Lemon laws are in place in all 50 states to protect consumers from new and used cars that do not work properly within a set period of time. "Lemon Law" is the nickname for the statutes passed in relation to car defects. If a car is found to be a lemon the manufacturer is respondible for replacing the car with a new or equal car or refund the purchase price. Car dealers are usually allowed 3-4 attempts to repair a defect before a lemon lawsuit may be commenced.
A defecet must be substantial to be considered under lemon law. This means the defect must cause the car to not run or be unsafe. Paint defects, rattles, cosmetic flaws, jumpy suspensions, premature wear of the tires, and the like are not normally considered substantial defects.
Lemon laws differ from state to state. Most protect new vehicles for the first year or warranty period. Used car lemon laws can differ on length of time if it exists at all. Other vehicles like motorscycles and RVs are only covered in some states.
If your car is found to be a lemon the next step is arbitration. Depending on the state, the arbitration panel will be a private party, state run panel, or manufacturer-sponsored panel. Manufacturer panels rarely rule in favor of the consumer. You do not need a attorney to start the arbitration process, but those represented by a lemon law lawyer have a much higher success rate.
Cars sold in "as is" condition are usually void of warranty and the dealer is in no way responsible for repairs regardless of the vehicles condition or defects.
It is extremely important to save all documentation regarding your lemon's history, service repairs, warranties, title, everything. Automakers will attempt to blame the consumer for the defects and having all your documentation in order makes it much harder for them to do this.