The Colorado Lemon Law provides important protection for Colorado consumers stuck with less-than-perfect “new” cars commonly referred to as “lemons.” Like most state lemon laws, Colorado law protects consumers when manufacturers refuse to, or are unable to, repair the defects in their new cars, and refuse to replace or repurchase the defective vehicle. The Colorado Lemon Law, in combination with the Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (sometimes called the Federal Lemon Law), allows Colorado car buyers to feel secure in the knowledge that even if they do not get what they bargained for, their vehicle’s manufacturer can be forced to make things right.
Colorado Lemon Law Info:
Covered Vehicles Under Colorado Lemon Law
The Colorado Lemon Law covers only certain types of motor vehicles. The law extends to private passenger vehicles, pickup trucks and vans which are designed for road travel and which seat ten (10) people or less. The Colorado Lemon Law does not extend to motor homes or any vehicle which travels on three (3) or fewer wheels, such as motorcycles.
However, vehicles which do not qualify for protection under Colorado law may still eligible for protection under the Federal Lemon Law. The Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which is also applicable in Colorado, extends to all consumer vehicles, as well as other consumer products, such as household appliances and electronics.
Covered Defects Under Colorado Lemon Law
The Colorado Lemon Law covers any defect or problem with a vehicle which substantially impairs the use or market value of that vehicle. The law refers to these problems as nonconformities. To give rise to a claim under the Colorado Lemon Law, a nonconformity must occur and be reported within the warranty period of the car, or within one (1) year from the date on which the purchaser received the car, whichever comes first.
It is important to note that not every problem or defect in a new car gives rise to a claim under the Colorado Lemon Law. It is only those nonconformities that are “substantial,” or cause very serious problems. Much like the types of vehicles covered, however, the Federal Lemon Law provides additional, broader protection. Federal law applies to any defect or problem covered by a warranty, no matter how “insubstantial” it may be. Thus, while the Colorado Lemon Law applies to major issues like brakes and steering, the Federal Lemon Law can also be used to bring claims related to extras, trim, and other cosmetic issues. An experienced Colorado Lemon Law attorney at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® can help you to determine whether the problems with your car give rise to a claim under the Colorado Lemon Law, the Federal Lemon Law or both.
Reasonable Opportunity to Repair Under Colorado Lemon Law
Before bringing a claim under the Colorado Lemon Law, the purchaser must allow the manufacturer (through its dealers) a “reasonable number of attempts” to repair any nonconformities. The Colorado Lemon Law presumes that the manufacturer has been given a reasonable opportunity to repair the problems if it has tried, and failed, to fix the problem four (4) times, or if the car has been out of service for repairs for a total of thirty (30) days (even if those days were not consecutive). These presumptions, however, only apply if a manufacturer first receives written notice from the consumer via certified mail before seeking a remedy in a court of law.
Available Relief Under Colorado Lemon Law
Under the Colorado Lemon Law, if the manufacturer fails to repair the defective vehicle after a “reasonable number of attempts,” the consumer is entitled to either a refund of the purchase price (less a deduction for the consumer’s use) or a replacement vehicle. If the manufacturer opts to refund the purchase price, they reacquire the defective vehicle, but must also repay incidental fees, such as sales tax, registration charges, and finance charges.
However, in addition to sending notice to the manufacturer via certified mail, before obtaining any relief under the Colorado Lemon, consumers must comply with any eligible arbitration or mediation procedures which the manufacturer has put in place. The Colorado Lemon Law also has deadlines in which a legal claim must be filed which is within six (6) months of the expiration of the vehicle warranty or one (1) year from the date on which the purchaser received the car. These deadlines, and the deadlines and procedures associated with the manufacturer’s arbitration procedures, are strictly enforced and the failure to understand the rules can cost you your claim under the Colorado Lemon Law. This is just one (1) of many reasons why it is important to consult with an experienced lemon law attorney at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® as soon as possible after you discover the problems with your new vehicle.
Call Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® or submit your information to us online to see if you qualify under the Colorado Lemon Law or the Federal Lemon Law. You could be entitled to a refund, a replacement vehicle or cash compensation. Over 97% of our cases settle without going to trial and will work hard to get your claim settled as quickly as possible.
We work with Colorado attorneys in an “of-counsel” relationship to handle lemon law claims for consumers in Colorado. We stay informed of the newest legal developments so you can get the best results for your lemon law claim.