Automobile Lemon Law

Pennsylvania’s Automobile Lemon Law is designed to protect Pennsylvania consumers from unsafe and defective new cars.

The Automobile Lemon Law applies to the PURCHASE or LEASE of new vehicles that are registered in Pennsylvania. The vehicle must be used for personal, family or household purposes. Commercial vehicles, motorcycles, motor homes, and off-road vehicles are not covered by the law.

The law covers problems that occur during the first 12 months or 12,000 miles of ownership. The problem must substantially impair the value, use or safety of the vehicle. Each time you take your vehicle to the dealer for service or repair, the dealer must provide you with a copy of the repair invoice. The dealer must also notify the manufacturer that your vehicle has been brought in a second time for the same problem. As long as the first problem occurs during the first 12 months or 12,000 miles of ownership, you are covered for any subsequent problems occurring after that point.

The law allows the manufacturer three repair attempts for the same problem. If the repairs are unsuccessful and the problem substantially impairs the value, use or safety of the vehicle, you may demand a refund or replacement vehicle. Also, if your car is at the dealership for any repairs for a cumulative total of thirty days during the first 12 months or 12,000 miles, you may demand a refund or replacement.

The manufacturer is allowed to receive a reasonable offset for your use of the vehicle that you are having problems with. That refund offset can total no more than 10% of the purchase price of the vehicle or $.10 for each mile driven before the first reported repair. If the manufacturer cannot replace your particular model or year, you must be given a comparable vehicle of equal value.

Keep in mind that you lose your lemon law rights if the problem you are experiencing is the result of your modification to or your alteration, abuse or neglect of the vehicle.

Information about the lemon law and how to assert your rights should be found in your owner’s manual. Any purchaser of a new motor vehicle who suffers any loss under this law may proceed directly to the manufacturer’s arbitration program. Consumers may also bring a civil action in a court of common pleas and, in addition to other relief, are entitled to recover reasonable attorney’s fees and all court costs. If you have an additional question regarding Pennsylvania’s Lemon Law, please contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection at 1-800-441-2555, but keep in mind that the Bureau cannot provide legal advice or interpretation of the law.