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Delaware Lemon Laws

A stylized image of Delaware and a Lemon Care

Delaware Lemon Laws

Delaware’s lemon laws state that if a buyer or lessee of any vehicle other than a motorcycle or motorhome finds a major fault in it – which is labeled as irreparable after 4 valid attempts by the vehicle manufacturer to repair it – the manufacturer is liable to repurchase or replace the faulty vehicle. The repurchase costs will include the full purchasing price of the vehicle also cover any additional costs the owner underwent while purchasing the vehicle.This law applies to the vehicle throughout its express warranty period or 1 year from its purchase, whichever comes first, and if the vehicle meets the eligibility criteria as specified by Delaware’s state laws during this period, the owner of the vehicle can claim their lemon aid. 

Eligibility

All passenger motor vehicles which have either been leased or bought, as well as registered in Delaware itself, for any purposes other than resale. The law does not protect the living quarters of motorhomes, motorcycles, vehicles bought with an intent of resale as well as used vehicles. However, the law remains active if the vehicle is transferred to a different person’s name whilst its express warranty is still in action.

Delaware Lemon Law Used Vehicles

Used vehicles are also eligible under Delaware’s laws as long as they are still covered by the manufacturer’s express warranty. 

Lemon Vehicle

The requirements for the vehicle to be considered a lemon are that it must have a defect, caused by no other entity other than the manufacturer, which significantly reduces the vehicle’s usability, market value, and/or safety. The manufacturer may have 4 or more attempts to repair the vehicle. If the manufacturer is unable to repair the vehicle during this period, or if it remains with the manufacturer for over 30 calendar days for repair purposes, the owner may then file for a lemon claim. The manufacturer needs to be given a written notice before the claim, on receiving which, they may have an additional attempt at repairing the vehicle before proceeding the case to the civil court or the arbitration program, if the manufacturer is affiliated to one.

Repurchase or Replacement

If the lemon law claim is valid, the owner will either be awarded a replacement of the faulty vehicle with a new and comparable model without charging them any additional fees such as sales taxes.

The owner, however, is free to opt-out of replacement and demand a repurchase of the vehicle in its stead. The amount that the manufacturer will have to repay the owner includes the full purchasing price of the vehicle along with any additional costs charged by the manufacturer. The manufacturer may, however, deduct a portion of the repaid amount on account of the usage of the vehicle prior to it’s defect.