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Lemon Law for Used Cars in CT

Connecticut's used car Lemon Law was adopted in 1987. Although amended several times, its major provisions have remained unchanged. Essentially, the law requires dealers to provide express warranties to consumers who buy used cars costing $3,000 or more, and prohibits dealers from excluding, modifying, disclaiming, or limiting implied warranties.

Used Car Warranty Term

According to Connecticut’s used car Lemon Law, the length of the required warranty is based on the vehicle's selling price. The warranty must last 30 days or 1,500 miles if the selling price is at least $3,000 but less than $ 5,000, or 60 days or 3,000 miles if the selling price is $5,000 or more. Warranty periods must be extended for the time the vehicle is in the dealer's possession for repair.

Used Car Warranty Coverage

According to Connecticut’s used car Lemon Law, the warranty must cover all parts and labor, but doesn’t need to cover damage due to accidents or misuse. The warranty must say that the vehicle is sound and mechanically operational, and that it will remain that way for the coverage period. It requires a dealer to honor the warranty even if the warranty period has expired as long as the consumer has notified the dealer of the problem during the warranty period. The consumer may waive a warranty, but only if the waiver is for a specific defect disclosed by the dealer.

The law prohibits a dealer from limiting warranties by using phrases like "fifty-fifty," "labor only," "drive-train only," or similar words attempting to avoid responsibility.

Related Used Car Provisions

In addition to establishing minimum statutory warranties, the used car Lemon Law prohibits dealers from making any false, misleading, or deceptive statements about a used motor vehicle's condition or history; and requires dealers to put any promises to repair a vehicle that are made in connection with a sale in a written statement attached to and made part of the sales contract.

The law also requires a dealer to disclose in a motor vehicle purchase contract that a used vehicle has been declared a "constructive total loss" if:
  • the vehicle's certificate of title is stamped "totaled" or with a comparable designation;
  • the bill of sale states that the vehicle has been declared a total loss; or
  • the dealer has been told that the vehicle has been declared a total loss by its seller or a lender holding its title.
Connecticut’s Lemon Law gives you the right to have a vehicle inspected before the sale, but the dealer has the right to establish reasonable conditions for the place, time, and length of the inspection.

Lemon Law Exclusions

Connecticut’s used car Lemon Law does not apply to sales:
  • of vehicles with a cash purchase price of less than $ 3,000;
  • between dealers; or
  • of vehicles seven or more years old.

Dealer Penalties

A dealer who violates Connecticut’s Lemon Law provisions may be punished by the motor vehicles commissioner by:
  • license suspension or revocation;
  • imposition of a civil penalty of up to $1,000; or
  • requiring the dealer to post a $ 1,000 bond.

Other Applicable Laws

In addition to Connecticut’s used car Lemon Law, there are other laws on the books that can help you get justice if you have a lemon. These include the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, the Warranty of Merchantability, the Truth in Lending Act, and the Federal Odometer Act.

Used Car Topics
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