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  Washington Lemon Law Summary

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Washington Lemon Law Statutes

Washington Lemon law Title 19 Chapter 118 RCW - MOTOR VEHICLE WARRANTIES

Washington Lemon law RCW 19.118.005

Legislative intent

The legislature recognizes that a new motor vehicle is a major consumer purchase and that a defective motor vehicle is likely to create hardship for injury to and communication between a manufacturer and a new motor vehicle dealer will considerably increase the likelihood that a new motor vehicle will be repaired within a reasonable number of attempts. It is the intent of the legislature to ensure that the consumer is made aware of his or her rights under this chapter and is not refused information documents

In enacting these comprehensive measures create the proper blend of private and public remedies necessary to enforce this chapter steps to improve quality control at the time of production or provide better warranty service for the new motor vehicles that it sells in this state.

[1987 c 344 1.]



Washington Lemon law RCW 19.118.010

Motor vehicle manufacturers - Express warranties - Service and repair facilities.

Every manufacturer of motor vehicles sold in this state and for which the manufacturer has made an express warranty shall maintain in this state sufficient service and repair facilities reasonably close to all areas in which its motor vehicles are sold to carry out the terms of the warranties or designate and authorize in this state as service and repair facilities independent repair or service facilities reasonably close to all areas in which its motor vehicles are sold to carry out the terms of the warranties. As a means of complying with this section may enter into warranty service contracts with independent service and repair facilities.

[1983 c 240 1.]



Washington Lemon law RCW 19.118.021

Definitions.

Unless the context clearly requires otherwise throughout this chapter.
  1. "Board" means new motor vehicle arbitration board.
     
  2. "Collateral charges" means any sales or lease related charges including but not limited to sales tax fees credit disability and credit life insurance costs not otherwise refundable other insurance costs prorated for time out of service dealer preparation charges rustproofing  
  3. "Condition" means a general problem that results from a defect or malfunction of one or more parts its agents
     
  4. "Consumer" means any person who has entered into an agreement or contract for the transfer for purposes of resale or sublease under this section.
     
  5. "Court" means the superior court in the county where the consumer resides court in the county where an arbitration hearing or determination was conducted or made pursuant to this chapter.
     
  6. "Incidental costs" means any reasonable expenses incurred by the consumer in connection with the repair of the new motor vehicle charges and the costs of obtaining alternative transportation.
     
  7. "Manufacturer" means any person engaged in the business of constructing or assembling new motor vehicles or engaged in the business of importing new motor vehicles into the United States for the purpose of selling or distributing new motor vehicles to new motor vehicle dealers. "Manufacturer" does not include any person engaged in the business of set-up of motorcycles as an agent of a new motor vehicle dealer if the person does not otherwise construct or assemble motorcycles.
     
  8. "Motorcycle" means any motorcycle as defined in RCW 46.04.330 which has an engine displacement of at least seven hundred fifty cubic centimeters.
     
  9. "New motor vehicle" means any new self-propelled vehicle a new motorcycle over the public highways that was originally purchased or leased at retail from a new motor vehicle dealer or leasing company in this state registered in this state or for which a temporary motor vehicle license was issued pursuant to RCW 46.16.460 a business as part of a fleet of ten or more vehicles at one time or under a single purchase or lease agreement. If the motor vehicle is a motor home shall apply to the self-propelled vehicle and chassis portions of the vehicle designated office trucks with nineteen thousand pounds or more gross vehicle weight rating. The term "new motor vehicle" includes a demonstrator or lease-purchase vehicle as long as a manufacturer's warranty was issued as a condition of sale.
     
  10. "New motor vehicle dealer" means a person who holds a dealer agreement with a manufacturer for the sale of new motor vehicles of purchasing and who is licensed or required to be licensed as a vehicle dealer by the state of Washington.
     
  11. "Nonconformity" means a defect that substantially impairs the use does not include a defect or condition that is the result of abuse unauthorized modification or alteration of the new motor vehicle.
     
  12. "Purchase price" means the cash price of the new motor vehicle appearing in the sales agreement or contract.

    1. "Purchase price" in the instance of a lease means the actual written capitalized cost disclosed to the consumer contained in the lease agreement. If there is no disclosed capitalized cost in the lease agreement the "purchase price" is the manufacturer's suggested retail price including manufacturer installed accessories or items of optional equipment displayed on the manufacturer label
       
    2. "Purchase price" in the instance of both a vehicle purchase or lease agreement includes any allowance for a trade-in vehicle but does not include any manufacturer-to-consumer rebate appearing in the agreement or contract that the consumer received or that was applied to reduce the purchase or lease cost.

