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New Mexico Lemon Law

New Mexico Lemon Law

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The New Mexico Motor Vehicle Quality Assurance Act, N.M. Stat. Ann. § 57-16A-1, popularly known as the New Mexico Lemon Law, provides protection to both new and used car vehicle purchasers. Unlike the Lemon Laws of many states, the New Mexico Lemon Law applies to used cars by making every used car dealer in the State of New Mexico make certain minimum guarantees as to the quality of the vehicle at the time of sale. The New Mexico Lemon Law also requires that the manufacturers of all new motor vehicles repair any defects or conditions in the vehicle within a reasonable number of repair attempts. Should the manufacturer of the vehicle, by and through its authorized dealers, fail to do so, the consumer may be entitled to a refund of the purchase price of the vehicle less a reasonable mileage offset calculated at the time of the first repair, or the consumer may be entitled to a comparable replacement vehicle. Additionally, consumers in the State of New Mexico are entitled to the recovery of attorneys’ fees and costs should they prevail on their claims.

New Mexico Lemon Law Info:

Covered Vehicles

The New Mexico Lemon Law applies to passenger automobiles, pickup trucks, SUV’s, motorcycles, vans, and other vehicles used primarily for personal, family, or household purposes that are sold and registered in the State of New Mexico. The vehicle must also have a gross vehicle weight of less than 10,000 pounds.

Covered Defects

Any defect or condition that substantially impairs the use and market value of the motor vehicle is covered by the New Mexico Lemon Law. However, even if the defect or condition does not substantially impair the use and market value of the vehicle, federal breach of warranty laws may provide you with additional protection. Pursuant to the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, the manufacturer or warrantor of any consumer product is required to comply with the obligations in their warranty. Therefore, every manufacturer that promises to repair defects in materials or workmanship is required to effectuate repairs to any component in the product that proves to be defective. Whether you experience defects in the engine, transmission, brakes, radio, climate control system, suspension, trim, seat heater, or other components of your vehicle, you are protected by federal law no matter how serious the defect.

Reasonable Number of Attempts to Repair Covered Defects

Both the New Mexico Lemon Law and the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act provide that a consumer is only required to give the manufacturer or warrantor of the vehicle a reasonable number of attempts or reasonable opportunity to repair. Put simply, there comes a point when you may say “enough is enough” and demand relief under the law. You are not required to give the manufacturer of your vehicle an indefinite amount of time to repair. Per the plain language of the New Mexico Lemon Law, the purchaser of a motor vehicle must only provide the manufacturer with either four (4) times or thirty (30) cumulative days to repair within the vehicle’s first one (1) year after delivery. Federal law extends this time period, providing relief for a manufacturer or warrantor’s failure to repair during the entire duration of the warranty period. Without this additional protection, warrantors would not to obligated to comply with the obligations of their warranties. If you suspect you have a lemon, contact a New Mexico Lemon Law attorney for more information.

Used Cars

The New Mexico Lemon Law requires the seller of every used car to warrant for a period of fifteen (15) days or five hundred (500) miles, whichever occurs first, that the vehicle is fit for its ordinary purpose, i.e., of a certain minimum level of quality. This means that is against the law for sellers of motor vehicles in the State of New Mexico to attempt to sell a vehicle “as-is” or without any warranties. In fact, the New Mexico Lemon Law requires that a car dealer state in writing in boldface, ten-point or larger font the following in the purchase document for your vehicle:

New Mexico law requires that this vehicle will be fit for the ordinary purposes for which the vehicle is used for fifteen days or five hundred miles after delivery, whichever is earlier, except with regard to particular defects disclosed on the first page of this agreement. You (the consumer) will have to pay up to twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for each of the first two repairs if the warranty is violated.

Therefore, if you have purchased a used vehicle and discovered that it has a defect, immediately bring the vehicle back to the selling dealer for repair and put them on notice of the defects. Insist that you are also provided with a repair receipt for your visit evidencing that you tendered the vehicle for repair. If the dealer refuses to provide you with a receipt, write them a letter detailing the date and mileage you tendered the vehicle for repair, and for which defects or conditions you brought the vehicle in for repair. If the dealer is unable to repair your vehicle, contact the experienced attorneys at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® for a free case review.

Importantly, if the problems with your used vehicle occurred after fifteen (15) days or after five (500) miles after your purchase, you may still have rights under the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. So long as your vehicle is covered by some type of written warranty or service contract, federal law requires that the warrantor or service contractor repair your vehicle within a reasonable time. If repairs are not timely made, you may be entitled to damages under New Mexico state law or under federal law.

Enforcing your legal rights

If you need to take action under the New Mexico Lemon Law or under the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, it is imperative to retain an attorney experienced at handling lemon law claims. Dealers and automobile manufacturers have lawyers at their disposal. The key to a successful claim is to get an experienced attorney as soon as you believe you may have a lemon on your hands. Since the law requires the manufacturer or dealer to pay for your attorneys’ fees if you prevail, retaining an attorney should be affordable for everyone. Additionally, if you retain the attorneys at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® they will only seek an attorneys’ fee if you win or settle your case. If you lose your case, you will not owe the attorneys at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® a fee. As such, rather than going it alone, contact the experienced attorneys at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® who will fight for your rights and who will only get paid if you do!