- WHAT IS THE NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW REFUND?
- HOW DOES A CONSUMER WIN A NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW REFUND IN COURT?
- HOW IS THE NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW REFUND CALCULATED?
- NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW REMEDIES MAY INCLUDE REPLACEMENT VEHICLES
- WHAT NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW REMEDIES ARE THERE OTHER THAN REFUNDS AND REPLACEMENT VEHICLES?
Many people ask themselves “what kind of New Jersey Lemon Law refunds and New Jersey Lemon Law remedies are available to consumers”? This webpage seeks to answer those important questions. This article only discusses New Jersey New Car Lemon Law frequently asked questions. The Used Car Lemon Law is an entirely different Law discussed in a separate article located on this website.
WHAT IS THE NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW REFUND?
The New Jersey Lemon Law refund is a significant source of help to consumers stuck with lemon vehicles. Under the Law, if a consumer proves to a court that the manufacturer or its dealer was unable to repair or correct a defect that substantially impairs the vehicle’s use, value or safety within a reasonable time, the consumer is allowed to seek a refund. The refund is only available to a consumer who proves that their vehicle is a lemon under the Lemon Law.
HOW DOES A CONSUMER WIN A NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW REFUND IN COURT?
A consumer wins a New Jersey Lemon Law refund in court by first filing a civil lawsuit in the Superior Court of New Jersey against the manufacturer of the vehicle. While you can file the civil lawsuit yourself, it is very risky to do so, since the manufacturer almost always hires an experienced defense attorney to fight your case. After you file the lawsuit, you must prove by a preponderance of the credible evidence each of the following five elements of the lemon lawsuit:
- The car buyer or car lessee plaintiff purchased/leased the vehicle manufactured by the manufacturer.
- The car, truck, lemon SUV, lemon recreational vehicle or motorcycle had a nonconformity or nonconformities that is/are, a defect or defects that substantially impaired the use, value or safety of the vehicle.
- The nonconformity occurred during the first 24,000 miles of use, or within two years after the date of original delivery to the lemon car buyer plaintiff or car buyer lessee, whichever is earlier.
- The car buyer or car buyer lessee reported the nonconformity to the manufacturer or its dealer during the first 24,000 miles of use, or during the period of two years following the date of original delivery to the consumer, whichever is earlier.
- The vehicle manufacturer, through its authorized dealers, did not repair the nonconformity or non-conformities within a reasonable time.
If the consumer proves all of these elements, then the court shall award the consumer a New Jersey Lemon Law refund. Normally, the refund is contained in an arbitration award reduced to a judgment by the court or in a judgment entered by the court. The court is responsible for actually calculating the New Jersey Lemon Law refund by determining the dollar amount of the refund. To receive the refund, the consumer must make arrangements with the manufacturer to accept return of the vehicle.
HOW IS THE NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW REFUND CALCULATED?
The New Jersey Lemon Law refund is calculated using the following formula:
- The total purchase or lease price of the vehicle including finance charges, sales tax, license fees, registration fees, and any stated credit or allowance for the consumer’s used vehicle, provided that the full refund of purchase price that may be claimed by a consumer shall not include any portion of a stated credit or allowance for the consumer’s used vehicle that grossly exceeds the true value of the consumer’s used vehicle. A manufacturer may challenge the stated credit or allowance for the consumer’s used vehicle. The manufacturer shall bear the burden of proof, and shall provide evidence that the purchase price included a trade-in allowance grossly disproportionate in amount to the true value of the consumer’s used vehicle. Such evidence shall include, but not be limited to, the value of the vehicle as listed in the N.A.D.A. Official Used Car Guide.
- The cost of any options or other modification arranged, installed or made by the manufacturer or its dealer within 30 days after the date of original delivery.
- Other charges or fees, including, but not limited to: i) Reimbursement for towing, if any; ii) Reimbursement for actual expenses incurred by the consumer for the rental of a vehicle equivalent to the consumer’s vehicle for the period during which the consumer’s vehicle was out of service due to a nonconformity; iii) fees for expert witnesses and costs.