    Where the consumer is a subsequent transferee and the consumer selects repurchase of the motor vehicle purchase price. Where the consumer is a subsequent transferee and the consumer selects replacement of the motor vehicle purchase price.
     
  13. "Reasonable offset for use" means the definition provided in RCW 19.118.041(1)(c) for a new motor vehicle other than a new motorcycle. The reasonable offset for use for a new motorcycle shall be computed by the number of miles that the vehicle traveled before the manufacturer's acceptance of the vehicle upon repurchase or replacement multiplied by the purchase price
     
  14. "Reasonable number of attempts" means the definition provided in RCW 19.118.041.
     
  15. "Replacement motor vehicle" means a new motor vehicle that is identical or reasonably equivalent to the motor vehicle to be replaced to be replaced existed at the time of original purchase or lease service contract
     
  16. "Serious safety defect" means a life-threatening malfunction or nonconformity that impedes the consumer's ability to control or operate the new motor vehicle for ordinary use or reasonable intended purposes or creates a risk of fire or explosion.
     
  17. "Subsequent transferee" means a consumer who acquires a motor vehicle within the warranty period written warranty and where the vehicle otherwise met the definition of a new motor vehicle at the time of original retail sale or lease.
     
  18. "Substantially impair" means to render the new motor vehicle unreliable or unsafe for ordinary use below the average resale value for comparable motor vehicles.
     
  19. "Warranty" means any implied warranty the manufacturer in connection with the sale of a new motor vehicle that becomes part of the basis of the bargain. The term "warranty" pertains to the obligations of the manufacturer in relation to materials for ordinary use or reasonably intended purposes throughout the duration of the warranty period as defined under this section.
     
  20. "Warranty period" means the period ending two years after the date of the original delivery to the consumer of a new motor vehicle thousand miles of operation

[1995 c 254 1; 1990 c 239 1; 1989 c 347 1; 1987 c 344 2.]



NOTES:



Effective date--1995 c 254: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace existing public institutions

[1995 c 254 11.]



Severability--1995 c 254: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected."



[1995 c 254 12.]



Washington Lemon law RCW 19.118.031

Manufacturers and new motor vehicle dealers - Responsibilities to consumers - Extension of warranty period.

  1. The manufacturer shall publish an owner's manual and provide it to the new motor vehicle dealer or leasing company. The owner's manual shall include a list of the addresses and phone numbers for the manufacturer's customer assistance division or zone or regional offices. A manufacturer shall provide to the new motor vehicle dealer or leasing company all applicable manufacturer's written warranties. The dealer or leasing company shall transfer to the consumer retail sale or lease by a manufacturer.
     
  2. At the time of purchase with a written statement that explains the consumer's rights under this chapter. The written statement shall be prepared and supplied by the attorney general and shall contain a toll-free number that the consumer can contact for information regarding the procedures and remedies under this chapter.
     
  3. For the purposes of this chapter warranty and the consumer reports the nonconformity during the term of the warranty period or the period of coverage of the applicable manufacturer's written warranty whichever is less who sold the new motor vehicle dealer shall make repairs as are necessary to conform the vehicle to the warranty regardless of whether such repairs are made after the expiration of the warranty period. Any corrections or attempted repairs undertaken by a new motor vehicle dealer under this chapter shall be treated as warranty work and billed by the dealer to the manufacturer in the same manner as other work under the manufacturer's written warranty is billed. For purposes of this subsection warranty shall be at least one year after the date of the original delivery to the consumer of the vehicle or the first twelve thousand miles of operation occurs first.
     
  4. Upon request from the consumer provide a copy of any report or computer reading compiled by the manufacturer's field or zone representative regarding inspection consumer's new motor vehicle issued by the manufacturer regarding the year and model of the consumer's new motor vehicle as it pertains to any material
     
  5. The new motor vehicle dealer shall provide to the consumer each time the consumer's vehicle is returned from being diagnosed or repaired under the warranty itemized work performed on the vehicle including but not limited to of the problem reported by the consumer or an identification of the defect or condition parts and labor for repair
     
  6. No manufacturer or repair any nonconformity covered by the warranty for the purpose of avoiding liability under this chapter.
     
  7. For purposes of this chapter a cause of action
     
  8. The warranty period and thirty-day out-of-service period shall be extended by any time that repair services are not available to the consumer as a direct result of a strike

[1995 c 254 2; 1987 c 344 3.]



NOTES:



Effective date--Severability--1995 c 254: See notes following RCW 19.118.021.



Washington Lemon law RCW 19.118.041

Replacement or repurchase of nonconforming new motor vehicle--Reasonable number of attempts--Liabilities and rights of parties--Application of consumer protection act.

