The Lemon Law requires a manufacturer to correct a vehicle “nonconformity” (as defined by the statute)” within a reasonable number of attempts.” Two “presumptions” are created under the law to help determine what constitutes a reasonable number of attempts. Under the first, if the manufacturer or authorized service agent has been unable to fix the same defect after three attempts, the consumer must send written notification of the need for repair to the manufacturer by registered or express mail to give the manufacturer one final opportunity to cure the defect. The manufacturer must respond within 10 days of its receipt of the notice and direct the consumer to a reasonably accessible repair facility within a reasonable time after the consumer’s receipt of the response. After the vehicle has been delivered to the designated repair facility, the manufacturer has 10 days to fix the defect (for recreational vehicles, the manufacturer has 45 days (not 10) to correct the nonconformity). If the nonconformity has not been corrected at the final repair attempt, the vehicle is presumed to be a Lemon. In addition, if the manufacturer fails to comply with either of the above time requirements, the manufacturer effectively waives its opportunity for a final repair attempt.

Alternatively, under the second presumption, if the vehicle is in and out of the authorized repair shop for repair of one or more nonconformities for 15 or more cumulative days, the consumer must give written notification of this fact to the manufacturer (not the dealer), by, registered or express mail. After the manufacturer’s receipt of the notification, the manufacturer or its authorized service agent must have at least one opportunity to inspect or repair the vehicle. If the vehicle has been out of service for repair of one or more nonconformities for a cumulative total of 30 days, it is presumed to be a Lemon, whether or not the vehicle has been repaired (the time frame is 60 days for an RV).

Note, however, that these are presumptions; a consumer may be able to show, under a particular set of circumstances, that fewer than three repair attempts, or less than 30 days out of service, constitutes a “reasonable number of attempts,” and that the manufacturer has failed in its duty under the statute.