Alabama Lemon Laws

Alabama lemon laws are dealt with in Code of Alabama Title 8, Chapter 20A, (Motor Vehicle Lemon Law Rights) Section 8-20A-1 et seq.  The law is known as ‘Motor Vehicle Lemon Law Rights.’

Nonconformity to the terms of any express warranty issued by the manufacturer to a consumer is deemed to be a defect of the vehicle under Section 8-20A-1.  The prescribed time limit for notifying such nonconformity is within the period of 24 months following delivery of the vehicle or 24,000 miles, whichever occurs first.  The time limit is prescribed in Section 8-20A-2.  This Section also prescribes the remedy that a consumer or the owner of the motor vehicle can claim if the manufacturer, its agent, or its authorized dealer is unable to conform the motor vehicle to any express warranty by repairing or correcting a nonconforming condition after reasonable attempts.

The manufacturer should either replace the motor vehicle with a comparable new motor vehicle or should accept return of the vehicle from the consumer and refund the consumer.  The remedy of refund includes the following:

  1. full contract price plus the nonrefundable portions of extended warranties and service contracts;
  2. all collateral charges;
  3. all finance charges incurred by the consumer after the first reported nonconformity; and
  4. incidental damages, if any.

The consumer has the liberty to decide whether he wants a remedy of replacement or refund.

Code of Ala. § 8-20A-1

Definitions

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(6) Nonconforming condition. Any condition of a motor vehicle which shall not be in conformity with the terms of any express warranty issued by the manufacturer to a consumer and which: (i) significantly impairs the use, value or safety of the motor vehicle and (ii) occurs or arises solely in the course of the ordinary use of the motor vehicle, and which does not arise or occur as a result of abuse, neglect, modification, or alteration of the motor vehicle not authorized by the manufacturer, nor from any accident or other damage to the motor vehicle which occurs or arises after such motor vehicle was delivered by an authorized dealer to the consumer.

Code of Ala. § 8-20A-2

Lemon law rights period; nonconforming condition; repair.
(a) If a new motor vehicle does not conform to any applicable express warranty, and the consumer delivers the motor vehicle to the manufacturer, its agent, or its authorized dealer, and gives notice of the nonconforming condition during the lemon law rights period, the manufacturer of the motor vehicle shall be obligated to make such repairs to the motor vehicle as shall be necessary to remedy any nonconforming condition thereof. Such repairs shall be required even after the expiration of the lemon law rights period provided that notice of the nonconforming condition was first given during the lemon law rights period and provided further that the manufacturer’s obligation to repair the nonconforming condition shall not extend beyond the period of 24 months following delivery of the vehicle or 24,000 miles, whichever occurs first.
(b) If, after reasonable attempts, the manufacturer, its agent, or its authorized dealer is unable to conform the motor vehicle to any express warranty by repairing or correcting a nonconforming condition of the motor vehicle which first occurred during the lemon law rights period, the manufacturer shall, at the option of the consumer, replace the motor vehicle with a comparable new motor vehicle or shall accept return of the vehicle from the consumer and refund to the consumer the following:
(1) The full contract price including, but not limited to, charges for undercoating, dealer preparation and transportation charges, and installed options, plus the nonrefundable portions of extended warranties and service contracts;
(2) All collateral charges, including but not limited to, sales tax, license and registration fees, and similar government charges;
(3) All finance charges incurred by the consumer after he first reported the nonconformity to the manufacturer, its agent, or its authorized dealer; and
(4) Any incidental damages which shall include the reasonable cost of alternative transportation during the period that the consumer is without the use of the motor vehicle because of the nonconforming condition. There shall be offset against any monetary recovery of the consumer a reasonable allowance for the consumer’s use of the vehicle. Refunds shall be made to the consumer, and any lien holders, as their interests may appear. A reasonable allowance for use is that amount directly attributable to use by the consumer before his first report of the nonconformity to the manufacturer, agent, or authorized dealer, and must be calculated by multiplying the full purchase price of the motor vehicle by a fraction having as its denominator 100,000 and having as its numerator the number of miles that the vehicle travelled before the first report of nonconformity.
(c) It shall be presumed that reasonable attempts to correct a nonconforming condition have been allowed by the consumer if, during the period of 24 months following delivery of the vehicle or 24,000 miles, whichever first occurs, either of the following events shall have occurred:
(1) The same nonconforming condition has been subject to repair attempts three or more times by the manufacturer, its agents or its authorized dealers, at least one of which occurred during the lemon law rights period, plus a final attempt by the manufacturer, and the same nonconforming condition continues to exist; or
(2) The motor vehicle is out of service and in the custody of the manufacturer, its agent, or an authorized dealer due to repair attempts (including the final repair attempt), one of which occurred during the lemon law rights period, for a cumulative total of 30 calendar days, unless such repair could not be performed because of conditions beyond the control of the manufacturer, its agents or authorized dealers, such as war, invasion, strike, fire, flood, or other natural disaster.


Inside Alabama Lemon Laws