The answer is no. The landmark case of Martinez v. Kia Motors America, Inc. stated that “[n]owhere does the Act provide that the consumer must own or possess the vehicle at all times in order to avail himself or herself of these remedies.” The lemon law only requires the consumer to give the manufacturer a reasonable number of attempts to repair the vehicle.
This means that you can bring a lemon law claim after you trade in or sell the vehicle, or after the lease ends.
Remember though that the vehicle, along with the repair orders, is the most important piece of evidence in a lemon law case. Discovery and investigation into the vehicle’s use and condition after it leaves your possession is important to the facts. The amount you received for the vehicle or the costs you absorbed affect your damages.
If you choose to proceed with a claim without the vehicle, be sure you understand how the case may be affected.
If you have questions about a potential claim, contact us today for a free evaluation.