Consumer Alert: How well do state lemon laws protect you?
If something goes wrong with your new car, will you be protected?
The answer depends on where you live. Here in the tristate area, New Jersey drivers have the most legal protection, Connecticut drivers have the least, and New York falls somewhere in between.
Walt Kane talks to Kimmel & Silverman automotive attorney Amy Ginsburg about Lemon Law protection for the News 12 Talks New Jersey podcast:
If you buy a new car in New Jersey, you have the best protection anywhere in the country, according to the Center for Auto Safety. The group ranked the Garden State's lemon law No. 1. It's one of only two states to be awarded a grade of A.
"One of the best features is the time period when you can have a problem occur – it can be within the first two years or 24,000 miles," explains Amy Ginsburg, an attorney who specializes in automotive law.
The Jersey lemon law kicks in after three failed repair attempts, or only one if the defect could cause death or injury -- or if the car is out of service for a total of 20 days.
New York's lemon law ranks No. 6, with a grade of B+. It covers drivers for two years, but only up to 18,000 miles. It applies after four failed repairs or 30 days out of service -- so just slightly worse than New Jersey.
Connecticut had America's first lemon law, but over the years it has slipped to No. 20, and gets a grade of B-. The law looks good on the surface -- it covers drivers for two years or 24,000 miles, and requires four failed repairs or 30 days out of service.
But Connecticut drivers basically pay more to get less. They tend to get less money back in lemon law cases, and it’s harder for them to get the manufacturer to cover their legal bills.