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The New Jersey Used Car Lemon Law

The Hartmann Law Firm LLC
Contact Attorney Thomas Hartmann; 908-731-6976

The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act regulates the sale and warranty of used cars. The portion of the Consumer Fraud Act that deals with used cars is commonly known as the Used Car Lemon Law ("UCLL").

Among other things, the UCLL makes it a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act to:

• Misrepresent the mechanical condition of a used motor vehicle;

• Fail to disclose, prior to sale, any material defect in the mechanical condition of the used car;

• Represent that a used motor vehicle or any component is free from material defects in mechanical condition at the time of sale, unless the dealer has a reasonable basis for such a representation when it is made;

• Misrepresent the terms of any warranty, service contract or repair insurance offered by the dealer in connection with the sale of the used motor vehicle;

• Fail to disclose or to misrepresent the terms of existing warranties on the used vehicle;

• Fail to disclose, prior to sale, that a used car is sold without warranty; or

• Fail to provide a clear written explanation, prior to sale, of what it means to sell a car "as is."

The UCLL also mandates minimum warranties for certain vehicles. If the consumer pays more than $3000 for a car that is less than seven years old with fewer than 100,000 miles, the written warranty must have at least the following durations: 24,000 miles or less, a warranty of 90 days or 3000 miles, whichever comes first; 24,000 but less than 60,000 miles, a warranty of 60 days or 2000 miles, whichever comes first; and between 60,000 and 100,000 miles, a warranty of 30 days or 1000 miles, whichever comes first. A consumer can waive these warranties, but only in writing.

If during the warranty period the dealer fails to correct a material defect in a used car after the dealer has a reasonable opportunity to repair it, the dealer must repurchase the used vehicle for the full purchase price less certain taxes and allowances. The law presumes that a used car dealer has had a reasonable opportunity to repair the material defect if:

• The same material defect persists after three or more visits to the dealer within the warranty period; or

• The used car is out of service 20 or more days during the warranty period while waiting for the dealer to repair the material defect.

A written warranty is extended for any period during which the consumer is waiting for the dealer to complete repairs of a material defect.

The Consumer Fraud Act is an extremely powerful tool. Among other things, successful consumer can recover triple damages and attorney fees. Business owners, including auto dealers, and consumers should be aware of the law so that they can buy and sell products effectively and fairly.

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The Hartmann Law Firm LLC

56 Ellison Rd
Watchung, NJ 07069
Telephone: 908-731-6976 
Toll Free: 877-223-9930
Fax: 908-462-3808
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