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A “lemon,” generally, is a new vehicle that is found to have several manufacturing defects upon purchase. In Kentucky, when you purchase a new automobile, you may have the right to participate in an arbitration system with the manufacturer and, perhaps, have your car repurchased as a “lemon.” “Lemon” laws, as they are called, apply to the manufacturers, not dealers. New cars leased after July 15, 1998 are covered under the New Car Lemon Law. Our full automobile arbitration fact sheet provides details of these laws and how to start the arbitration process. You can also review the full text of the lemon law and arbitration statutes; they are outlined in KRS Chapter 367, sections 840-846.

How can I resolve a dispute?

Kentucky requires manufacturers of new motor vehicles to provide purchasers of new motor vehicles with a cost-free informal dispute resolution system. The decision is binding on the manufacturer but not the consumer.

Arbitration Contact Information and Links

How does the lemon law work?

In Kentucky, manufacturers are required to repurchase an automobile if it is determined to be a “lemon.” You can file a suit in a circuit court but you must first go through the manufacturer's arbitration system. To qualify as a lemon:

  • The automobile must have been purchased new in Kentucky by a Kentucky resident and not have more than two (2) axles and cannot be a motorcycle, motor home, conversion van, or farm equipment. New automobiles leased after July 15, 1998 are also covered.
  • The consumer must report the failure to repair the non-conformity to the manufacturer within the first 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever is first.
  • The problem must substantially impair the use, value, or safety of the automobile.
  • The automobile has been out of service for the same problem for a cumulative total of 30 days or more or the problem was not corrected within a reasonable number of attempts. Four (4) attempts to repair the same problems is presumed to be reasonable.

What is the role of the Attorney General?

The Attorney General is charged with the responsibility to see that manufacturers set up and maintain arbitration systems which follow state guidelines and which are fair. This does not mean every result by an arbitrator will be the right result. Instead, the Attorney General reviews the overall system to make sure it is run properly.

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