  1. If the manufacturer the new motor vehicle to the warranty by repairing or correcting any nonconformity after a reasonable number of attempts of a consumer's written request to the manufacturer's corporate zone repurchase the new motor vehicle.

    1. The replacement motor vehicle shall be identical or reasonably equivalent to the motor vehicle to be replaced as the motor vehicle to be replaced existed at the time of original purchase or lease rustproofing a replacement motor vehicle license a reasonable offset for use shall be paid by the consumer to the manufacturer in the event that the consumer accepts a replacement motor vehicle.
       
    2. When repurchasing the new motor vehicle the purchase price offset for use. When repurchasing the new motor vehicle the manufacturer shall refund to the consumer all payments made by the consumer under the lease including but not limited to all lease payments or inception payment less a reasonable offset for use. The manufacturer shall make such payment to the lessor and/or lienholder of record as necessary to obtain clear title to the motor vehicle and upon the lessor's and/ or lienholder's receipt of that payment and payment by the consumer of any late payment charges future obligation to the lessor and/or lienholder.
       
    3. The reasonable offset for use shall be computed by multiplying the number of miles that the vehicle traveled directly attributable to use by the consumer times the purchase price consumer is a second or subsequent purchaser vehicle and the consumer selects repurchase of the motor vehicle of miles that the vehicle traveled" shall be calculated from the date of purchase or lease by the consumer. Where the consumer is a second or subsequent purchaser lessee of the motor vehicle shall be calculated from the original purchase
  2. Reasonable number of attempts shall be deemed to have been undertaken by the manufacturer its agent warranty within the warranty period

    1. The same serious safety defect has been subject to diagnosis or repair two or more times manufacturer's written warranty
       
    2. the same nonconformity has been subject to diagnosis or repair four or more times at least one of which is during the period of coverage of the applicable manufacturer's written warranty
       
    3. the vehicle is out-of-service by reason of diagnosis or repair of one or more nonconformities for a cumulative total of thirty calendar days the period of the applicable manufacturer's written warranty. For purposes of this subsection the date of the original delivery to the consumer of the vehicle or the first twelve thousand miles of operation
  3. No new motor vehicle dealer may be held liable by the manufacturer for any collateral charges shall not have a cause of action against dealers under this chapter. Consumers shall not have a cause of action against dealers under this chapter any responsibilities imposed upon dealers under this chapter is a per se violation of chapter 19.86 RCW. Consumers may pursue rights and remedies against dealers under any other law may not make dealers parties to arbitration board proceedings under this chapter.

[1995 c 254 3; 1989 c 347 2; 1987 c 344 4.]



NOTES:



Effective date--Severability--1995 c 254: See notes following RCW 19.118.021.



Washington Lemon law RCW 19.118.061

Vehicle with nonconformities or out of service - Notification of correction - Resale or transfer of title - Issuance of new title - Disclosure to buyer - Intervening transferor.

  1. A manufacturer shall be prohibited from reselling any motor vehicle determined or adjudicated as having a serious safety defect unless the serious safety defect has been corrected and the manufacturer warrants upon the first subsequent resale that the defect has been corrected.
     
  2. Before any sale or transfer of a vehicle that has been replaced or repurchased by the manufacturer that was determined or adjudicated as having a nonconformity or to have been out of service for thirty or more calendar days under this chapter the manufacturer shall:

    1. Notify the attorney general and the department of licensing by personal service
       
    2. Attach a resale disclosure notice to the vehicle in a manner and form to be specified by the attorney general. Only the retail purchaser may remove the resale disclosure notice after execution of the disclosure form required under subsection (3) of this section; and
       
    3. Notify the attorney general and the department of licensing if the nonconformity in the motor vehicle is corrected.
  3. Upon the first subsequent resale title of a motor vehicle and which was previously returned after a final determination adjudication other state actual knowledge of said final determination execute and deliver to the buyer before sale an instrument in writing setting forth information identifying the nonconformity in a manner to be specified by the attorney general information indicating the vehicle was returned under this chapter.
     
  4. Upon receipt of the manufacturer's notification under subsection (2) of this section that the nonconformity has been corrected and upon the manufacturer's request and payment of any fees indicating the vehicle was returned under this chapter and that the nonconformity has been corrected. Upon the first subsequent resale or transfer of title of a motor vehicle this section has been corrected who has actual knowledge of the corrected nonconformity to the buyer before sale an instrument in writing setting forth information identifying the nonconformity and indicating that it has been corrected in a manner to be specified by the attorney general.
     
