The following are explanations for the terms on this page.
The purchaser, other than for purposes of resale, of a new or previously
untitled motor vehicle used in substantial part for personal, family, or
household purposes, and any other person entitled by the terms of such
warranty to enforce the obligations of the warranty.
(2) Motor vehicle.
Every vehicle intended primarily for use and operation on the public
highways which is self-propelled; provided, however, that the term "motor
vehicle" shall not apply to motor homes or to any motor vehicle having a
manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds or
The person, firm, or corporation engaged in the business of manufacturing,
importing and/or distributing motor vehicles to be made available to a
motor vehicle dealer for retail sale.
(4) Motor vehicle
dealer or Authorized dealer.
The person, firm, or corporation operating under a dealer agreement from a
manufacturer, importer, or distributor and who is engaged regularly in the
business of buying, selling or exchanging motor vehicles in this state and
who has in this state an established place of business.
A written warranty, so labeled, issued by the manufacturer of a new motor
vehicle, including any terms or conditions precedent to the enforcement of
obligations under that warranty.
Any condition of a motor vehicle which shall not be in conformity with the
terms of any express warranty issued by the manufacturer to a consumer and
which: (i) significantly impairs the use, value or safety of the motor
vehicle and (ii) occurs or arises solely in the course of the ordinary use
of the motor vehicle, and which does not arise or occur as a result of
abuse, neglect, modification, or alteration of the motor vehicle not
authorized by the manufacturer, nor from any accident or other damage to
the motor vehicle which occurs or arises after such motor vehicle was
delivered by an authorized dealer to the consumer.
(7) Notice of a nonconforming condition.
A written statement which shall be delivered to the manufacturer and which
shall describe the subject motor vehicle, the nonconforming condition, and
shall describe all previous attempts to correct such nonconforming
condition by identifying the person, firm or corporation who or which made
such attempt, and the time when such attempt was made.
(8) Lemon law
The period ending one year after the date of the original delivery of a
motor vehicle to a consumer or the first 12,000 miles of operation,
whichever first occurs.
Section 8-20A-2 Obligations of manufacturer.
(a) If a new motor vehicle does not conform to any applicable
express warranty, and the consumer delivers the motor vehicle to the
manufacturer, its agent, or its authorized dealer, and gives notice of the
nonconforming condition during the lemon law rights period, the
manufacturer of the motor vehicle shall be obligated to make such repairs
to the motor vehicle as shall be necessary to remedy any nonconforming
condition thereof. Such repairs shall be required even after the
expiration of the lemon law rights period provided that notice of the
nonconforming condition was first given during the lemon law rights period
and provided further that the manufacturer's obligation to repair the
nonconforming condition shall not extend beyond the period of 24 months
following delivery of the vehicle or 24,000 miles, whichever occurs first.
(b) If, after reasonable attempts, the manufacturer, its agent, or
its authorized dealer is unable to conform the motor vehicle to any
express warranty by repairing or correcting a nonconforming condition of
the motor vehicle which first occurred during the lemon law rights period,
the manufacturer shall, at the option of the consumer, replace the motor
vehicle with a comparable new motor vehicle or shall accept return of the
vehicle from the consumer and refund to the consumer the following:
(1) The full contract price including,
but not limited to, charges for undercoating, dealer preparation and
transportation charges, and installed options, plus the nonrefundable
portions of extended warranties and service contracts;
(2) All collateral charges, including but not
limited to, sales tax, license and registration fees, and similar
(3) All finance charges incurred by the
consumer after he first reported the nonconformity to the manufacturer,
its agent, or its authorized dealer; and
(4) Any incidental damages which shall
include the reasonable cost of alternative transportation during the
period that the consumer is without the use of the motor vehicle because
of the nonconforming condition. There shall be offset against any monetary
recovery of the consumer a reasonable allowance for the consumer's use of
the vehicle. Refunds shall be made to the consumer, and any lien holders,
as their interests may appear. A reasonable allowance for use is that
amount directly attributable to use by the consumer before his first
report of the nonconformity to the manufacturer, agent, or authorized
dealer, and must be calculated by multiplying the full purchase price of
the motor vehicle by a fraction having as its denominator 100,000 and
having as its numerator the number of miles that the vehicle traveled
before the first report of nonconformity.
