There are several cases where people buy cars and other automobiles with great enthusiasm only to discover that the purchased vehicles do not meet the required quality and performance standards. Such vehicles are referred to as lemons and the law which provides a remedy to the buyers of such automobiles is known as lemon law.
The U.S. has a federal lemon law which applies to the citizens of the entire country, irrespective of the state which they live in. This law is laid down by the Magnum-Moss Warranty Act and covers all mechanical items. In addition, each state has its own lemon law. For instance, lemon laws in some states do not apply to the purchase of used cars as well as leased cars.
Lemon law is based on the breach of warranty by the manufacturer. When a buyer purchases a car, the manufacturer provides a warranty which might be express or implied. Express warranty is generally given in writing while implied warranty is not written and might not even be mentioned. For example when a buyer buys a car, he expects the car to provide a smooth ride. The manufacturer is not stating that his car will offer a smooth ride, but he’s still assumed to have provided the warranty. What is special about lemon laws is that the remedy for the buyer is not limited to the warranty given by the manufacturer at the time of purchase.
However for lemon laws to apply, the car should not have been purchased on an ‘as is’ condition. When such a condition applies to a sale, it means that the buyer is buying the car, fault and all and there is no implied warranty.
Such lemon laws are found not only in the U.S., but also in other countries like Canada and Singapore. Such laws strengthen the case of the consumer when he is sold automobiles of substandard quality by the manufacturer. It also prevents the manufacturer from washing his hands off any kind of compensation by claiming that it is not covered by warranty.