New Jersey lemon car, New Jersey lemon truck, New Jersey lemon SUV, New Jersey lemon recreational vehicle or New Jersey lemon motorcycle who will, under normal business conditions during the year, manufacture, assemble or distribute to dealers at least 10 new vehicles are responsible for New Jersey lemon vehicle defects.  New Jersey car dealers are not responsible for New Jersey lemon vehicle defects under the New Jersey Lemon Law that applies to manufacturer new car warranties.


HOW DO I PROVE THAT I AM A NEW JERSEY LEMON BUYER?
If you buy a New Jersey lemon car, to prove a claim under the New Jersey Lemon Law, the New Jersey lemon buyer must prove by a preponderance of the credible evidence that:
New Jersey lemon vehicle was manufactured by the defendant.
New Jersey lemon vehicle defect or defects is/are nonconformity or nonconformities that is/are, a defect or defects that substantially impaired the use, value or safety of the New Jersey lemon vehicle.  
The New Jersey lemon vehicle defect occurred during the first 24,000 miles of use, or within two years after the date of original delivery to the New Jersey lemon buyer or New Jersey lemon lessee, whichever is earlier.
The New Jersey lemon buyer or New Jersey lemon lessee reported the New Jersey lemon vehicle defect to the New Jersey lemon manufacturer or its dealer during the first 24,000 miles of use, or during the period of two years following the date of original delivery to the plaintiff, whichever is earlier.
The New Jersey lemon car, New Jersey lemon truck, New Jersey lemon SUV, New Jersey lemon recreational vehicle or New Jersey lemon motorcycle manufacturer, through its authorized dealers, did not repair the New Jersey lemon vehicle defect or defects within a reasonable time. 


WHAT IS A SUBSTANTIAL IMPAIRMENT UNDER THE NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW?
If you buy a New Jersey lemon car, to prove a claim under the New Jersey Lemon Law you must prove the New Jersey lemon vehicle defect causes a substantial impairment.   To substantially impair a New Jersey lemon vehicle, the New Jersey Lemon vehicle defect or condition must impair the use, value or safety in an important, essential or significant way.  The term “substantial does not mean a defect, impairment or condition that is minor, trivial or unimportant.  In determining whether a defect or condition substantially impairs the use or value of the New Jersey lemon car, New Jersey lemon truck, New Jersey lemon SUV, New Jersey lemon recreational vehicle or New Jersey lemon motorcycle, the court can consider whether the defects or conditions have shaken the New Jersey lemon buyer or New Jersey lemon lessee’s confidence in the New Jersey lemon vehicle.   The court should consider this from both a subjective and objective point of view.  From a subjective standpoint, the New Jersey Lemon vehicle defects must be examined from the point of view of the New Jersey lemon car buyer or New Jersey lemon car lessee.  From an objective standpoint, the New Jersey Lemon vehicle defects that allegedly have shaken the New Jersey lemon car buyer or New Jersey lemon car lessee’s confidence must be consistent with what a reasonable person in the New Jersey lemon car buyer or New Jersey lemon car lessee’s position would have believed under the same or similar circumstances.  For example, the New Jersey Court may consider whether the specific defect or condition complained of, in fact caused the New Jersey lemon car buyer or New Jersey lemon car lessee plaintiff to lose confidence in this vehicle.  Even if the New Jersey Court finds that the New Jersey lemon car buyer or New Jersey lemon car lessee’s confidence was shaken, the New Jersey court should also consider whether or not the specific defect or condition, if any, was such that a reasonable person would have lost confidence in the New Jersey lemon car, New Jersey lemon truck, New Jersey lemon SUV, New Jersey lemon recreational vehicle or New Jersey lemon motorcycle.


IF I BUY A NEW JERSEY LEMON CAR, WHAT ARE DEFENSES AGAINST MY NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW CASE?
A manufacturer in a New Jersey Lemon Law case may raise as a defense to the New Jersey lemon law case that the alleged New Jersey Lemon Law nonconformity does not substantially impair the use, value or safety of the New Jersey lemon vehicle.  A manufacturer in a New Jersey Lemon Law case may raise as a defense to the New Jersey lemon law case that the alleged New Jersey Lemon Law nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect or unauthorized modifications or alterations.   


WHAT IS THE NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW PRESUMPTION?
If you buy a New Jersey Lemon car, you may be able to claim that the vehicle is a presumed New Jersey Lemon.   In some New Jersey Lemon Law cases, New Jersey lemon car buyers or New Jersey lemon law lessees claim that the New Jersey lemon vehicle is presumed to be a New Jersey lemon.   While this presumption is not required to prove a New Jersey Lemon Law case, it is presumed that a New Jersey car, New Jersey truck, New Jersey SUV, New Jersey recreational vehicle or New Jersey motorcycle manufacturer is unable to repair or correct a the New Jersey Lemon Law nonconformity within a reasonable time if, within the first 24,000 miles of operation, or during the period of 2 years following the date of original delivery of the New Jersey car, New Jersey truck, New Jersey SUV, New Jersey recreational vehicle and New Jersey motorcycle to a consumer, whichever is the earlier date:
substantially the same New Jersey Lemon Law nonconformity has been subject to repair three or more times by the New Jersey lemon manufacturer and the New Jersey Lemon Law nonconformity continued to exist; or
the New Jersey lemon vehicle was out of service by reason of repair for one or more New Jersey Lemon Law nonconformities for a cumulative total of 20 or more calendar days since the original delivery of the New Jersey lemon vehicle and the New Jersey Lemon Law nonconformity continues to exist.


The New Jersey Lemon presumption, however, shall only apply against a New Jersey lemon manufacturer if the New Jersey lemon manufacturer received written notification, by or on behalf of the New Jersey Lemon Law nonconformity, by certified mail, return receipt requested, of a potential claim pursuant to this law and has had one opportunity to repair or correct the New Jersey Lemon Law nonconformity within 10 calendar days following receipt of the notification.  The notification shall take place any time after the New Jersey has had substantially the same New Jersey Lemon Law nonconformity subject to repair two or more times or has been out of service by reason of repair for a cumulative total of 20 or more calendar days.


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