New Jersey Lemon Law protects car buyers

New Jersey residents who buy a new car, only to end up with a lemon, can turn to the state Lemon Law to get a refund or a car replacement.

One Edison resident says she bought a new Saturn Ion that just wouldn?t start.

"First time [the dealer] replaced the fuel tank," she says. "Second time, I was told the automatic car starter had to be grounded again."

When she asked for a refund, the dealer said the car was fixed and running, and since it was still covered under warranty, there was nothing Saturn could do.

Three days later, the car would not start again.

New Jersey has a Lemon Law that was designed to protect car buyers. But in order for the law to apply, either the dealer has to try to fix the same problem and fail three times in two years, or the car has to be out of service for a total of 20 days during that time.

Once either condition is met, a consumer can notify the manufacturer that there is a potential Lemon Law claim at hand. Then, the dealer will get one last chance to fix the problem, pay a refund or replace the car.

But even if a Lemon Law case goes to court, the judge would have to decide whether it was really the same problem or three different ones.

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