- From the refund, a deduction shall be made, representing an allowance for vehicle use. This deduction shall be calculated as follows: 1) Multiply the mileage at the time the consumer first presented the vehicle to the dealer or manufacturer for correction of the nonconformity(s) in question by the total purchase price of the vehicle (or the total lease price, if applicable), then divide by 100,000 miles.
- In the case of an authorized emergency vehicle, the manufacturer, co-manufacturer or postmanufacturing modifier shall provide the consumer with a full refund of the purchase price of the original emergency vehicle, depending on the source of the nonconformity, including any stated credit or allowance for the consumer’s used emergency vehicle, as well as any other charges or fees, including, but not limited to, sales tax, license and registration fees, reimbursement for towing and reimbursement for actual expenses incurred by the consumer for the rental of a substitute emergency vehicle, if applicable, for the period during which the consumer’s emergency vehicle was out of service due to the nonconformity.
If the vehicle was purchased with financing or leased, the business providing the financing or lessor must be paid from the manufacturer and out of the refund any outstanding balance owed on the finance purchase contract or lease. This is because refunds shall be made to the consumer and lienholder, if any, as their interests appear on the records of ownership maintained by the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. This means the consumer’s refund may be reduced by any outstanding balance due on a finance purchase contract or lease.
NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW REMEDIES MAY INCLUDE REPLACEMENT VEHICLES
New Jersey Lemon Law Remedies may include replacement vehicles. Nothing in the Lemon Law prevents a manufacturer, co-manufacturer or post-manufacturing modifier from making an offer to replace the vehicle instead of offering the consumer a refund. However, the consumer may reject an offer of replacement and demand a refund. If the consumer accepts an offer to replace the lemon vehicle instead of a refund, it shall be the manufacturer's, co-manufacturer's, or postmanufacturing modifier's responsibility to insure that any lien on the returned motor vehicle is transferred to the replacement vehicle.
WHAT NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW REMEDIES ARE THERE OTHER THAN REFUNDS AND REPLACEMENT VEHICLES?
New Jersey Lemon Law remedies include things other than a refund of the vehicle’s purchase price. The New Jersey Lemon Law is designed to make lemon cases affordable for consumers to bring against manufacturers. Therefore, New Jersey lemon law remedies include a remedy designed to attract competent lawyers to handle lemon cases for consumers without consumers reaching into their pocket to pay high attorney’s fees to handle the lemon claim. In addition to recovering a vehicle repurchase, in any action by a consumer against a manufacturer brought in Superior Court of New Jersey, a consumer that wins their lemon case shall be awarded reasonable attorney's fees, fees for expert witnesses and litigation costs.
TO LEARN MORE, GET A NO OBLIGATION CONSULT
Call Perlman DePetris Consumer Law for a no obligation phone consultation. Handling your case wrong from the beginning may only cost you more money and time in the end!! Try to do it right the first time by seeking legal advice from a competent lawyer! You might be entitled to be represented on a contingent basis, meaning that the attorney won’t get paid unless the case is successful and that the lawyer gets paid from your recovery instead of requiring you to pay attorney’s fees out of your own pocket up front. Other cases can be handled for a relatively small one-time payment of an up-front fixed attorney’s fee and with a contingent fee at the end of the case. Filing a claim yourself is very risky, since businesses often hire experienced defense attorneys to fight your case. Also, if you try to negotiate a settlement yourself, you may get less money than you deserve. You should always speak with an attorney before coming to any conclusions about your claim. Do not try to interpret the law by reading a website! Even if the facts of your case do not fit the requirements of a Lemon Law, you may be entitled to sue the manufacturer or its selling dealer for a breach of your warranties under other state and federal laws. If the manufacturer or selling dealer breached the warranties that came with your vehicle, you may be able to recover money damages, attorney’s fees and court costs.
While this page gives some general background information, there is the danger that relying on this information alone could lead you to lose your claim. Laws and regulations frequently change and the law may have changed since the posting of this webpage. Factual differences between your case and cases described on this webpage can affect your chance of success. Don’t attempt to rely on the internet as the only source of information for your claim! Instead, get competent legal advice from a New Jersey licensed attorney. Call Perlman DePetris Consumer Law for a no obligation phone consultation.