Understanding Wisconsin’s automotive lemon laws

On Behalf of | Nov 18, 2021 | Consumer Protection |

When you buy or lease a new car, truck or RV, you expect that new vehicle to meet a certain standard and serve as a safe way to transport you and your family members around Wisconsin. When a new vehicle fails to live up to a reasonable standard due to some type of defect, the state may consider it to be an automotive lemon.

Per the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, certain circumstances must exist for your car to be a lemon in the eyes of state laws.

What makes a vehicle a lemon?

If you purchased or leased a new car, truck, motorcycle or RV and it developed a defect during its first year on the road, before the warranty expired, your vehicle may count as a lemon. However, the defect on the vehicle has to have a serious impact on its value or safety. Additionally, one of several other things also has to be true. The auto dealer either tried, and failed, to fix the nonconformity at least four times, or you must have been unable to drive the vehicle for at least 30 days because of the defect.

What does not make a vehicle a lemon?

Motorized vehicles that are not cars, trucks, motorcycles or RVs are not subject to Wisconsin’s lemon law. The same holds true for vehicles purchased in other states or purchased on the web. Also, the leased or purchased car must be new to undergo classification as a lemon. Preowned vehicles do not fall under the lemon umbrella.

If you purchased or leased a new car and it meets the criteria for a lemon outlined above, you may have legal recourse.