Understanding lemon laws can be a crucial if you’ve recently purchased a vehicle that is not meeting your expectations. While federal and Connecticut state laws offer consumer protections for defective vehicles, critical differences can affect your rights and remedies as a vehicle owner.
A “lemon” is a new vehicle with significant defects affecting its use, safety and/or value that the manufacturer or dealer cannot repair. Both federal and Connecticut lemon laws provide a framework for consumers to get a replacement or refund for such vehicles.
Federal lemon law
The federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act governs warranties on consumer products, including vehicles. This law sets the minimum standards for warranties and provides remedies for consumers. Under the law, you may be entitled to a refund or replacement if your vehicle has a defect that impairs its use, value or safety and the manufacturer can’t fix it after reasonable attempts. However, federal laws are usually less specific than state laws and might not cover all your issues.
Connecticut’s lemon law
Connecticut’s lemon law is more specific and may offer better protection for residents. If your new vehicle fails to conform to the warranty and has defects that impair its safety, value or use, you’re protected under that law. The state defines a reasonable number of attempts to repair a vehicle as four attempts for the same issue, or 30 days out of service within the first two years or 24,000 miles, whichever occurs first.
Know your options
Knowing the differences between federal and Connecticut lemon laws can help you choose the best action. While federal law sets the foundation, Connecticut’s state-specific protections often provide quicker and more consumer-friendly remedies. If you’re dealing with a lemon, knowing your rights under both sets of laws can guide you toward the resolution you deserve.