What Qualifies As a Lemon?

What Qualifies As a Lemon in Seattle?

Informed Legal Guidance for Matters Concerning Your Defective Vehicle

Lemon Law is meant to support vehicle owners riddled with defects and continuing warranty repair problems for their vehicles. The Law Office of Cosmin Popa practices exclusively in this area of the law and can help you determine whether your car qualifies as a “lemon” under Washington’s Lemon Law. If your vehicle does qualify, you may be able to recover compensation for losses associated with the defects. 

Contact the Law Office of Cosmin Popa to learn more about whether your vehicle qualifies as a lemon in King, Snohomish, and Spokane County.

What Is a “Lemon” Vehicle?

Under Washington’s Lemon Law, a vehicle qualifies as a “lemon” if it has one or more significant defects that have been subject to a “reasonable number of attempts” to diagnose or repair the problems under the manufacturer’s warranty. The law specifies that 4 or more attempts to repair the same issue must have been made or at least 2 or more repair attempts for issues that can cause injury or death. A vehicle is also considered a lemon if it has been out of service for more than 30 days for any repairs.

The defects addressed by Lemon Law are those that substantially impair the use, value, or safety of the vehicle. A manufacturer is legally obligated to repurchase or replace a vehicle with one of the following two categories of defects:

  • Nonconformity – a defect that substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of the motor vehicle that renders the vehicle unreliable, unsafe for ordinary use, or diminished in resale value
  • Serious safety defect – a life-threatening malfunction that impairs the driver’s ability to control or operate the motor vehicle or that creates a risk of fire or explosion

What Vehicles Are Eligible?

The Lemon Law covers most classes of new motor vehicles. Vehicles that are not covered are:

  • motorcycles with engine displacements of less than 750 cubic centimeters;
  • trucks with a gross weight rating of 19,000 lbs. or over;
  • vehicles purchased or leased by a business as part of a fleet of 10 or more.

The Lemon Law does not cover vehicular problems caused by abuse or neglect or any modifications or alterations made to a new vehicle after the original sale or lease. 

The Eligibility Period in Washington

For a vehicle defect to be covered under the Lemon Law, you must have made at least one attempt to diagnose or repair it under the manufacturer’s warranty and during the Lemon Law’s eligibility period. There is no set time frame for eligibility, but it is often shorter than the manufacturer’s warranty coverage (at least 12 months or 12,000 miles). Typically, the eligibility period is determined by a mileage limit and a time limit. 

A vehicle meets the eligibility period if it was diagnosed or repaired:

  • within 2 years from the original retail delivery date; and
  • before the vehicle reached 24,000 miles of operation.

If you are wondering if your vehicle qualifies as a lemon in Washington, contact the Law Office of Cosmin Popa for legal guidance. We have a deep knowledge of Washington’s Lemon Law and practice exclusively in this area of the law, so you can trust that we know how to handle your claim with efficiency and professionalism. 

Let the Law Office of Cosmin Popa field all your questions about whether you can obtain compensation for your vehicle’s defects. Schedule an initial consultation to get started today.