Penalty for Violation

Penalty for Violation

Recognizing that auto makers often ignore the requirements of the lemon law to drag out taking back lemons so that consumers give up in frustration, some states impose a civil penalty or exemplary damages for willful violation of the lemon law.  Such provisions create a deterrent to auto companies stonewalling consumers and outright misleading consumers about their lemon law rights. California and North Carolina lead the way by providing for the award to the consumer double or treble damages for violations of the lemon law. Maryland provides for a $10,000 damage award to consumers for manufacturers who act in bad faith.  North Carolina has the best provisions by providing for mandatory treble damages.

North Carolina General Statutes

20-351.8 Remedies.

In any action brought under this Article, the court may grant as relief:

             (1) A permanent or temporary injunction or other equitable relief as the court deems just;

             (2) Monetary damages to the injured consumer in the amount fixed by the verdict. Such damages shall be trebled upon a finding that the manufacturer unreasonably refused to comply with G.S. 20-351.2 or G.S. 20-351.3. The jury may consider as damages all items listed for refund under G.S. 20-351.3;