Virginia Lemon Law Summary

The following is a brief explanation of most relevant provisions of the Virginia lemon
law. The complete text of the lemon law can be found at Code of Virginia §§ 59.1-207.9
et seq.
The Virginia lemon law covers “motor vehicles”, defined as:
1. Passenger cars designed and used primarily for the transportation of no more than
10 persons including the driver;
2. Pickup and panel trucks designed for the transportation of property and having a
registered gross weight of 7,500 pounds or less;
3. Motorcycles, mopeds, and the self-propelled motorized chassis of motor homes; and
4. Demonstrators and leased vehicles with which a warranty was issued.
The lemon law covers the following “consumers”:
1. The purchaser, other than for purposes of resale, or the lessee of a motor vehicle
used in substantial part for personal, family, or household purposes;
2. Any person to whom the motor vehicle is transferred for the same purposes during
the duration of any warranty applicable to the motor vehicle; and
3. Any other person entitled by the terms of the warranty to enforce its obligations.
The lemon law applies to vehicle converters.
The lemon law covers any nonconformity, which is defined as a failure to conform with
a warranty, a defect or a condition, including those that do not affect the driveability of
the vehicle, that significantly impairs the use, market value or safety of the motor
vehicle. “Significant impairment” means to render the motor vehicle unfit, unreliable or
unsafe for ordinary use or reasonable intended purposes.
The lemon law provides manufacturers with an affirmative defense if it can be shown
that the alleged nonconformity does not significantly impair the use, market v alue, or
safety of the motor vehicle, or the nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect, or
unauthorized modification or alteration of the motor vehicle by a consumer.
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