Lemon Law

Wisconsin Lemon law is a state act at Wis. Stat. 218.0171 that applies to the purchase or lease of a new vehicle (car, truck, motorized RV or motorcycle) – not used cars. It applies to new vehicle purchases that have a substantial defect during the 1st year and if the manufacturer’s warranty has not expired. The lemon law essentially provides that the manufacturer has a duty under its warranty to correct new car defects, and if it can’t within certain conditions, it may have to buy the car back from you or replace it with a comparable vehicle.

The Lemon Law applies when, during the first year, the manufacturer fails four times to fix the same substantial defect or the vehicle was out of service for 30 days or more due to any covered defects.

The manufacturer is then obligated to either (1) replace the vehicle and reimburse you for any collateral costs (like towing or car rental fees) or (2) provide you a refund of your purchase price, sales tax, any finance charge, and collateral costs, less a mileage deduction. If the manufacturer refuses, a consumer has a right to bring a claim against the manufacturer to recover these remedies and additional amounts for damages and costs, including attorney’s fees.

These claims require a consumer to submit certain Wisconsin Lemon Law forms to put the manufacturer on notice of your lemon law claim and election of remedy (buy-back or replacement). If you have to file a lawsuit to enforce your remedies under the lemon law, generally you must do so within 36 months of purchase.

Telephone (414) 431-1920