Vermont residents purchasing a new car may worry what happens if they receive a “lemon,” that unlucky new car which breaks down frequently and has constant problems that must be repaired. Fortunately, if that is to occur, Vermont residents have both state and federal laws that protect them if they purchase such vehicles and provide that the manufacturer who sold the defective car must repair the car or provide a refund, a replacement vehicle or cash compensation. The Vermont Lemon Law and the Federal Lemon Law (known as the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act) work together to protect Vermont consumers as they make one of the biggest purchases of their lives.
Vermont Lemon Law Info:
What’s a lemon vehicle?
The Vermont Lemon Law applies to passenger vehicles which are purchased, leased, or registered in Vermont and which are covered by a manufacturer’s written warranty. The Vermont Lemon Law does not apply to commercial vehicles such as construction equipment or roadwork vehicles, snowmobiles, tractors, motorcycles or mopeds, the living portion of recreational vehicles, or any other vehicle which weighs over 12,000 pounds. However, the Federal Lemon Law extends to all consumer products sold with a warranty. That means that the Federal Lemon Law covers motorcycles, mopeds, and snowmobiles sold to consumers as well as consumer electronics, appliances and any other consumer goods covered by a warranty.
The Vermont Lemon Law protects consumers who purchase covered vehicles with defects which substantially impair the use, market value or safety of the vehicle. The Federal Lemon Law, however, provides much broader protection – it covers all defects in the vehicle or product which are themselves covered under the warranty, regardless of whether the defect is substantial. Likewise, the Vermont Lemon Law extends protection for only a limited period of time while Federal Lemon Law protects consumers for the entire period of the manufacturer’s warranty.
What do I have to do?
Before you can obtain relief under the Vermont Lemon Law, you must allow the manufacturer a “reasonable number of repair attempts” to fix the problems with your vehicle. The Vermont Lemon Law presumes that you have met this requirement if the manufacturer has made three (3) attempts to fix the same problem, yet the problem persists, or if the manufacturer’s repairs have put the vehicle out of service for a total of thirty (3) days or more, even if those days are not consecutive.
After you have provided the manufacturer with a “reasonable number of attempts” to repair the vehicle, you must send written notice that the vehicle is still defective and give the manufacturer one (1) final opportunity to repair the vehicle. The requirements for this final notice and final opportunity to repair are quite formal and strict so you should contact an experienced Vermont Lemon Law Attorney at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® who can assist you and ensure that you comply with these requirements and preserve your rights under the Vermont Lemon Law.
What does the manufacturer have to do?
If the manufacturer in unable to bring your car into compliance with the warranty it issued and violates the Vermont Lemon Law, it must repurchase the vehicle (provide you with a refund) or replace the vehicle. Pursuant to the Vermont Lemon Law, It is you, not the manufacturer, who is allowed to choose whether you will receive a refund or a replacement vehicle.
If you choose to receive a refund, the manufacturer must repay you the full purchase price of the car. This includes any amounts you were credited for a trade-in vehicle, any finance or credit charges you paid and any fees such as taxes, titling, registration or similar government fees. The manufacturer may also be required to pay your incidental and consequential damages, which means that you may be entitled to compensation for any towing fees you paid or alternative transportation arrangements you were forced to make while your car was out of service. After everything has been calculated, the manufacturer may deduct an allowance for the time you were able to use the car while you owned it.
If you choose to receive a replacement vehicle, the manufacturer must provide you with an identical or comparable vehicle, which must have all the same options and accessories as your original car.
What will the Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® do for me?
Call Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® or submit your information to us online to see if you qualify under the Vermont Lemon Law or the Federal Lemon Law. You may be entitled to a refund, a replacement vehicle or cash compensation for your “sour lemon.” Over 97% of our cases settle without going to trial and we work extremely hard to get your claim settled as quickly as possible.
We work with Vermont attorneys associated with Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® in of-counsel relationships to handle lemon law claims for consumers in Vermont. We stay informed of the newest legal developments so you can get the best results for your lemon law claim.