WA Lemon Law

Most of the states in the U.S. have implemented a Lemon Law in order to protect their consumers from the purchase of a new vehicle that isn’t capable of providing reliable transportation. The Lemon Law of Washington is different than other states, so if you are purchasing a vehicle in the state, make sure you know what to expect.

Much like the bulk of the states in the U.S., there is a Washington Lemon Law in place to ensure that new car buyers aren’t getting fooled when it comes to their warranty repairs, ongoing repairs, and significant malfunctions.

The Lemon Law in Washington provides Washington car buyers with more assurance over their vehicle, offering the option of requesting arbitration in the event they feel they have been wronged in the transaction, or cannot obtain the appropriate repairs per the warranty. The arbitration is free, and will consist of an arbitrator who determines whether the claim of the car buyer qualifies for the Washington Lemon Law protection.

Before the Lemon Law is applied to the case, the arbitrator must first confirm that the repairs needed fall under the guidelines of the warranty and that the new car buyer has adequately attempted to seek repairs for the issue without successful results. In order for your attempts at repair to be qualified for the Lemon Law to be applied, the following must apply:

  • Two repair attempts for serious safety defects.
  • Four failing attempts to repair warranty covered nonconformity.
  • 30 day in-shop repairs without success.

While not all cases with these attempts will be qualified, most will based on the vehicle, the warranty, and the actions between the buyer and the manufacturer or seller.

If it is found that your vehicle is in fact a lemon, you will be entitled to receive a prorated refund or even a replacement vehicle from the manufacturer. This means that you will either receive a refund in conjunction with the use and value of the vehicle, or a new vehicle of the same value.

Washington vehicle owners are able to request Lemon Law arbitrations for up to 30 months after the vehicle has been purchased. Even if the vehicle has a new owner, as long as it has been no more than 30 months from the original manufacturer delivery and the vehicle hasn’t reached 24,000 miles or more.

Washington only applies the Lemon Law to new vehicles, with some circumstances required for the vehicle to apply. This means that not all new vehicles are covered, such as the following vehicles which are exempt from Washington’s Lemon Law protection:

  • 750cc or smaller motorbikes
  • Trucks weighing gross 19,000 lbs. or more
  • Motor home sections (not the truck or chassis) that are used for work or commercial space or a home
  • Business fleet autos purchased in groups of 10 or more.

More Washington Lemon Law Information

The Attorney General of Washington has collected several sources of information about the Washington Lemon Law to help consumers better understand their rights and responsibilities in a new car purchase where issues are found. If you need more information, please view the following resources:

The Lemon Law arbitrator will negotiate the case between the new buyer and the manufacturer, but that doesn’t guarantee that the auto maker is going to give up without a fight. In fact, they may resist the Lemon Law claim and even attempt to avoid a refund or replacement vehicle. For this reason, a Lemon Law attorney in Washington could be the best way to ensure you are compensated for a lemon if you don’t have a case that is clearly a winner.


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