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A “lemon car” describes a North Carolina vehicle that you purchased that has a manufacturing defect that cannot be repaired, and which has resulted in reducing the usability, safety, or value of the car. 

Under the North Carolina lemon law, it is the car manufacturer’s responsibility to make things right if your vehicle qualifies as a lemon. 

This page will provide you with a simple overview of the lemon law requirements, criteria, and process in North Carolina. 

For more information regarding your own vehicle, be sure to contact legal counsel or your state’s consumer’s affairs office. 

What is the North Carolina Lemon Law?

The North Carolina lemon law sets requirements for car manufacturers to refund or replace vehicles that have safety or quality defects that cannot be repaired. 

If your vehicle qualifies, you can typically choose to either:

  • Have the vehicle replaced with a new one. 
  • Be refunded for the purchase of the lemon. 

Lemon Law Criteria in North Carolina

In order to qualify for North Carolina’s lemon law, the vehicle must meet the following criteria:

  • 4 failed repairs within 24 months or 24,000 miles or 20 business days out of service within 12-months during the warranty period. 

Does lemon law apply to used cars in North Carolina?

No, used vehicles are not covered under North Carolina’s lemon law. 

What to Do if Your Car is a Lemon in North Carolina

If you believe you’ve purchased a lemon car in North Carolina, the process will go something like this:

  1. Make the necessary attempts to have the issue repaired under the manufacturer’s warranty. 
  2. Keep records and documentation of all service, communication, and estimates from the dealer, manufacturer, or other authorized agent. 
  3. If you believe the vehicle meets the criteria of a lemon, notify the manufacturer to begin the lemon-law remedy process. 

For official information or legal advice pertaining to your specific circumstances, please contact your attorney or the North Carolina consumer protection agency.