New Jersey Lemon Laws

New Jersey (“NJ”) lemon laws are stated in NJ Statutes, Title 56, Chapter 12 (Consumer Contracts).  Under Section 56:12-30, nonconformity of a vehicle to the manufacturer’s express warranties is a defect or condition that substantially affects the use, market value, or safety of the vehicle.  Under Section 56:12-31, the period within which the buyer should notify the nonconformity and the manufacturer should repair the vehicle is either completion of 24,000 miles or two years of vehicle’s operation from the date of delivery, whichever happens earlier.

If the manufacturer is not able to repair the motor vehicle after reasonable attempts, the manufacture will have to repurchase and refund the price of the vehicle to the buyer.  When refunding, the manufacturer should pay the full purchase price which includes any modification cost on the vehicle done within 30 days of delivery, and all charges, fees, and allowances relating to a vehicle trade.  Additionally, when making refund the manufacturer can deduct an amount attributable to the use of vehicle by the buyer before discovering the nonconformity.

N.J. Stat. § 56:12-29 reads:

Ҥ 56:12-29. Findings, intentions
   The Legislature finds that the purchase of a new motor vehicle is a major, high cost consumer transaction and the inability to correct defects in these vehicles creates a major hardship and an unacceptable economic burden on the consumer. It is the intent of this act to require the manufacturer of a new motor vehicle to correct defects originally covered under the manufacturer’s warranty which are identified and reported within a specified period. It is the further intent of this act to provide procedures to expeditiously resolve disputes between a consumer and a manufacturer when defects in a new motor vehicle are not corrected within a reasonable time, and to provide to award specific remedies where the uncorrected defect substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of the new motor vehicle.”

N.J. Stat. § 56:12-31 reads:

Ҥ 56:12-31. Report of nonconformity; repairs
   If a consumer reports a nonconformity in a motor vehicle to the manufacturer or its dealer during the first 24,000 miles of operation or during the period of two years following the date of original delivery to the consumer, whichever is earlier, the manufacturer shall make, or arrange with its dealer to make, within a reasonable time, all repairs necessary to correct the nonconformity. Such repairs if made after the first 12,000 miles of operation or after the period of one year following the date of original delivery to the consumer, whichever is earlier, shall be paid for by the consumer, unless otherwise covered by a manufacturer’s warranty, and shall be recoverable as a cost under section 14 [C.56:12-42] of this act.”

N.J. Stat. § 56:12-32 reads in part:

 “§ 56:12-32. Refunds
   a. If, during the period specified in section 3 [C.56:12-31] of this act, the manufacturer or its dealer is unable to repair or correct a nonconformity within a reasonable time, the manufacturer shall accept return of the motor vehicle from the consumer. The manufacturer shall provide the consumer with a full refund of the purchase price of the original motor vehicle including any stated credit or allowance for the consumer’s used motor vehicle, the cost of any options or other modifications arranged, installed, or made by the manufacturer or its dealer within 30 days after the date of original delivery, and any other charges or fees including, but not limited to, sales tax, license and registration fees, finance charges, reimbursement for towing and reimbursement for actual expenses incurred by the consumer for the rental of a motor vehicle equivalent to the consumer’s motor vehicle and limited to the period during which the consumer’s motor vehicle was out of service due to a nonconformity, less a reasonable allowance for vehicle use….”

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Inside New Jersey Lemon Laws