Lemon Laws


DEFINITION of 'Lemon Laws'

Regulations that attempt to protect consumers in the event that they purchase a defective vehicle. Lemon laws apply to defects that affect the use, safety or value of a vehicle. If the vehicle cannot be repaired successfully after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer must repurchase or replace it.


Lemon laws vary by state. These laws almost always apply to new vehicle purchases, but do not always apply to used vehicle purchases or to leased vehicles. The consumer may have a limited window of time in which to report a vehicle as a lemon. For example, in Illinois, where lemon laws only apply to new and leased vehicles, the timeframe is 18 months from the date of delivery.

  1. Lemons Problem

    The issue of information asymmetry between the buyer and seller ...
  2. Plum

    A choice investment, or one that has outperformed other comparable ...
  3. Cash For Refrigerators

    A federal energy efficiency program introduced in the fall of ...
  4. Cash For Clunkers

    A program that allows car owners to trade in their old, less ...
  5. Lemon

    A very disappointing investment. A lemon is an investment in ...
  6. Duty Free

    Goods that international travelers can purchase without paying ...
Related Articles
  1. Budgeting

    How To Avoid Buying A "Lemon" Product

    A lack of information can lead people into bad purchases and bad investments. Find out how you can avoid these lemons.
  2. Home & Auto

    Did You Buy A Lemon?

    Find out how to fix a sour deal on your car purchase.
  3. Home & Auto

    Used Car Shopping: How To Avoid A Lemon

    Being prepared before buying will save you thousands in the long run.
  4. Options & Futures

    Car Shopping: New Or Used?

    Don't get taken for a ride. Learn the pros and cons before the salesperson makes a pitch.
  5. Home & Auto

    Luxury Cars with the Best Resale Value

    Autos rarely appreciate in value. But if you want a set of wheels that'll least hold its value over time, these cars can go the distance.
  6. Stock Analysis

    How Expensive Is Whole Foods, Really?

    Learn about Whole Foods Market, Inc., and discover how Whole Foods pricing actually compares to that of other grocery store operations.
  7. Stock Analysis

    4 Quick Service Restaurants for Your Portfolio

    Learn about the four quick service restaurants with attractive investment theses and growth prospects that can be valuable additions to your portfolio.
  8. Stock Analysis

    What Makes the 'Share a Coke' Campaign So Successful?

    Understand how Coca-Cola implemented the successful "Share a Coke" campaign. Learn about the top three reasons why the campaign was successful.
  9. Stock Analysis

    An Auto Stock Alternative to Ford and GM

    If you're not sure where Ford and General Motors are going, you might want to look at this auto investment option instead.
  10. Stock Analysis

    The 6 Best Dividend Stocks in the Consumer Staples Sector

    Learn about the top six companies that make an attractive investment for investors looking for stocks for dividend income investing.
  1. Can your car insurance company check your driving record?

    While your auto insurance company cannot pull your full motor vehicle report, or MVR, it does pull a record summary that ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What does marginal utility tell us about consumer choice?

    In microeconomics, utility represents a way to relate the amount of goods consumed to the amount of happiness or satisfaction ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are some common ways product differentiation is achieved?

    There are many ways to achieve product differentiation, some more common than others. Horizontal Differentiation Horizontal ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is the difference between an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and a VAR ...

    An original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is a company that manufactures a basic product or a component product, such as a ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Is the retail sector also affected by seasonal factors?

    Generally speaking, the retail sector is highly seasonal. Almost invariably, sales in the retail sector are highest in the ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What has the retail sector evolved to its current structure?

    Retail is the catch-all phrase for the sale of final goods to consumers; a retail transaction is considered an "end" and ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Purchasing Power

    The value of a currency expressed in terms of the amount of goods or services that one unit of money can buy. Purchasing ...
  2. Real Estate Investment Trust - REIT

    A REIT is a type of security that invests in real estate through property or mortgages and often trades on major exchanges ...
  3. Section 1231 Property

    A tax term relating to depreciable business property that has been held for over a year. Section 1231 property includes buildings, ...
  4. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
  5. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  6. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!