A new car is one of the biggest, most exciting purchases you can make. Nothing quite compares to that sense of joy and pride you feel when you drive a shiny new car off the lot after months of deciding what to purchase and then carefully planning and saving. But what happens when you discover that the only good features of your new car are the shiny finish and the new-car smell? As things continue to go wrong, eventually you are forced to face the unpleasant truth: you purchased a “lemon.”
Hawaii Lemon Law Info:
Fortunately, Hawaii consumers are not stuck with the “lemon” they received from the dealership. The Hawaii Lemon Law, together with the Federal Lemon Law (the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act), provide important protection for vehicle owners who did not receive all they bargained for.
The Hawaii Lemon Law provides protection for Hawaii residents who purchase motor vehicles under warranty which are designed for road use, and intended primarily (although not necessarily exclusively) for personal, family or household use. Unlike some state laws, the Hawaii Lemon Law also extends to motorcycles. However, the Hawaii Lemon Law does not cover mopeds, motor scooters or large vehicles which weigh over 10,000 pounds.
Even vehicles not covered by the Hawaii Lemon Law may still be protected. The federal Lemon Law is not limited to certain vehicle types – or even to vehicles! The federal Lemon Law covers all consumer products sold under warranty, including all types of consumer motor vehicles, personal and household electronics, home appliances and more.
To qualify for protection under the Hawaii Lemon Law, the defect or problem with the car must substantially impair the use, safety, or market value of the car. This means that because of the defect or problems, the vehicle is unreliable, unsafe for normal use, unfit, or worth significantly less money.
In addition, the Hawaii Lemon Law provides protection for a set period of time. The law extends for two (2) years from the date of purchase or for twenty-four thousand (24,000) miles, whichever comes first. Once one of these milestones has passed, the Hawaii Lemon Law no longer applies. However, the federal Lemon Law extends the time to qualify for protection to the entire period of the warranty issued by the manufacturer. Thus, even if the Hawaii Lemon Law deadline has passed, you still may be able to obtain relief under the federal Lemon Law.
Reasonable Number of Attempts to Repair Covered Defects
Under the Hawaii Lemon Law, the manufacturer is entitled to a “reasonable number of attempts” to make repairs to the vehicle. The Hawaii Lemon Law presumes that a manufacturer has had a reasonable opportunity to repair the automobile if it has tried, and failed, to fix the same problem three (3) or more times; if it has examined or tried and failed once to fix a problem that is likely to cause serious injury or death; or if the vehicle has been out of service for repairs – for any/all problems – a total of thirty (30) business days or more (which need not be all in a row).
After the manufacturer has been provided “a reasonable number of attempts to repair the car,” the consumer must give the manufacturer formal written notice that the vehicle is a “lemon” and one final opportunity to attempt to repair it. In addition, if the manufacturer has certified with the state an arbitration or mediation program for lemon law claims, the consumer who purchased the “lemon” must participate in that program before filing a lawsuit. If you purchased a lemon, an experienced Hawaii Lemon Law attorney at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® can help you to navigate these requirements properly and efficiently, to help you get the relief you deserve as quickly as possible.
What if the Manufacturer Does Not Comply?
Once you have met all the requirements of the Hawaii Lemon Law, you are entitled to a refund or a replacement vehicle. If the manufacturer repurchases the car and refunds the purchase price, it must return all amounts paid, including the net allowance given for any trade-in vehicle, charges for undercoating, dealer preparation and transportation, dealer-installed options, finance and interest charges, taxes, license and registration fees and title fees. You may also be entitled to any incidental fees you were forced to pay as a result of the problems, including things like towing bills, amounts you paid for other transportation while your car was unavailable, loss of income from missing work and compensation for any injuries you suffered. The manufacturer may then subtract a reasonable amount (as defined by a specific formula in the Hawaii Lemon Law) for your use of the vehicle while you owned it. An experienced Hawaii Lemon Law lawyer at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® can help you determine the exact amount to which you are entitled.
If the manufacturer provides you with a replacement vehicle, it must be identical or reasonably equivalent to the car you bought. This means that it must have the same service contract and options, including “extras” such as undercoating or rustproofing. The manufacturer must also pay all taxes, registration fees, and other charges associated with the replacement vehicle.
Enforcing your legal rights
Call Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® or submit your information to us online to see if you qualify under the state or federal lemon law. You may be entitled to a refund, a replacement vehicle or cash compensation for your “lemon.” We have handled thousands of claims for both lemon automobiles and consumer products and over 97% of our cases settle without going to trial. We work hard to get your claim settled as quickly as possible.
We work with Hawaii attorneys associated with Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® in of-counsel relationships to handle lemon law claims for consumers in Hawaii. We stay informed of the newest legal developments so you can get the best results for your lemon law claim.