Rhode Island Lemon Law FAQs

FAQs About Your Lemon Law Rights

How We Can Help Your Lemon Law Situation?

It is estimated that more than 150,000 cars annually, or about one percent of all new cars, are cons...

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It is estimated that more than 150,000 cars annually, or about one percent of all new cars, are considered lemons. Although state and federal lemon laws vary, a lemon is generally considered any vehicle that has repeated defects or non-conformities that cannot be repaired after a reasonable time or a reasonable number of attempts. If you want to take advantage of state and federal lemon laws for car purchases, it’s important to understand what qualifies as a lemon and what steps you need to take to put yourself in the best position to receive maximum possible relief under the law. The attorneys at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® have worked in this area of law since 1995 and can help you assess your claims and counsel you on the best course of action for moving forward. Should you qualify for relief, we will do our best to ensure that you settle your claims for what the law entitles, which may be a refund for your car, a replacement vehicle, or monetary compensation in other instances. We will also not charge you a fee unless you win or settle your case.

FAQs About Your Lemon Law Rights

What is a reasonable number of repair attempts to repair my car?

Before being able to reap the benefits of the lemon law, you must allow the manufacturer or dealer t...

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Before being able to reap the benefits of the lemon law, you must allow the manufacturer or dealer to make a reasonable number of attempts or you must provide them with a reasonable time to fix the issues before your vehicle may be considered a lemon. Although every state law varies, most states require that the consumer provide the manufacturer or its dealers with at least3 times or 30 days to fix a vehicle defect or non-conformity. In some states, as little as 1 repair attempt may be sufficient to deem a car a lemon if the defect is something that affects the safety of the vehicle.

FAQs About Your Lemon Law Rights

What are types of defects that are covered by lemon laws?

Most state lemon laws require that for the car owner or lessee to recover, they must prove that the ...

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Most state lemon laws require that for the car owner or lessee to recover, they must prove that the defect or non-conformity substantially impairs the use, value or safety of the vehicle. Every situation is unique and a defect that you might not ordinarily think is substantial, very well might be depending on how it affects you. For instance, even something that is seemingly as minor as the illumination of a light on your dash board might signify a larger problem. Or, something like a brake squeak might be substantial if it affects your use and enjoyment of the vehicle every time you get behind the wheel. It is for this reason that you should speak to an experienced lemon law attorney who may assess your rights and tell you their opinion on what you may recover. Keep in mind, that the federal Lemon Law has no requirement that the defects in the vehicle be substantial. Rather, the federal Act looks to the obligations of the manufacturer to repair your vehicle as detailed in your warranty. Notably, the typical car manufacturer’s warranty promises to repair all defects in materials and workmanship in the vehicle. It does not restrictcoverage to only “substantial” defects. Therefore, even minor defects are covered under the federal Act if the manufacturer,by and through its dealers, was unable to repair the vehicle after being afforded a reasonable opportunity to do so.

Rhode Island Lemon Law

The Rhode Island Consumer Enforcement of Motor Vehicle Warranties Act, also known as the Rhode Island Lemon Law, applies to new or used vehicles that are either purchased or leased. The Lemon Law provides that vehicle manufacturers do not have an unlimited time to repair vehicles. Rather, if there is a defect or malfunction in your vehicle, repairs must be performed within a reasonable number of attempts. Should the manufacturer fail to do so during the applicable term of protection for the vehicle as discussed below, the consumer may be entitled to a refund or replacement vehicle at the consumer’s option. Additionally, the consumer is entitled to the recovery of attorneys’ fees and costs. To find out if you qualify for relief under the Rhode Island Lemon Law or any other consumer protection laws, whether state or federal, contact the attorneys at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® for a free case review.

Available Remedies

The Rhode Island Lemon Law provides that a consumer may recover, at the consumer’s option, a refund for their purchase of the defective vehicle or a comparable replacement vehicle. Under the law, a refund means that the consumer is entitled to the return of the purchase price of the vehicle plus all incidental costs including sales tax, registration fees, finance interest charges, and the cost of any non-removable options added by an authorized dealer. From this total, the manufacturer is entitled to subtract a reasonable mileage offset for your use of the vehicle. Additionally, the Rhode Island Lemon Law provides that the manufacturer shall pay for the consumer’s attorneys’ fees if they prevail in a Lemon Law action. Further, if you retain the attorneys at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® and you do not prevail on your claims, the firm will not charge you for their services. Accordingly, the attorneys at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® only get paid if they settle or win your case!

Covered Vehicles

The Rhode Island Lemon Law covers all “new” or “used” automobiles, trucks, SUV’s, motorcycles and vans that have a gross vehicle weight of less than 10,000 pounds. The federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, or federal Lemon Law as it is better known, expands the protection afforded by the Rhode Island Lemon Law and covers any consumer product. So, whether you have a car, truck, SUV, motorcycle, or you have a microwave, boat, personal watercraft, recreational vehicle or other consumer product, federal and state lemon laws provide you protection under the law. Additionally, whether your vehicle is purchased or leased make no difference. You are covered either way!

Term of Protection

Although the term of protection to determine if you qualify for relief under the Rhode Island Lemon Law is the vehicle’s first one (1) year or 15,000 miles since its original delivery, federal law provides more expansive protection. Under the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, whether the defects and nonconformities in your vehicle manifest before or after the vehicle’s first year makes no difference. Rather, the federal Lemon Law protects consumers for the entire duration of their warranty on the vehicle. Accordingly, if your new or used car, truck, SUV, van, motorcycle, or other consumer product is subject to repeat repairs during its warranty period and the manufacturer, by and through its authorized dealers, cannot repair the vehicle within a reasonable time, contact the attorneys at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® who will review your case at no charge and will advise you as to what laws and relief you qualify.

How many times to repair is too many

Both Federal and Rhode Island State Lemon Laws provide that an automobile manufacturer only has a reasonable number of attempts to repair your vehicle. Under the Rhode Island Lemon Law that means if the vehicle has been subject to repair four (4) or more times or has been out of service for thirty (30) or more cumulative days during the term of protection and the problems continue to exist, you may qualify for relief. Under federal law, what constitutes a reasonable number of attempts depends on the circumstances of each case and may be as little as two (2) to three (3) times depending on the nature of the defect and repair attempt. Whether you are pursuing a claim under federal or state law or both, you do not have to wait forever for the manufacturer to fix your vehicle. Give the automobile manufacturer a “reasonable” number of attempts and if not repaired contact the attorneys at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® for a free consultation to determine if you qualify for relief.

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