Lemon Laws in New Mexico | GetJerry.com (2023)

  • What is it?
  • New Mexico
  • Am I covered?
  • Used cars
  • Your rights
  • Tips
  • Cheap insurance

New Mexico’s lemon laws apply to new vehicles purchased within one year and used vehicles within the first 500 miles of usage.

In the car world, a lemon isn’t exactly a yellow fruit. Rather, it refers to a vehicle sold with a major defect that impacts its safety, usability, or market value.

Finding out that you purchased a lemon isn’t fun. Luckily, the car insurance broker app Jerry has compiled everything you need to know about lemon laws in New Mexico to make the claims process as easy as possible.

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What is a lemon law?

A "lemon" is a car with a significant problem that impairs its ability to function safely.

Lemon laws protect consumers against the use of lemons, and in specific circumstances, offer the right to compensation or replacement if they purchase a broken vehicle.

While lemon laws work across the country, the regulations vary from state to state.

MORE: The cheapest car insurance in New Mexico

(Video) Why You Should Never Threaten a Lemon Law Claim or an Attorney if You Have a "Lemon" Vehicle

Is there a lemon law in New Mexico?

Yes. New Mexico’s lemon law applies to cars, trucks, motorcycles, or mopeds used substantially for personal tasks—as long as they’re under 10,000 pounds.

The vehicle must have been bought and registered in New Mexico. Lemon laws do not apply to leased vehicles, but used vehicles can potentially benefit.

Is my defect covered under the lemon law?

To be covered under New Mexico’s lemon law, your defect must significantly impact the safety, usability, or market value of your car. New Mexico lemon laws compel manufacturers to make four "reasonable attempts" to fix it.

Here’s the breakdown:

If you have a lemon, you must notify the manufacturer within a year or before the express warranty runs out. The manufacturer then can commence the repair process.

Key Takeaway If your car has defects that significantly affect its use, market value, or safety, it may be considered a lemon.

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(Video) New Mexico Dealer Laws 2019

Are used cars covered under the lemon law?

Yes, used cars are covered under New Mexico’s lemon law. Unlike most states, New Mexico offers a special provision for used cars, allowing owners 15 days or 500 miles of usage to report if they are sold a lemon. Furthermore, used car dealers have to make minimum quality guarantees about their vehicles.

MORE: How to check if a used car is a lemon

What about new cars?

New cars are covered under New Mexico’s lemon law—but manufacturers get four attempts to fix the car and the right to arbitration before legal action can be pursued.

How to pursue your lemon law rights in New Mexico

If you want to use your lemon law rights in New Mexico, you must identify the defect(s), report them, pursue arbitration, and then, if necessary, file a claim for a complex legal process.

Report and repair

If you think your new vehicle might be a lemon, you must identify and report it to the manufacturer within the first year of ownership or within the timeline of the express warranty—whichever comes first.

Once you report the defect and the manufacturer deems it a significant nonconformity, they have four "reasonable attempts" to fix it.

Used vehicles undergo a separate process. With only 15 days to define any major defects, used dealers are legally forced to void the transaction and allow you to return the car.

Undergo arbitration

Unlike some states, New Mexico requires that you go through an arbitration process before filing a legal claim.

It’s a smart option, anyway, as arbitration is usually free and less formal than a drawn-out court process. Manufacturers will likely have a series of steps mapped out.

Pursue legal action

If you still can’t come to an agreement via arbitration—and your car is still broken—then you have the option to file a lemon law claim in court.

Lemon law claims are complex legal processes, so the smart move is to hire an attorney. Most states require that manufacturers reimburse legal fees for a successful claim process.

Remember that manufacturers will have lawyers on their side, too—so you’ll need good representation yourself.

It’s also important to do everything by the book and as efficiently as possible—from having the right documentation to filing your claim correctly. Failing to do so probably won’t void your claim, but it can weaken your case and make the process longer than it needs to be.

The unfortunate reality is that sometimes it just won’t work out. Even if you do everything correctly and have a strong case, you might not be successful.

Key Takeaway New Mexico requires arbitration before you file a claim in court.

MORE: What should I do if my financed car keeps breaking down?

Lemon law tips

Here are a few things to keep in mind about lemon laws in New Mexico:

  • Lemon laws don't apply if you’ve made unapproved modifications to your vehicle or if the problem is a result of mistreatment or poor care

  • Repair attempts must be made with dealer-authorized manufacturers or dealerships—keep it simple and take the car directly to the dealership you purchased the car from

  • Lemon laws only apply to the repeated fixing of a recognizable nonconformity, so keep your terminology consistent each time you bring your car in for repair—don’t change the narrative

  • If your claim is rejected or the law doesn’t apply, you have options—check whether the federal Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act (which has similar provisions to lemon laws) might apply

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(Video) The car lawyer explains the Lemon Law

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Finding cheap car insurance

Whether you’re buying a new car, or pursuing the right to get a broken one replaced, having the right insurance package is vital.

