Hawaii Lemon Laws

Lemon laws in the state of Hawaii are dealt with in Hawaii Revised Statutes, Division Two, Title 26, Chapter 481I, Section 481I-1 et seq.  This Chapter is known as Motor Vehicle Express Warranty Enforcement (Lemon Law).  Section 481I-2 defines nonconformity as a defect, malfunction, or condition that fails to conform to a motor vehicle’s applicable express warranty and that substantially impairs the use, market value, or safety of a motor vehicle.

Any nonconformity brought to the notification of the manufacturer by the consumer during the lemon law rights period should be repaired or corrected to conform the vehicle to any express warranties.  The lemon law rights period ends two years after the date of the original delivery of a motor vehicle to a consumer, or after the first 24,000 miles of operation, whichever occurs first.  This time period is prescribed in Section 481I-2.

Consumer has a remedy available under Section 481I-3, if the manufacturer, its agents, distributors, or authorized dealers are unable to conform the motor vehicle to any applicable express warranty by repairing or correcting any defect or condition after a reasonable number of documented attempts.  The manufacturer should provide the consumer with a replacement motor vehicle or accept return of the vehicle from the consumer and refund to the consumer the full purchase price.  Additionally, the refund will also include, but not limited to, charges for undercoating, dealer preparation, transportation, installed options, and all collateral and incidental charges.  The manufacturer can deduct from the refund a reasonable offset for the consumer’s use of the motor vehicle.

HRS § 481I-2

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“Lemon law rights period” means the term of the manufacturer’s express warranty, the period ending two years after the date of the original delivery of a motor vehicle to a consumer, or the first 24,000 miles of operation, whichever occurs first.
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“Nonconformity” means a defect, malfunction, or condition that fails to conform to the motor vehicle’s applicable express warranty and that substantially impairs the use, market value, or safety of a motor vehicle, but does not include a defect, malfunction, or condition that results from an accident, abuse, neglect, modification, or alteration of the motor vehicle by persons other than the manufacturer, its agent, distributor, or authorized dealer.

HRS § 481I-3

Motor vehicle: express warranties, return.
(a) If a motor vehicle does not conform to all applicable express warranties, and the consumer reports the nonconformity in writing to the manufacturer, its agent, distributor, or its authorized dealer during the term of the lemon law rights period, then the manufacturer, or, at its option, its agent, distributor, or its authorized dealer, shall make such repairs as are necessary to conform the vehicle to such express warranties, notwithstanding the fact that such repairs are made after the expiration of such term.
(b) If the manufacturer, its agents, distributors, or authorized dealers are unable to conform the motor vehicle to any applicable express warranty by repairing or correcting any defect or condition which substantially impairs the use, market value, or safety of the motor vehicle after a reasonable number of documented attempts, then the manufacturer shall provide the consumer with a replacement motor vehicle or accept return of the vehicle from the consumer and refund to the consumer the following: the full purchase price including but not limited to charges for undercoating, dealer preparation, transportation, installed options, and all collateral and incidental charges, and less a reasonable offset for the consumer’s use of the motor vehicle.
If either a replacement motor vehicle or a refund is awarded, an “offset” may be made for damage to the vehicle not attributable to normal wear and tear, if unrelated to the nonconformity. If a replacement motor vehicle is awarded, a reasonable offset shall be made for the use of the motor vehicle and an additional offset may be made for loss to the fair market value of the vehicle resulting from damage beyond normal wear and tear, unless the damage resulted from the nonconformity. When the manufacturer supplies a replacement motor vehicle, the manufacturer shall be responsible for the general excise tax, and license and registration fees. Refunds made pursuant to this subsection shall be deemed to be refunds of the sales price and treated as such for purposes of section 237-3. Refunds shall be made to the consumer and lienholder, if any, as their interests may appear on the records of ownership. If applicable, refunds shall be made to the lessor and lessee pursuant to rules adopted by the department of commerce and consumer affairs.


Inside Hawaii Lemon Laws