Lemon Law in Nevada
Nevada law protects new vehicle buyers who receive a car that doesn't conform to the manufacturer's warranties. This program is called the Lemon Law.
Is My Vehicle a Lemon?
NOTE: Nevada lemon law only applies to brand new vehicles. However, you can read our section about Used Car Buyers' Rights for more details about dealer responsibilities and repairs.
In Nevada, a new vehicle is considered a lemon if it has:
- Failed in at least 4 attempts to repair the same issue during the warranty period or within 1 year of the original vehicle delivery.
- Been out of service for at least 30 days during the warranty period or 1 year—whichever comes first.
The manufacturer or its authorized dealer is responsible for making the necessary repairs. If the dealer is unable to fix your lemon or the manufacturer is not offering a satisfactory resolution, you may need to file a complaint.
Filing a Lemon Law Complaint in Nevada
If the manufacturer does not have its own procedure, or it does but you still did not receive resolution of the issue after reasonable attempts on your part, you can then begin Lemon Law proceedings.
Once your car meets one of the above criteria, the manufacturer will be compelled to do one of the following:
- Replace your car with a comparable model with the same features or at least substantially close.
- Allow you to return the car and give you a refund of all your money paid, including taxes and registration fees, minus a "reasonable allowance for use."
Under the Lemon Law, a dealer cannot make you sign away your rights to a replacement or refund if your vehicle is defective. Once a vehicle is returned to the dealer, the dealer must then retitle the vehicle as a Lemon Law buyback. The title will reflect this status, so subsequent buyers know what they're getting. The dealer will also have to give the new buyer a document stating the following:
"This vehicle was repurchased by its manufacturer because of a defect in the vehicle pursuant to consumer warranty laws. The title to this vehicle has been permanently inscribed with the notation "Lemon Law Buyback."
A decal must also be affixed to the car to designate its status to potential buyers.
Used Car Buyers' Rights
While the Lemon Law doesn't cover used vehicles, buyers still have some protection under Nevada statutes.
A dealer selling a vehicle with more than 75,000 miles on the odometer must include an inspection of the engine and drivetrain, and submit a report of that inspection to the buyer. The dealer is required to disclose any defects he or she knows about.
If the vehicle has problems that weren't disclosed at the time of the sale, you as the buyer will have the right to submit a complaint about the dealer to the Department of Motor Vehicles. The complaint should include a concise statement about the nature of the problem and any relevant facts, copies of repair orders or other documentation that relates to the complaint, and your statement about how you want the matter resolved.
The DMV has 10 days to notify the dealer of the complaint, and to conduct an investigation into the matter. If the dealer is found to have violated industry regulations, he or she will be required to resolve the matter, usually making repairs or taking the vehicle back for a refund of your money.
If the DMV rules against you, you have the right to request an appeal from the director of the DMV, available at:
Department of Motor Vehicles
555 Wright Way
Carson City, NV 89711
Las Vegas area: (702) 486-4368
Reno, Sparks, and Carson City: (775) 684-4368
Rural Nevada (toll-free): (877) 368-7828
TDD: (775) 684-4904
The DMV will keep a record of complaints, and if the dealer in question has received 3 complaints or more, that dealership will be subject to stringent warranty and sales requirements for all future transactions.
Hiring a Lemon Law Attorney in NV
Whether you want protection under the Lemon Law for a new or a used car, an attorney who specializes in Lemon Law cases can advocate on your behalf and serve as an intermediary between you and the dealer or manufacturer.
When looking for a lemon law attorney, be sure to ask the following questions:
- How many lemon law cases have you taken on?
- What is your success rate?
- How much are your fees?
Here are some of the benefits of hiring a lemon law attorney:
- Awareness of the law: Your attorney will have a much better understanding of each aspect of the lemon law in Nevada.
- Negotiation skills: Having a lemon law expert represent you shows the manufacturer you're serious about resolving the issue.
- Support you can depend on: Your Nevada attorney can answer questions about the lemon law and offer guidance on how to proceed.