Kathleen G. Kane - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Protecting Pennsylvanians

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Lemon Law Protection

The Pennsylvania Automobile Lemon Law applies to any new vehicle purchased and registered in Pennsylvania for personal or family use and designed to transport up to 15 persons. Motorcycles, motorhomes and off-road vehicles are not included.

Under the law, the manufacturer must, at no cost to the purchaser, repair or correct any defect which substantially impairs the use, value or safety of the vehicle and which occurs within one year after delivery, or 12,000 miles of use, or the term of the manufacturers express warranty, whichever comes first. If the defect cannot be repaired after 3 attempts, or if the vehicle is out of service for a total of 30 calendar days for repair, generally, you may be eligible for a replacement vehicle or the refund of the purchase price, less a limited allowance for use. First, contact the manufacturer?s zone representative at the telephone number listed in your owner?s manual.

If the zone representative is not successful in having the defect corrected, you may request an arbitration of your case through the manufacturer?s dispute settlement program if one exists. The arbitration decision is binding on the manufacturer, but not on the consumer, who may proceed further by bringing a private lawsuit.

If the manufacturer has not established an appropriate dispute resolution procedure, you may initiate a legal action at the outset.

Some important requirements of the law are:

  • You are responsible for delivering the vehicle to the manufacturer?s authorized repair facility unless it would be unreasonably difficult to do so. In that case, you must give written notice to the manufacturer so that arrangements can be made for transporting the vehicle, at no expense to you, to a repair site.
  • Each time your vehicle is repaired, the repair facility must give you a detailed statement itemizing all repairs made, and the cost of parts and labor.
  • Your rights under this law will not apply if the defect is the result of your abuse, neglect or alteration of the vehicle.

If a vehicle has been returned to the manufacturer for defects, it may not be resold in Pennsylvania unless the manufacturer provides the consumer with:

  • A written statement that the vehicle was returned because of a defect which was not cured within a reasonable time, and
  • The same express warranty provided originally, except that it may last only for 12,000 miles or 12 months after the resale date.