Terms used in this chapter mean:
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) "Express warranty",
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;
(3) "Lemon law rights
period", the period ending one year after the date of the original
delivery of a motor vehicle to a consumer or the first twelve thousand
miles of operation, whichever first occurs;
the person, firm or corporation engaged in the business of manufacturing,
importing or distributing motor vehicles to be made available to a motor
vehicle dealer for retail sale;
(5) "Motor vehicle",
every vehicle intended primarily for use and operation on the public
highways which is self-propelled. The term does not apply to any motor
home or to any motor vehicle having a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight
rating of ten thousand pounds or more;
(6) "Motor vehicle
dealer" or "authorized dealer", any
person operating under a dealer agreement from a manufacturer and licensed
pursuant to chapter 32-6B;
condition", any condition of a motor vehicle which is not in
conformity with the terms of any express warranty issued by the
manufacturer to a consumer and which significantly impairs the use, value
or safety of the motor vehicle and 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 the motor
vehicle was delivered by an authorized dealer to the consumer;
(8) "Notice of a
nonconforming condition", a written statement delivered to the
manufacturer and which describes the motor vehicle, the nonconforming
condition, and all previous attempts to correct such nonconforming
condition by identifying the person who made the attempt and the time the
attempt was made.
Notice of nonconforming condition - Timeliness - Obligation to repair.
If a new motor vehicle does not conform to any applicable express warranty
and the consumer delivers the motor vehicle to the manufacturer or its
authorized dealer and gives notice of the nonconforming condition during
the lemon law rights period, the manufacturer of the motor vehicle shall
make the necessary repairs to the motor vehicle to remedy any such
nonconforming condition. The repairs are required even after the
expiration of the lemon law rights period if notice of the nonconforming
condition was first given during the lemon law rights period. However, the
manufacturer's obligation to repair the nonconforming condition does not
extend beyond the period of twenty-four months following delivery of the
vehicle or twenty-four thousand miles, whichever occurs first.
Replacement of unrepairable vehicle - Refund.
If, after reasonable attempts, the manufacturer 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 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 excise
tax, license and registration fees and similar government charges;
(3) All finance charges incurred by the
consumer after he first reported the nonconformity to the manufacturer 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.
Allowance for use of vehicle offset against monetary recovery.
Refunds shall be made to the consumer and any lien holders, as their
interests may appear. There shall be offset against any monetary recovery
of the consumer a reasonable allowance for the consumer's use of the
vehicle. 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 or authorized dealer and shall be
calculated by multiplying the full purchase price of the motor vehicle by
a fraction having as its denominator one hundred thousand and having as
its numerator the number of miles that the vehicle traveled before the
first report of nonconformity.
Reasonable attempts to correct nonconforming condition.
It is presumed that reasonable attempts to correct a nonconforming
condition have been allowed by the consumer if, during the period of
twenty-four months following delivery of the vehicle or twenty-four
thousand miles, whichever first occurs, either of the following events
(1) The same nonconforming condition was
subject to repair attempts four or more times by the manufacturer, 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 was out of service and
in the custody of the manufacturer 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 thirty calendar
days, unless the repair could not be performed because of conditions
beyond the control of the manufacturer or authorized dealers, such as war,
invasion, strike, fire, flood or other natural disaster.
Civil action against manufacturer.
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
shall give notice of a nonconforming condition by certified mail to the
manufacturer and demand correction or repair of the nonconforming
condition. If at the time the 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 fourteen calendar days. If
a manufacturer has established an informal dispute settlement procedure
conducted within the state which is in compliance with federal rules and
regulations, a consumer shall 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.
Affirmative defenses to claim against manufacturer.
It is an affirmative defense to any claim against the manufacturer under
this chapter that:
(1) An alleged nonconforming condition does
not significantly impair the use, market value or safety of the motor
(2) 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.
If the manufacturer has breached its obligations imposed under this
chapter, the consumer may recover, in addition to the remedy provided
under §§ 32-6D-2 to 32-6D-5, inclusive, an additional award for reasonable
Resale of returned 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; and
(2) The manufacturer returns the title of the
motor vehicle to the 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 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."
Liability of dealer.
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. No manufacturer may charge back
or require reimbursement by a motor vehicle dealer or authorized dealer
for any costs, including any refunds or vehicle replacements, incurred by
the manufacturer arising out of this chapter.
Time limit for action.
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.