Jerry Seiner Dealerships: Understanding Lemon Laws

The Lemon law applies to new cars under warranty and was extended in 1990 to also cover new leased vehicles and motor homes.


The Lemon Law does NOT apply to used vehicles.

For your vehicle to qualify as a “lemon” under the Lemon Law

Vehicle must have been bought in Utah

Must be new and under warranty

Must weight less than 12,000 lbs

Defect must “substantially impair the use, market value or safety” of vehicle

Vehicle must have been to the manufacturer to have the same defect resolved

– at least four times or out of service to owner

– a total of 30 days during the first year or the warranty period, whichever is less

If problems occur AFTER this time period, you do NOT qualify for the Lemon Law

Defect can’t be result of abuse, neglect or unauthorized modifications

… and owner must go thru any informal dispute settlement or arbitration procedure the manufacturer may have established

How to Avoid a Lemon

1. Make sure the car you buy is exactly

a. what the bill of sale says you bought (compare bill of sale against the car and window sticker)

b. the car you ordered. Check to make sure all options, equipment and accessories are included and every service has been completed

2. Wait for “dealer prep”. New cars need checking and degrees of service before being delivered to purchaser. Make sure dealer prep is done by dealer and that service is listed and marked “paid” on bill of sale

3. Make sure there’s a manufacturer’s warranty with your new vehicle. If you buy a dealer service contract or warranty, keep in mind that your service contract may not be honored at all other dealerships.

4. Don’t complete the purchase of the vehicle until credit and financing have been approved by the lender.

5. Inspect and road test the car. Drive it on roads you normally drive with loads you normally carry. Drive it through a car wash if you can to test for leaks.


The above information is provided by the Utah Division of Consumer Protection. To learn more go to And for all your new or used car needs, visit the Jerry Seiner Dealerships in Bountiful, Salt Lake and South Jordan or go online at

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