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How long do I have to pursue a lemon law claim?

On Behalf of | Oct 27, 2021 | Lemon Laws |

Purchasing a vehicle can be equally exciting and stressful. You may spend days and weeks analyzing makes, models and customer reviews.

As you drive your vehicle off the lot, you may feel a sense of victory and relief. The buying process is over. When you drive your new car home and start experiencing problems, you want a solution.

In Colorado, there are limitations to making a claim under the state’s Lemon Law. Here’s what you need to know about making a claim and the time restrictions that go along with it.

Substantially impaired new cars only

While many vehicles do not age gracefully, when you have a new car, you expect it to perform without problems. To have a Lemon Law claim, the vehicle must have a defect that substantially impairs its use and market value, and you must discover the issue and file the claim within one year from the date of delivery to the first consumer.

While rattles and squeaks are irritating, these may not qualify as “substantial impairment.” You can still discuss options with the dealer, but these often do not qualify for a Lemon Law claim.

An opportunity to repair

In most cases, a new car under one year old will have a warranty through the manufacturer, the dealer or both. If your new vehicle has a defect, you need to communicate with the manufacturer as soon as possible.

When you have sent the vehicle to the dealer four times within the first year of purchase for the same issue, or the car has spent more than 30 business days out of service getting repairs, it may fall under Colorado’s Lemon Law protections.

Keep in mind, you need to attempt going through the manufacturer’s dispute resolution procedure before you make a claim. Most car warranties have a dispute section, and that section will often require you to send a certified letter providing the manufacturer a final repair attempt. Due to time and repair attempt constraints under the lemon law, this letter should be mailed on the third repair attempt and before 30 business days out of service happens.