Consumer - Lemon Law
What do I do if I think my car is a lemon?
Virginia does have a "Lemon Law." It is called the Virginia Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act.
This law establishes a “lemon law” rights period”ending 18 months after the date of the vehicle’s original delivery to the consumer. The provisions of Virginia's “Lemon Law” are enforceable by private action brought by the consumer, not by a governmental agency.
Can my used car be considered a lemon?
Under certain conditions, the “Lemon Law” may apply to used vehicles. The Virginia Supreme Court case that dealt with application of the “Lemon Law” to a used vehicle is Subaru of America, Inc. v. Peters, 256 Va. 43, 500 S.E.2d 803 (1998).
Where to File a Complaint:
Better Business Bureau (BBB):
If you would like to utilize dispute resolution programs in connection with potential “lemon law” claims, you may wish to contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB administers the BBB Auto Line® Program which is a dispute resolution program to settle automotive warranty disputes as an alternative to court. The BBB Auto Line® Program handles complaints against most vehicle manufacturers.
Office of the Attorney General of Virginia
Some manufacturers do not participate in the BBB Auto Line® Program in certain states. Our office handles “lemon law” complaints against several vehicle manufacturers that do not participate in the BBB Program. When a complaint is filed with our Office the goal is to attempt to assist the parties in reaching an amicable resolution; however, if the parties are unsuccessful in reaching a resolution through the dispute resolution process the consumer may need to further pursue the “lemon law” complaint through the appropriate court.
Virginia State Bar Lawyer Referral Service
If you desire legal advice about how the Lemon Law applies to your situation, you may want to contact the Virginia State Bar’s Lawyer Referral Service (VLRS) to obtain the name of a private attorney that is a member in good standing that will consult with you for up to one half hour for a prepaid consult fee of $35.
For complete information on VLRS, please visit www.vlrs.net or by calling toll-free Monday through Friday between the hours of 9am – 5pm.
Statewide and Nationwide Toll-Free Number: (800) 552-7977
Metro Richmond: (804) 775-0808