Over the years, there have been plenty of words in the English language that have taken on more than one meaning. Such is the case with “lemon.” This word can either refer to a tart citrus fruit that goes great in ice tea or a recently purchased new car that has turned out to be defective.
Like most other states, Connecticut has their own version of the Lemon Law. There version falls under the Connecticut General Statute, Chapter 743b, “Automotive Warranties.” But a lemon by any other name is still a lemon.
Once you have established the fact that your new car is indeed a lemon, the state of Connecticut will have a complete arbitration process standing by to handle the matter and seek a remedy for your inoperable vehicle.
Connecticut Lemon Law Conditions
In order to call your car a lemon in Connecticut, it must first be a new car, motorcycle or leased auto. The specific issue needs to have a huge impact on your ability to drive the car or be a safety issue. If this car in question was bought after 1998, then the problem had to have occurred within the first two years of ownership or the first 24,000 miles whichever came first.
To be a lemon means to have something seriously wrong with the car that has forced you into the mechanics shop on at least four separate occasions. Your car would also be considered a lemon if you weren’t able to drive it for at least 30 days because of this one defect. Keep in mind that this defect issue also needs to be officially covered under the car makers’ original warranty, not necessarily something that might be covered under an extended warranty you would buy.
If the issue involves a matter of safety, then you can jump ahead of the process and don’t need to apply the 30 day or 4 mechanic visit rule. At that point you can move right to the arbitration process.
Connecticut Lemon Law Arbitration
When your car meets the lemon qualifications, you should contact the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection’s Arbitration Program and official request arbitration. You’ll be sent a form and required to pay a $50 registration fee to get the process rolling.
On the application form you’ll be asked for details about your history with the car: when you bought, when the problem started, when you took it in for repairs, etc. You’ll also need to provide all the financial records including what you paid for the car and the amount you invested in repairs.
Once you have qualified for arbitration you’ll be given the option for an oral or document presentation. With an oral arbitration, you’ll have to appear before the arbitrator along with a rep from the car maker. The document presentation is just a review of the paperwork. This is not a complicated process and therefore you don’t really need a lawyer.
If you choose oral arbitration, you and the manufacturer’s representative will be present at the scheduled hearing. Both of you will have the opportunity to present your case before a panel of three neutral arbitrators.
Connecticut Lemon Law Remedies
If the arbitrator rules in your favor, you could be entitled to a replacement vehicle of the same make and model or a complete refund of your original contract price. The goal of the Department of Consumer Protection is to resolve any lemon car disputes within 60 days.