Are leased cars covered by the lemon laws?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Dec 16, 2019

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Whether or not leased cars are covered by a lemon law depends on the state in which the vehicle is leased. Each state has its own particular set of lemon laws regarding “lemon” vehicles, meaning cars that are found to be defective after purchase and for which the manufacturer or warranty issuer is held financially responsible.

While many of the states’ lemon laws are very similar, they all contain their own specifics regarding what types of vehicles are covered. Some states cover various types of vehicles (motorcycles, vans, trucks, etc.), while others may only cover vehicles used for personal versus business use. Leased cars are simply another factor that will depend on your state’s lemon laws.

The majority of states do cover leased cars, with many making the change to include them within fairly recent years. However, the specifics of how a “leased lemon” is handled and what terms must be met will still vary by state. For example, Georgia lemon laws cover any self-propelled vehicle, whether leased or purchased, provided the vehicle is used for transportation on public highways, but does not include motorcycles or trucks over 10,000 pounds. Maine lemon laws cover any vehicle purchased or leased, excluding commercial vehicles that weigh more than 8,000 pounds. Florida lemon laws cover new vehicles, leased or purchased, provided they are for use primarily as personal vehicles. but does not include off-road vehicles, motorcycles or mopeds, or vehicles with a gross weight of over 10,000 pounds.

As you can see, lemon laws vary from location to location. As such, if you have a leased car that you believe may be a lemon, it’s always in your best interest to talk to a lawyer. A consumer or lemon law attorney can help you to assess your situation and determine if you have a lemon law claim in your state. 

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