(c) It shall be presumed that reasonable attempts to correct a
nonconforming condition have been allowed by the consumer if, during the
period of 24 months following delivery of the vehicle or 24,000 miles,
whichever first occurs, either of the following events shall have
(1) The same nonconforming condition
has been subject to repair attempts three or more times by the
manufacturer, its agents or its authorized dealers, at least one of which
occurred during the lemon law rights period, plus a final attempt by the
manufacturer, and the same nonconforming condition continues to exist; or
(2) The motor vehicle is out of service and
in the custody of the manufacturer, its agent, or an authorized dealer due
to repair attempts (including the final repair attempt), one of which
occurred during the lemon law rights period, for a cumulative total of 30
calendar days, unless such repair could not be performed because of
conditions beyond the control of the manufacturer, its agents or
authorized dealers, such as war, invasion, strike, fire, flood, or other
Section 8-20A-3 Cause of action against manufacturer.
(a) A consumer sustaining damages as a proximate consequence of the
failure by a manufacturer to perform its obligations imposed under this
chapter may bring a civil action against the manufacturer to enforce the
provisions of this chapter. Prior to the commencement of any such
proceeding a consumer must give notice of a nonconforming condition by
certified United States mail to the manufacturer and demand correction or
repair of the nonconforming condition. If at the time such notice of a
nonconforming condition is given to the manufacturer, a presumption has
arisen that reasonable attempts to correct a nonconforming condition have
been allowed, the manufacturer shall be given a final opportunity to cure
the nonconforming condition. The manufacturer shall within seven calendar
days of receiving the written notice of nonconforming condition notify the
consumer of a reasonably accessible repair facility. After delivery of the
new vehicle to the authorized repair facility by the consumer, the
manufacturer shall attempt to correct the nonconforming condition and
conform the vehicle to the express warranty within a period not to exceed
14 calendar days. If a manufacturer has established an informal dispute
settlement procedure which is in compliance with federal rules and
regulations, a consumer must first exhaust any remedy afforded to the
consumer under the informal dispute procedure of the manufacturer before a
cause of action may be instituted under the provisions of this chapter.
(b) It shall be an affirmative defense to any claim against the
manufacturer under this chapter that: (i) an alleged nonconforming
condition does not significantly impair the use, market value, or safety
of the motor vehicle; or (ii) a nonconforming condition is a result of
abuse, neglect, or any modification or alteration of a motor vehicle by a
consumer that is not authorized by the manufacturer.
(c) If it is determined that the manufacturer has breached its
obligations imposed under this chapter, then the consumer shall be
entitled to recover, in addition to the remedy provided under Section
8-20A-2 above, an additional award for reasonable attorneys fees.
Section 8-20A-4 Resale of returned motor vehicle.
If a motor vehicle has been returned to the manufacturer under the
provisions of this chapter or a similar statute of another state, whether
as the result of a legal action or as the result of an informal dispute
settlement proceeding, it may not be resold in this state unless:
(1) The manufacturer discloses in
writing to the subsequent purchaser the fact that the motor vehicle was
returned under the provisions of this chapter and the nature of the
nonconformity to the vehicle warranty.
(2) The manufacturer returns the title of the
motor vehicle to the Alabama Department of Revenue advising of the return
of the motor vehicle under provisions of this chapter with an application
for title in the name of the manufacturer. The Department of Revenue shall
brand the title issued to the manufacturer and all subsequent titles to
the motor vehicle with the following statement:
THIS VEHICLE WAS RETURNED TO THE MANUFACTURER BECAUSE IT DID NOT CONFORM
TO ITS WARRANTY.
Section 8-20A-5 No dealership liability.
Nothing in this chapter imposes any liability upon a motor vehicle
dealer or authorized dealer or creates a cause of action by a consumer
against a motor vehicle dealer or authorized dealer. A motor vehicle
dealer or authorized dealer may not be made a party defendant in any
action involving or relating to this chapter. The manufacturer shall not
charge back or require reimbursement by a motor vehicle dealer or
authorized dealer for any costs, including, but not limited to, any
refunds or vehicle replacements, incurred by the manufacturer arising out
of this chapter.
Section 8-20A-6 Statute of limitations.
Any action brought under this chapter against the
manufacturer shall be commenced within three years following the date of
original delivery of the motor vehicle to the consumer.
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