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.
BREAKING DOWN 'Lemon Laws'
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.