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Collections IX

Consumer Protection Laws - Part 6

New Vehicle Warranties Act

Purpose of New Vehicles Warranty Act.

Protect Consumers who purchase new vehicles.

Who does it apply to?

1) An individual who has entered into an agreement or contract for the transfer, lease, or purchase of a new motor vehicle

Except for purposes of resale, or sublease,

And only during the warranty period.

(2) Individuals or companies that manufacturer, import, distribut, or provide an express written warranty on a motor vehicle.

(3) All motor vehicles except:

(i) those portions of a motor home designated, used, or maintained primarily as a mobile dwelling, office, or commercial space;
(ii) a farm tractor, motorcycle, road tractor, or truck tractor
(iii) a mobile home, or
(iv) any motor vehicle with a gross weight of over 12,000 pounds, except a motor home.

Note: this means that only the vehicle portions of a motor home are covered.

What does it provide?

First, the manufacturer, importer, distributor, or provider of the warranty must repair the vehicle

if the purchaser reports that the vehicle does not comply with the warranty or the defect substantially impairs the use, market value, or safety of the vehicle.

If the request is made before the end of the warranty period or one year, whichever is shorter.

Note: the repairs can be performed after the warranty period expires.

Second, if they can't fix the vehicle after a reasonable number of attempts they must

Replace the vehicle with a comparable new motor vehicle

or accept return of the vehicle from the consumer and refund to the consumer the full purchase price including all collateral charges, less a reasonable allowance for the consumer's use of the vehicle.

Upon receipt of the refund they get the vehicle back

A reasonable number of attempts means

(a) the same nonconformity has been subject to repair four or more times by the manufacturer, its agent, or its authorized dealer within the express warranty term or during the one-year period following the date of original delivery of the motor vehicle to a consumer, whichever is earlier, but the nonconformity continues to exist; or

(b) the vehicle is out of service to the consumer because of repair for a cumulative total of 30 or more business days during the warranty term or during the one-year period, whichever is earlier.

Note that: The term of an express warranty, the one-year period, and the 30-day period shall be extended by any period of time during which repair services are not available to the consumer because of a war, invasion, strike, fire, flood, or other natural disaster.


It is an affirmative defense to any claim under this chapter:

(a) that an alleged nonconformity does not substantially impair the consumer's use of the motor vehicle and does not substantially impair the market value or safety of the motor vehicle; or

(b) that an alleged nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modifications or alterations of a motor vehicle by a consumer.

(c) If a manufacturer has established an informal dispute settlement procedure which complies with Title 16, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 703, then Section 13-20-4 concerning refunds or replacement does not apply to any consumer who has not first resorted to this procedure.

Who enforces?

The consumer or the Division of Consumer Protection.

The individual consumer

Hints and Helps

Keep good records

Keep a journal in the vehicle

Take it out when you place the vehicle for repair

Write thing down as they happen

Make notes of what the mechanics or others tell you

Keep copies of all paper work

Repair orders


Review the documents you sign carefully

Do they say you are responsible for the cost of repairs?

Don't be afraid to cross this out if it is warranty work.

Don't wait, if you think there is a problem get it checked quickly.

Get second opinions.

Sometimes it may be worth while to have the vehicle checked by more than one mechanic.

Have it checked by someone before the dealership responsible for the warranty checks it.

Have it checked after the repair to see that the repairs were done.

This may cost extra money, but if they is a problem you will generally be reimbursed for the extra expenses by the court.

Finding an honest repair shop.

Ask around

Check with friends who are mechanics

Check with the better business bureau

Check with the Courts

If you don't have time, who would you refer me to?