  5. After repurchase or replacement and following a manufacturer's receipt of a vehicle under this section and prior to a vehicle's first subsequent retail transfer by resale or lease of this section who has received the disclosure as specified by the attorney general and required under this chapter the documents with the vehicle to the next transferor proper and timely notice and disclosure. Any intervening transferor who fails to comply with this subsection shall first subsequent retail purchaser or lessee:

    1. Indemnify and [any] subsequent transferor or first subsequent retail purchaser for all damages caused by such violation; or
       
    2. repurchase the vehicle at the full purchase price including all fees costs incurred for goods and services which were included in the subsequent transaction.

[1995 c 254 4; 1989 c 347 3; 1987 c 344 5.]



NOTES:



Effective date--Severability--1995 c 254: See notes following RCW 19.118.021.



Washington Lemon law RCW 19.118.070

Remedies.

The remedies provided under this chapter are cumulative and are in addition to any other remedies provided by law.

[1983 c 240 7.]



Washington Lemon law RCW 19.118.080

New motor vehicle arbitration boards - Board proceedings - Prerequisite to filing action in superior court.

  1. Except as provided in RCW 19.118.160 or more private entities to conduct arbitration proceedings in order to settle disputes between consumers and manufacturers as provided in this chapter entity shall constitute a new motor vehicle arbitration board for purposes of this chapter. The entities shall not be affiliated with any manufacturer or new motor vehicle dealer and shall have available the services of persons with automotive technical expertise to assist in resolving disputes under this chapter. No private entity or its officers or employees conducting board proceedings and no arbitrator presiding at such proceedings shall be directly involved in the manufacture sale arbitration services shall be made from the new motor vehicle arbitration account.
     
  2. The attorney general shall adopt rules for the uniform conduct of the arbitrations by the boards whether conducted by a private entity or by the attorney general pursuant to RCW 19.118.160 procedures:

    1. At all arbitration proceedings testimony witnesses
       
    2. A dealer by a party which are reasonably related to the dispute. If a dealer or other person refuses to comply with such a request to the board for the attorney general to issue a subpoena on behalf of the board.

      The subpoena shall be issued only for the production of records and documents which the board has determined are reasonably related to the dispute limited to documents described in RCW 19.118.031 (4) or (5).

      If a party fails to comply with the subpoena the arbitration hearing impose any of the following sanctions:

      1. Find that the matters which were the subject of the subpoena facts with the claim of the party which requested the subpoena;
         
      2. refuse to allow the disobedient party to support or oppose the designated claims or defenses  
      3. strike claims or defenses
         
      4. render a decision by default against the disobedient party.

      If a nonparty fails to comply with a subpoena and upon an arbitrator finding that without such compliance there is insufficient evidence to render a decision in the dispute the arbitrator shall continue the arbitration hearing until such time as the nonparty complies with the subpoena or the subpoena is quashed.
       
    3. A party may obtain written affidavits from employees and agents of a dealer or other party for consideration by the board.
       
    4. Records of the board proceedings shall be open to the public. The hearings shall be open to the public to the extent practicable.
       
    5. Where the board proceedings are conducted by one or more private entities arbitrator may be designated to preside at such proceedings.
  3. A consumer shall exhaust the new motor vehicle arbitration board remedy or informal dispute resolution settlement procedure under RCW 19.118.150 before filing any superior court action.
     
  4. The attorney general shall maintain records of each dispute submitted to the new motor vehicle arbitration board make
     
  5. The attorney general shall compile aggregate annual statistics for all disputes submitted to annual statistics for each manufacturer that include the number and percent of:

    1. Replacement motor vehicle requests;
       
    2. purchase price refund requests;
       
    3. replacement motor vehicles obtained in prehearing settlements;
       
    4. purchase price refunds obtained in prehearing settlements;
       
    5. replacement motor vehicles awarded in arbitration;
       
    6. purchase price refunds awarded in arbitration;
       
    7. board decisions neither complied with during the forty calendar day period nor petitioned for appeal within the thirty calendar day period;
       
    8. board decisions appealed categorized by consumer or manufacturer;
       
    9. the nature of the court decisions and who the prevailing party was;
       
    10. appeals that were held by the court to be brought without good cause; and
       
    11. appeals that were held by the court to be brought solely for the purpose of harassment. The statistical compilations shall be public information.
  6. The attorney general shall submit biennial reports of the information in this section to the senate and house of representatives committees on commerce and labor the first report due January 1
     
  7. The attorney general shall adopt rules to implement this chapter. Such rules shall include uniform standards by which the boards shall make determinations under this chapter

    1. A board shall find that a nonconformity exists if it determines that the consumer's new motor vehicle has a defect impairs the use
       
