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Summary of Used Car Lemon Law


Connecticut's used car lemon law requires motor vehicle dealers to provide express warranties to consumers who buy used cars costing $ 3,000 or more. If the vehicle sold for more than $ 5,000, the warranty must last 60 days or 3,000 miles. The warranty must provide coverage for all parts and labor required to keep the vehicle mechanically operational and sound.


CONNECTICUT (CGS §§ 42-220 TO 42-226A)

Connecticut's "Used Car Lemon Law" was adopted in 1987. Although amended several times, its major provisions have remained substantially unchanged. It requires motor vehicle dealers to provide express warranties to consumers who buy used cars costing $ 3,000 or more. It prohibits a dealer from excluding, modifying, disclaiming, or limiting implied warranties.

Warranty Term

The warranty term 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.

Warranty Coverage

The warranty must cover all parts and labor but need not cover damage due to accidents or misuse. The warranties must provide that the vehicle is mechanically operational and sound and will remain so for the coverage period. It requires a dealer to honor the warranties even if the warranty period has expired as long as the consumer has notified the dealer of the problem during the warranty period. A warranty may be waived by the consumer, 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 disclaim responsibility.

Related Provisions

In addition to establishing minimum statutory warranties, the law (1) prohibits dealers from making any false, misleading, or deceptive statements about a used motor vehicle's condition or history and (2) 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.

It requires a dealer to disclose in a motor vehicle purchase contract that a used vehicle has been declared a "constructive total loss" if (1) the vehicle's certificate of title is stamped "totaled" or with a comparable designation, (2) the bill of sale states that the vehicle has been declared a total loss, or (3) the dealer has been told that the vehicle has been declared a total loss by its seller or a lender holding its title.

The law gives a consumer 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.


The law does not apply to sales (1) of vehicles with a cash purchase price of less than $ 3,000, (2) between dealers, or (3) of vehicles seven or more years old.


A dealer who violates these provisions may be punished by the motor vehicles commissioner by (1) license suspension or revocation, (2) imposition of a civil penalty of up to $ 1,000, (3) requiring the dealer to post a $ 1,000 bond.

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