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    Delaware Lemon Laws

    Buying a car can be a significant event for many drivers. It might be your first car, or perhaps an upgrade, or even a unique vehicle you've always wanted. Regardless of why you bought the car, you have expectations based on the deal you agreed to.

    So what happens if you get the car home and find out it isn't at all what you thought it would be? There might be problems with the exhaust system, and now you fail the emissions inspection. Or, the electrical system isn't working and you can't pass the safety inspection.

    Your first instinct will be to work it out with the dealer and, most often you will be successful. Car dealers are licensed by the DMV and must follow requirements that protect consumers.

    Most car dealers want to please you, as a customer, because it's good business. Unfortunately, there are occasions when you can't work it out with the dealer or car manufacturer. Luckily, you do have rights through the Delaware lemon law.

    Under the Delaware lemon law, you'll generally have the option of choosing a new replacement vehicle or a total refund from your vehicle's manufacturer if repairs cannot be made in a reasonable amount of time after a reasonable amount of attempts.

    On this page you'll find a basic overview of the Delaware lemon laws and your options for finding solutions for your defective car.

    Delaware Lemon Law

    The lemon law is enforced by the Delaware Department of Justice, Fraud and Consumer Protection Division. All new cars and trucks are covered by the lemon law. It also covers nonconformities with the expressed warranty of the vehicle. These nonconformities impair the use, safety, or value of the vehicles.

    Delaware offers an online brochure, Delaware's Lemon Law, covering the specifics of the lemon law. The brochure is available online using the free Adobe Reader.

    Filing Under the Delaware Lemon Law

    You don't need an auto attorney to exercise your rights; however, the laws can be complicated and a lemon law attorney may help you get through the process quicker and with more success.

    If your new vehicle, whether purchased or leased, is defective with diminished safety or value, then you can apply for help under the lemon law. Your situation must meet one of two criteria:

    • Your vehicle has been out of service for more than 30 days.
      OR
    • The dealer has made 4 attempts or more to fix the same problem.

    If your car falls under one of these two scenarios, then you can use the lemon law to return or replace the vehicle. Before you call the Consumer Protection Unit at (302) 577-8600, gather your documents including photographs and repair slips.

    Once you call the consumer protection unit, you should see results quickly and, if you are able to hire an attorney, your expenses may be reimbursed when you win your lemon law case.

    NOTE: It is important to keep records and documents of your defective vehicle's service history and any correspondence you've had with the vehicle's manufacturer or authorized dealer. These documents may help to strengthen your case if you need to file a lawsuit.

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