The tricky thing is, while all 50 states have lemon laws in the books, those laws are regulated at the state level, meaning that what qualifies as a “lemon” varies depending on where you live, or where the car was bought. A good example of this is used cars — most states don’t offer protection on used vehicle sales. But California and a handful of other states do extend protection to used vehicles, usually under very specific conditions.
Usually, a car is qualified as a lemon when it has an issue that can’t be fixed despite multiple repair attempts. Where states differ is how many attempts need to be made, and on how they treat serious vs non-serious issues. For example, in California a car may be considered a lemon if a problem hasn’t been fixed after four attempts. Unless the issue is life-threatening; in that case, a car may qualify as a lemon with as few as two repair attempts, as this lemon law lawyer Los Angeles website explains.
You’ll need to look up the lemon laws in your area to get more specific information. Or you can contact a local lemon law attorney. It’s not uncommon for attorneys in this field to offer free case evaluations.