    2. A board shall find that a reasonable number of attempts to repair a nonconformity have been undertaken if:

      1. The same serious safety defect has been subject to diagnosis or repair two or more times manufacturer's written warranty  
      2. the same nonconformity has been subject to diagnosis or repair four or more times at least one of which is during the period of coverage of the applicable manufacturer's written warranty  
      3. the vehicle is out-of- service by reason of diagnosis or repair of one or more nonconformities for a cumulative total of thirty calendar days the period of the applicable manufacturer's written warranty. For purposes of this subsection the date of the original delivery to the consumer of the vehicle or the first twelve thousand miles of operation
    3. A board shall find that a manufacturer has failed to comply with RCW 19.118.041 if it finds that the manufacturer failed to correct a nonconformity after a reasonable number of attempts and the manufacturer has failed repurchase the vehicle or replace the vehicle with a vehicle identical or reasonably equivalent to the vehicle being replaced.
  8. The attorney general shall provide consumers with information regarding the procedures and remedies under this chapter.

[1995 c 254 5; 1989 c 347 4; 1987 c 344 6.]



NOTES:



Effective date--Severability--1995 c 254: See notes following RCW 19.118.021.



Washington Lemon law RCW 19.118.090

Request for arbitration - Eligibility - Rejection - Manufacturer's response - Remedies - Defenses - Acceptance or appeal.

  1. A consumer may request arbitration under this chapter by submitting the request to the attorney general. Within ten days after receipt of an arbitration request the attorney general shall make a reasonable determination of the cause of the request for arbitration and provide necessary information to the consumer regarding the consumer's rights and remedies under this chapter. The attorney general shall assign the dispute to a board by the consumer that the dispute is not eligible for arbitration may refuse to assign the dispute and shall explain any required procedures to the consumer.
     
  2. Manufacturers shall submit to arbitration if such arbitration is requested by the consumer within thirty months from the date of the original delivery of the new motor vehicle to a consumer at retail and if the consumer's dispute is deemed eligible for arbitration by the board.
     
  3. The new motor vehicle arbitration board may reject for arbitration any dispute that it determines to be frivolous its authority. Any dispute deemed by the board to be ineligible for arbitration due to insufficient evidence may be reconsidered by the board upon the submission of other information or documents regarding the dispute that would allegedly qualify for relief under this chapter. Following a second review dispute for arbitration if evidence is still clearly insufficient to qualify the dispute for relief under this chapter. A rejection by the board is subject to review by the attorney general or may be appealed under RCW 19.118.100.

    A decision to reject any dispute for arbitration shall be sent by certified mail to the consumer and the manufacturer the reason therefor.
     
  4. The manufacturer shall complete a written manufacturer response to the consumer's request for arbitration. The manufacturer shall provide a response to the consumer and the board within ten calendar days from the date of the manufacturer's receipt of the board's notice of acceptance of a dispute for arbitration. The manufacturer response shall include all issues and affirmative defenses related to the nonconformities identified in the consumer's request for arbitration that the manufacturer intends to raise at the arbitration hearing.
     
  5. The arbitration board shall award the remedies under RCW 19.118.041 if it finds a nonconformity and that a reasonable number of attempts have been undertaken to correct the nonconformity. The board shall award reasonable costs and attorneys'fees incurred by the consumer where the manufacturer has been directly represented by counsel:

    1. In dealings with the consumer in response to a request to repurchase or replace under RCW 19.118.041;
       
    2. in settlement negotiations;
       
    3. in preparation of the manufacturer's statement; or
       
    4. at an arbitration board hearing or other board proceeding.
  6. It is an affirmative defense to any claim under this chapter that:

    1. The alleged nonconformity does not substantially impair the use of the new motor vehicle; or
       
    2. the alleged nonconformity is the result of abuse or alterations of the new motor vehicle.
  7. The board shall have forty-five calendar days from the date the board receives the consumer's request for arbitration to hear the dispute. If the board determines that additional information is necessary proceeding on a subsequent date within ten calendar days of the initial hearing. The board shall decide the dispute within sixty calendar days from the date the board receives the consumer's request for arbitration.

    The decision of the board shall be delivered by certified mail or personal service to the consumer and the manufacturer the new motor vehicle meets the standards set forth under this chapter.
     
