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    Discovering you've purchased a defective motor vehicle can be extremely frustrating. After you've spent all that money, who wants to take the bus to work?

    Fortunately, Nebraska's Lemon Law provides legal options to residents who believe they've purchased defective vehicles. However, the defect in question must be significant and a threat to your safety. For example, faulty brakes would be considered a serious problem―but a chipped paint job wouldn't be protected under this law.

    Generally, the standard for classifying a vehicle as a lemon requires that the vehicle be sent to the dealer for repair at least 4 times for the same problem or be out of service for more than 40 days.

    How Do I Know if My Vehicle is Eligible for Lemon Law Protection?

    To qualify for protection under the Nebraska Lemon Law, your vehicle must meet the following criteria:

    • The vehicle must be purchased in the state of Nebraska. (If you purchased your vehicle from another state, you should contact the Department of Motor Vehicles in that state to learn about your legal rights.)
    • Your vehicle is less than 1 year old.
    • The vehicle must still be under warranty; a vehicle sold "as is" will not qualify for protection.

    How Do I Make My Claim?

    The Nebraska Lemon Law lets you choose to either go through an informal arbitration process or formally sue the manufacturer of your vehicle in court. If your claim is found to be valid, you'll be entitled to either a refund or a replacement of your vehicle.

    If you wish to seek protection under the Lemon Law, you will need to notify the manufacturer of your vehicle. Generally, this is done by sending a certified letter to the company. Since the company must be given an opportunity to fix the problem, it is recommended that you send this notice after the 3rd attempt at repair or after your motor vehicle has been out of service for more than 30 days (cumulative).

    The DMV has provided a detailed information page about the Lemon Law for your convenience.

    Will I Need an Attorney to Get My Refund?

    If you decide to make your case through arbitration, an attorney is optional. However, many Nebraska residents hire an attorney to help prepare a stronger case.

    If you plan to sue the manufacturer in court, an attorney is strongly recommended. Please see our article on Automotive Law and Attorneys to learn more about finding an attorney in your area.

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