The Sour Truth About Lemon Cars in Canada: Everything to Know

Posted by on Apr 07, 2023 - Archived under Uncategorized

If you’re like most Canadians, buying a new car is a significant investment that you want to get right. You expect your vehicle to be reliable, safe, and functional. But what happens when you end up with a “lemon car”?

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What is a Lemon Car?

In Canada, a lemon car is a vehicle that has significant defects that cannot be fixed, despite multiple attempts by the manufacturer or authorized dealer. It’s a real headache that can leave you feeling helpless and frustrated. Fortunately, there are lemon laws in place in several provinces to protect you from this very situation.


So, what makes a car a lemon in Canada? Well, it typically needs to meet a few criteria. Firstly, it must have a serious defect that affects its safety, value, or use.


Secondly, the defect must be unrepairable, despite several attempts by the manufacturer or authorized dealer.


Thirdly, the defect must have occurred during the warranty period or within a specific timeframe after purchase. Finally, the owner must have given the manufacturer a reasonable number of opportunities to repair the defect.


The exact definition of a lemon car may vary from province to province. For example, in Ontario, a car may be considered a lemon if it has been in the repair shop for a total of 30 days or more for the same problem during the first 24 months or 20,000 km of ownership.


Meanwhile, in British Columbia, a car may be considered a lemon if it has been in the repair shop three or more times for the same problem during the first 18 months or 18,000 km of ownership.


What Happens if You Have a Lemon Car?

If your car meets the criteria of a lemon car, you’re usually entitled to some form of compensation from the manufacturer. This could be a refund, a replacement vehicle, or cash compensation. The specifics of the remedy may depend on the province and your individual case.


Of course, it’s essential to note that not all car problems qualify as a lemon. If the defect is minor or can be easily fixed, it may not be covered by lemon laws. Additionally, if the problem is caused by the owner’s misuse or neglect, it may not be covered.


How to Avoid Lemon Cars

To avoid getting stuck with a lemon car, it’s crucial to do your research before making a purchase. Check the vehicle’s history report for any accidents, repairs, or other issues that may affect its value or safety. Consider having a mechanic inspect the car before you buy it to identify any potential problems.



If you do end up with a lemon car, don’t panic. Keep all of your receipts, invoices, and repair orders in a safe place. Document all of your repair attempts and communications with the manufacturer or dealer. This information will be essential if you need to file a lemon law claim.


While lemon cars can be a headache for Canadian car buyers, remember that there are laws in place to protect you. By understanding what makes a car a lemon in your province and taking steps to avoid buying one, you can make a more informed purchase and protect yourself from any potential issues.


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