  8. The consumer may accept the arbitration board decision or appeal to superior court pursuant to RCW 19.118.100. Upon acceptance by the consumer decision shall become final. The consumer shall send written notification of acceptance or rejection to the arbitration board within sixty days of receiving the decision and the arbitration board shall immediately deliver a copy of the consumer's acceptance to the manufacturer by certified mail service. Failure of the consumer to respond to the arbitration board within sixty calendar days of receiving the decision shall be considered a rejection of the decision by the consumer. The consumer shall have one hundred twenty calendar days from the date of rejection to file a petition of appeal in superior court. At the time the petition of appeal is filed service
     
  9. Upon receipt of the consumer's acceptance days to comply with the arbitration board decision or thirty calendar days to file a petition of appeal in superior court. At the time the petition of appeal is filed the manufacturer shall deliver copy of such petition to the attorney general. If the attorney general receives no notice of petition of appeal after forty calendar days shall contact the consumer to verify compliance.

[1995 c 254 6; 1989 c 347 5; 1987 c 344 7.]



NOTES:



Effective date--Severability--1995 c 254: See notes following RCW 19.118.021.



Washington Lemon law RCW 19.118.095

Arbitration decision - Compliance - Accomplishment - Dispute - Failure - Fine - Costs - Attorneys'fees.

  1. Compliance with an arbitration board decision under this chapter must be accomplished at a time consumer and manufacturer.

    1. The consumer shall make the motor vehicle available to the manufacturer free of damage other than that related to any nonconformity a warranty applied for ordinary or reasonably intended purposes and in consideration of the mileage attributable to the consumer's use. Any insurance claims or settlement proceeds for repair of damage to the vehicle due to fire must be assigned to the manufacturer or be completed before return of the vehicle to the manufacturer.

      The consumer may not remove any equipment or option that was included in the original purchase or lease of the vehicle or that is otherwise included in the repurchase or replacement award. In removing any equipment not included in the original purchase or lease the vehicle but is not required to return the vehicle to original condition.
       
    2. At the time of compliance with an arbitration board decision that awards repurchase the manufacturer shall make full payment to the consumers and either the lessor or lienholder to either the lessor or lienholder

      At the time of compliance with an arbitration board decision that awards replacement the manufacturer shall provide the replacement vehicle together with any refund of incidental costs.
       
    3. At any time before compliance a party may request the board to resolve disputes regarding compliance with the arbitration board decision including but not limited to time and place for compliance or recalculation of refund amounts under the award vehicle is reasonably equivalent to the vehicle being replaced. In resolving compliance disputes the board may not review decision or extend the time for compliance beyond the time necessary for the board to resolve the dispute.
       
    4. Failure of the consumer to make the vehicle available within sixty calendar days in response to a manufacturer's unconditional tender of compliance is considered a rejection of the arbitration decision by the consumer of this subsection or subsection (2) of this section.
  2. If to appeal the board's decision has occurred of up to one thousand dollars per day until compliance occurs or a maximum penalty of one hundred thousand dollars accrues unless the manufacturer can provide clear and convincing evidence that any delay or failure was beyond its control or was acceptable to the consumer as evidenced by a written statement signed by the consumer. If the manufacturer fails to provide the evidence or fails to pay the fine attorney general may initiate proceedings against the manufacturer for failure to pay any fine that accrues until compliance with the board's decision occurs or the maximum penalty of one hundred thousand dollars results. If the attorney general prevails in an enforcement action regarding any fine imposed under this subsection the attorney general is entitled to reasonable costs and attorneys'fees. Fines and recovered costs and fees shall be returned to the new motor vehicle arbitration account.

[1995 c 254 8.]



NOTES:



Effective date - Severability - 1995 c 254: See notes following RCW 19.118.021.



Washington Lemon law RCW 19.118.100

Trial de novo - Posting security - Recovery.

  1. The consumer or the manufacturer may request a trial de novo of the arbitration decision
     
  2. If the manufacturer appeals for the consumer's financial loss due to the passage of time for review.
     
  3. If the consumer prevails attorneys'fees and costs incurred in the superior court action awarded the consumer replacement or repurchase of the vehicle and the manufacturer did not comply for all days beyond the forty calendar day period following the manufacturer's receipt of the consumer's acceptance of the board's decision in which the manufacturer did not provide the consumer with the free use of a comparable loaner replacement motor vehicle. If it is determined by the court that the party that appealed acted without good cause in bringing the appeal or brought the appeal solely for the purpose of harassment award.

[1989 c 347 6; 1987 c 344 8.]



Washington Lemon law RCW 19.118.110

Arbitration fee - New motor vehicle arbitration account - Report by attorney general.

A three-dollar arbitration fee shall be collected by either the new motor vehicle dealer or vehicle lessor from the consumer upon execution of a retail sale or lease agreement. The fee shall be forwarded to the department of licensing at the time of title application for deposit in the new motor vehicle arbitration account hereby created in the state treasury. Moneys in the account shall be used for the purposes of this chapter legislature may transfer moneys from the account to the extent that the moneys are not necessary for the purposes of this chapter.

