Selling a used car is always a practical decision. But this idea of yours can backfire if certain precautions are not in place. For that matter, your future buyer is not aware of what your vehicle has gone through until and unless the fateful day on which you showed it to him/her for the very first time. Do not worry. The law is always on your side as New Jersey has a Lemon Law for used cars. Though the lemon law states that the dealer is liable for any defects that the used car has and also has to provide a warranty if any defects occur after the car has been sold to the customer, you can use this law to your advantage.
Now that you have heard about New Jersey’s Lemon Law, honestly very few people know the breadth of the law or the intricacies about how to apply it.
As such, many myths have developed over what is covered and how to apply the law. Here are some lines are taken directly from the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs from the article “Consumer’s Guide to the New Jersey Lemon Law.”
THE LEMON LAW
“The Lemon Law is a consumer protection law enacted by the New Jersey Legislature to assist consumers when they purchase a new motor vehicle that develops repeated defects or lengthy unusable periods during the first two years or 18,000 miles (whichever comes first).”
“The intent of the law is to require the manufacturer of a new motor vehicle to correct defects that are originally covered under the manufacturer’s warranty and are identified and reported within a specific time period. The law also provides procedures to quickly resolve disputes between a consumer and a manufacturer and specific remedies when the uncorrected defect substantially impairs the use, value or safety of the new vehicle.”
WHAT DOES IT COVERED
“Any consumer who buys, leases or registers a new passenger vehicle or motorcycle in the State of New Jersey is covered by the Lemon Law. The consumer is protected for two years after the original delivery date of the vehicle, OR for the first 18,000 miles, whichever comes first.”
“If the vehicle is transferred to someone else during this two-year/18,000-mile period, that owner or the person leasing the vehicle is also covered under the Lemon Law.”
WHAT’S NOT COVERED
“The Lemon Law does not cover commercial vehicles or the living quarters of motor homes.”
“The Lemon Law became effective on March 14, 1989, for all new vehicles registered in the State of New Jersey. As of August 4, 1991, the law covers vehicles purchased or leased in New Jersey, regardless of the state where the vehicle is registered. However, this change is not retroactive.”
AS A SELLER, WHAT IS YOUR ADVANTAGE?
Well, New Jersey’s Lemon Law covers only new cars and relatively new cars. Those who buy an older car are covered only to a certain extent.
WHAT IS ILLEGAL?
As a seller of an old car, you cannot make any erroneous claims about your vehicle’s condition. Example, you cannot sell a car and implicitly tell the buyer that the engine has nothing wrong with it, while you already know that there is a defect.
Buyers will obviously play safe and take care of themselves. But as a seller, if you smell something fishy, you should investigate it further, and know your rights well.