District of Columbia Lemon Law Summary
STANDARDS OF THE WASHINGTON, D.C. LEMON LAW
The following is a brief explanation of most relevant provisions of the Washington, D.C.
lemon law. The complete text of the lemon law can be found at D.C. Code Ann. § 50-501
The Washington, D.C. lemon law covers motor vehicles sold or registered in the District
of Columbia and designed primarily for transporting the driver and one or more
passengers on streets, roads, or highways.
The lemon law appears to cover used vehicles, but does not cover buses sold for public
transportation, motorcycles, motor homes, and motorized recreational vehicles.
CONSUMERS COVERED THE D.C. LEMON LAW
The lemon law covers the following consumers:
1. The purchaser, for purposes other than resale, of a motor vehicle;
2. Any person to whom the motor vehicle is leased or otherwise transferred during the
duration of a warranty applicable to the motor vehicle; and
3. Any other person entitled to enforce the obligations of the warranty.
The lemon law does not apply to vehicle converters.
The lemon law covers any defect or condition that results in significant impairment of
the motor vehicle. This is referred to as a nonconformity. A defect or condition
significantly impairs the motor vehicle if it renders the motor vehicle unreliable or
unsafe for normal operation, or reduces the motor vehicle’s resale value below the
average resale value for comparable motor vehicles.
The lemon law provides manufacturers with an affirmative defense if it can be shown
that the nonconformity, defect, or condition is the result of abuse, neglect, or
unauthorized modifications or alterations of the motor vehicle.
MANUFACTURER’S DUTY TO REPAIR
If a motor vehicle does not conform to all warranties and the consumer reports the
nonconformity, defect or condition to the manufacturer, its agent or authorized dealer
during the first 18,000 miles of operation or within two years following the motor
vehicle’s delivery to the original purchaser, whichever is earlier, then the manufacturer,
its agent, or authorized dealer must correct the nonconformity, defect or condition at no
cost to the consumer.
More at: bbb.org/us/auto-line/state-lemon-laws/