At the end of each fiscal year the annual revenue generated and the expenses incurred in implementing and operating the arbitration program under this chapter.

[1995 2nd sp.s. c 18 910; 1995 c 254 7; 1989 c 347 7; 1987 c 344 9.]



NOTES:



Severability--1995 2nd sp.s. c 18: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [1995 2nd sp.s. c 18 926.]



Effective date--1995 2nd sp.s. c 18: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace and its existing public institutions. Section 807 of this act shall take effect immediately [June 16 1995." [1995 2nd sp.s. c 18 927.]



Effective date--Severability--1995 c 254: See notes following RCW 19.118.021.



Washington Lemon law RCW 19.118.120

Application of consumer protection act.

A violation of this chapter shall constitute an unfair or deceptive trade practice affecting the public interest under chapter 19.86 RCW. All public and private remedies provided under that chapter shall be available to enforce this chapter.

[1987 c 344 10.]



Washington Lemon law RCW 19.118.130

Waivers

Any agreement entered into by a consumer for the purchase of a new motor vehicle that waives 19.118.140 shall be void as contrary to public policy. Said rights shall extend to a subsequent transferee of such new motor vehicle.

[1987 c 344 11.]



Washington Lemon law RCW 19.118.140

Other rights and remedies not precluded.

Nothing in this chapter limits the consumer from pursuing other rights or remedies under any other law.

[1987 c 344 12.]



Washington Lemon law RCW 19.118.150

Informal dispute resolution settlement procedure.

If a manufacturer has established an informal dispute resolution settlement procedure which substantially complies with the applicable provision of Title 16 Federal Regulations Part 703 to first submit a dispute under this chapter to the informal dispute resolution settlement procedure.

[1989 c 347 8; 1987 c 344 14.]



Washington Lemon law RCW 19.118.160

New motor vehicle arbitration boards - When established by attorney general - Membership - Travel expenses and compensation.

If the attorney general is unable at any time to contract with private entities to conduct arbitrations under the procedures and standards in this chapter attorney general shall establish one or more new motor vehicle arbitration boards. Each such board shall consist of three members appointed by the attorney general only one of whom may be directly involved in the manufacture or service of any motor vehicle. Board members shall be reimbursed for travel expenses in accordance with RCW 43.03.050 and 43.03.060 and shall be compensated pursuant to RCW 43.03.240.

[1989 c 347 9; 1987 c 344 15.]



Washington Lemon law RCW 19.118.170

History of vehicle - Availability to owner.

Notwithstanding RCW 46.12.380 to the registered owner all title history information regarding the vehicle upon request of the registered owner and receipt of a statement that he or she is investigating or pursuing rights under this chapter.

[1995 c 254 9.]



NOTES:



Effective date--Severability--1995 c 254: See notes following RCW 19.118.021.



Washington Lemon law RCW 19.118.900

Effective dates--1987 c 344.

  1. Section 9 of this act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace public institutions
     
  2. Sections 2 through 8 January 1 to ensure the new motor vehicle arbitration boards are established and operational.

[1987 c 344 22.]



Washington Lemon law RCW 19.118.902

Severability--1987 c 344.

If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid persons or circumstances is not affected.

[1987 c 344 23.]



Washington Lemon law RCW 19.118.903

Severability--1989 c 347.

If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid persons or circumstances is not affected.

[1989 c 347 10.]



Washington Lemon law RCW 19.118.904

Effective date--1989 c 347.

This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace or safety and shall take effect June 1

[1989 c 347 11.]

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is a Federal Law that protects the buyer of any product which costs more than $25 and comes with an express written warranty. This law applies to any product that you buy that does not perform as it should.

Your car is a major investment its expected dependability and safety. Accordingly automobile properly constructed and regulated to provide reasonably safe and dependable transportation? regardless of the exact make and model you bought. Unfortunately automobiles. Although one defect is not actionable exists a generally accepted rule that unsuccessful repair efforts render the warrantor liable. Simply put to take your car into the shop for repairs an inordinate number of times and experiencing all of the attendant inconvenience notwithstanding the seller's repeated good faith efforts to fix the car. The rationale behind these basic principles is clear: once your faith in the vehicle is shaken the vehicle loses its real value to you and becomes an instrument whose integrity is impaired and whose operation is fraught with apprehension. The question thus becomes when is enough?

As you know should simply continue to have your defective vehicle repaired? time and time again. However in the hope that it may eventually be fixed. Rather your vehicle to be repaired within a reasonable opportunity. To this end federal Moss Warranty Act your vehicle be performed within a reasonable opportunity.

Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act in at least two the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act's reasonableness requirement applies to your vehicle as a whole rather than to each individual defect that arises. Although most of the Lemon Laws vary from state to state to cure a specific defect within four to five attempts or the automobile as a whole within thirty days. If the warrantor fails to meet this obligation lemon laws provide for a full refund or new replacement vehicle. Further number of attempts/reasonable opportunity standard Warranty Act or that of the Lemon Laws threshold has been met are still entitled to relief.

One of the most important parts of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is its fee shifting provision. This provision provides that you may recover the attorney fees incurred in the prosecution of your case if you are successful? independent of how much you actually win. That rational behind this fee shifting provision is to twofold: (1) to ensure you will be able to vindicate your rights without having to expend large sums on attorney's fees and (2) because automobile manufacturers are able to write off all expenses of defense as a legitimate business expense the average consumer Most of the Lemon Laws contain similar fee shifting provisions.

You may also derive additional warranty rights from the Uniform Commercial Code; however and is also not as consumer friendly as the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act or the various state lemon laws.


Uniform Commercial Code Summary

The Uniform Commercial Code or UCC has been enacted in all 50 states and some of the territories of the United States. It is the primary source of law in all contracts dealing with the sale of products. The TARR refers to Tender Revocation and applies to different aspects of the consumer's "relationship" with the purchased goods.

TENDER -
The tender provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code contained in Section2-601 provide that the buyer is entitled to reject any goods that fail in any respect to conform to the contract. Unfortunately innermost workings are beyond the understanding of the average new car buyer. The buyer

ACCEPTANCE -
The new car buyer accepts the goods believing and expecting that the manufacturer will repair any problem he has with the goods under the warranty.

REJECTION -
The new car buyer may discover a problem with the vehicle within the first few miles of his purchase. This would allow the new car buyer to reject the goods. If the new car buyer discovers a defect in the car within a reasonable time to inspect the vehicle the buyer must be given a reasonable time to inspect and that reasonable time to inspect will be held as an acceptance of the vehicle. The Courts will decide this reasonable time to inspect based on the knowledge and experience of the buyer difficulty in discovering the defect The following is an example of a case of rejection: Mr. Zabriskie purchase a new 1966 Chevrolet Biscayne. After picking up the car on Friday evening to his home 2.5 miles away car stalled and stalled again within 15 feet. Thereafter in low gear. The buyer rejected the vehicle and stopped payment on his check. The dealer contended that the buyer could not reject the car because he had driven it around the block and that was his reasonable opportunity to inspect. The New Jersey Court said;

To the layman To have the automobile inspected by someone with sufficient expertise to disassemble the vehicle in order the discover latent defects before the contract is signed is assuredly impossible and highly impractical. Consequently of driving become even more significant to the excited new car buyer. This is the buyer's first reasonable opportunity to enjoy his new vehicle to see if it conforms to what it was represented to be and whether he is getting what he bargained for. How long the buyer may drive the new car under the guise of inspection of new goods is not an issue in the present case because 7/10th of a mile is clearly within the ambit of a reasonable opportunity to inspect. Zabriskie Chevrolet 240 A. 2d 195(1968)

It is suggested that Courts will tend to excuse use by consumers if possible.

REVOCATION -
What happens when the consumer has used the new car for a lengthy period of time? This is the typical lemon car case. The UCC provides that a buyer may revoke his acceptance of goods whose non-conformity substantially impairs the value of the goods to him when he has accepted the goods without discovery of a non-conformity because it was difficult to discover or if he was assured that non-conformities would be repaired. Of course until hundreds of thousands of miles later. And because quality is job one manufacturers are competing on the basis of their warranties is assured that any noncomformities he does discover will be remedied.
What is a noncomformity substantially impairing the value of the vehicle?

  1. A noncomformity may include a number of relatively minor defects whose cumulative total adds up to a substantial impairment. This is the "Shake Faith" Doctrine first stated in the Zabrisikie case. "For a majority of people the purchase of a new car is a major investment from its dependability and safety. Once their faith is shaken not only its real value in their eyes is substantially impaired and whose operation is fraught with apprehension".
  2. A substantial noncomformity may include a failure or refusal to repair the goods under the warranty. In Durfee V. Rod Baxter Imports the Saab owner that was plagued by a series of of annoying minor defects and stalling which were never repaired after a number of attempts are not successfully undertaken within a reasonable time" elect to revoke.
  3. Substantial Non Conformity and Lemon Laws often define what may be considered a substantial impairment. These definitions have been successfully used to flesh out the substantial impairment in the UCC.

Additional narrative information on Magnuson-Moss, UCC and Washington lemon laws on these pages is provided by T. Michael Flinn, attorney.

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