If you want to save money on car insurance, the Jerry app is a good place to start. As a licensed broker, Jerry does all the hard work for you. From finding cheap quotes to signing you up for your new plan to canceling your old policy, Jerry makes the insurance process easy!

Jerry will generate competitive quotes from top providers in less than a minute. Jerry gathers your information from your past insurer, so you're not responsible for any long forms or phone calls. You’ll get all of the savings and coverage with none of the hassle!

"This app is truly amazing and I recommend it to everyone. They were able to save me over $100/yr on car insurance, and I hardly had to do a thing. They got finalized quotes for me in minutes, and I didn't have to call anyone. They also canceled my old policy, and got me on to my new one for me! I've been looking for an app like this forever, and so many make these promises, but Jerry is the only one that delivered. Totally in love." —Jerry user

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FAQs

How does the lemon law work in NM? ›

If you think you have a lemon, you MUST notify the dealer or manufacturer immediately in order to benefit from the New Mexico “Lemon Law.” After you have notified the manufacturer AND the dealer has made a “reasonable number of attempts” at one repair, the dealer must replace the car or re- fund your money.

Does nm have a lemon law for used cars? ›

The New Mexico Lemon Law requires the seller of every used car to warrant for a period of fifteen (15) days or five hundred (500) miles, whichever occurs first, that the vehicle is fit for its ordinary purpose, i.e., of a certain minimum level of quality.

How long do you have to return a used car in New Mexico? ›

New Mexico Law generally requires that a used vehicle will be in working condition for at least 15 days or 500 miles from when you bought it, whichever comes first.

What are the consumer rights under the lemon law? ›

The “Lemon Law Rights” of a consumer must be availed of within the period ending 12 months after the date of the original delivery of a brand-new motor vehicle or the first 20,000 kilometers of operation after such delivery, whichever comes first.

Is there a lemon law in Arizona for used cars? ›

Used Car. Your car is covered by the Arizona Used Car Lemon Law if a major component of your car breaks before the earlier of 15 days or 500 miles after you buy the car. If it breaks, you'll still have to pay up to $25 for the first two repairs. The recovery for the consumer is the purchase amount paid for the car.

What is considered a lemon car in Texas? ›

It has a substantial manufacturing defect. The defect is covered by a manufacturer's written warranty. The owner reports the defect to the dealer or manufacturer within the warranty term. The owner gives the dealer a reasonable number of attempts to repair the defect or condition.

Does Colorado have a lemon law? ›

Colorado's Lemon Law covers only new self-propelled vehicles, including pickups and vans. Motor homes and motorcycles are excluded from the Lemon Law. When a consumer purchases a new vehicle, it usually comes with a warranty.

Can you return a new car if it has problems? ›

What can you do? There has to be a proven defect. If you can prove that the vehicle you were sold was not fit for the purpose when you bought it, you have a leg to stand on – but you as the buyer has to provide the evidence. This puts you in a position to demand a repair, replacement, or refund.

Can you return a financed car back to the dealer after a year? ›

The hard truth is that most auto dealerships aren't going to let you return a vehicle that you're financing. Some dealers have a return policy – sometimes around a seven-day guarantee when you're financing a car sight-unseen without a test drive – but most don't offer one.

Can I return a used car if I don't like it? ›

Problems with cars bought from dealers

(For a used car, “satisfactory quality” takes into account the car's age and mileage.) You have a right to reject something faulty and you're entitled to a full refund within 30 days of purchase in most cases. After 30 days, you lose the short-term right to reject the goods.

When I buy a car from a private seller can I drive it home? ›

When you buy a used car from a private seller, things can be a little trickier than when you purchase from a dealer. But just like with a dealership, you need to have car insurance before you can drive your new purchase home.

Does a bill of sale need to be notarized in New Mexico? ›

Does a bill of sale have to be notarized in New Mexico? No. A bill of sale for a private party vehicle transfer does not need to be notarized in New Mexico.

Can I drive a car I just bought without plates in New Mexico? ›

In New Mexico, you can drive a car you just bought without plates or registration provided that you have a temporary registration permit. The temporary registration permit in New Mexico is valid for a period of up to 30 days.

How long do you have to register a car in New Mexico after purchase? ›

Regardless, NM residents need to register it with the MVD within 30 days of purchase.

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