North Carolina Lemon Laws

Lemon Law in North Carolina

Unlike other state lemon law requirements, the state of North Carolina includes the injury to consumers due to faulty but new motor vehicles to the list of lemon eligibility. Normally lemon laws state that in order to qualify as a lemon a motor vehicle must require constant repair for the same defect while still under the express warranty. The stated defect is required to either alter the marketing value of the motor vehicle or inflict future endangerment to the passengers, driver, or other drivers.

Basically if a defect will impede consumer safety, then it may qualify. Laws also state that a consumer may also include a lender, a dealer, or a lessor. Laws also state that only certain motor vehicles are eligible for lemon laws. Such motor vehicles include those that are outlined in the state statutes 20-4.01, normally including common vehicles and trucks. Often motorcycles are excluded. Trailers where people reside for living or those that exceed ten thousand pounds are not eligible for lemon laws.


In order to qualify as a lemon, outside of the motor vehicle requirements, a motor vehicle must also qualify under the repair and warranty categories. Most express warranties that are issued from a manufacturer will withstand either from twelve thousand miles of driving to one year after the purchase, whichever arrives first. While the motor vehicle is still under the manufacturer’s express warranty a reasonable number of repair attempts must be made.

A reasonable number of attempts normally includes between three and four. Laws required that these repair attempts be attempts for the same defect and not several different defects. Laws also state that a vehicle may be eligible for lemon laws if the motor vehicle is out of use for repair for thirty days or more. These thirty days are not required to be consecutive and may be added up throughout the express warranty time period.


After a consumer has presented the motor vehicle with proof of the number of repair attempts to the manufacturer, the manufacturer is required to attempt a repair. If the manufacturer is unable to restore the motor vehicle to its standard factory model, the manufacturer is required to either replace or refund the vehicle.

As long as a consumer reports the lemon vehicle prior to the termination of the express warranty, the manufacturer is required to attempt repair after the warranty’s termination. North Carolina laws require that all repair attempts be made not later then twenty-four thousand miles after the original purchasing date of the vehicle or within twenty-four months.

When a motor vehicle is to be refunded the manufacturer is obligated to return the purchasing price as well as non-refundable extended warranties, service contracts, installed options fees, dealer preparation fees, dealer transportation fees, and undercoating charges. All sales taxes, licensing fees, collateral charges, government charges, finance charges, and registration fees are required to be refunded. When a replacement motor vehicle is provided, the manufacturer is required to provide a vehicle of the same model and year as the lemon motor vehicle.

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