Vermont Lemon Laws

Vermont lemon laws are dealt with in Vermont Statutes, Title Nine, Part 4, Chapter 115 (New Motor Vehicle Arbitration) Section 4171 et seq.  A motor vehicle is defective if it does not conform to applicable manufacturer’s express warranties which significantly affect the use, safety, or market value of vehicle.  The prescribed time limit for manufacturer repair is within the term of manufacturer’s express warranties.  This time limit is prescribed in Section 4172.

Certain remedies are available to a consumer if the manufacturer fails to conform the motor vehicle to any express warranty by repairing or correcting any defects, after a reasonable number of attempts.  According to Section 4172, the manufacturer should, at the option of the consumer, replace the motor vehicle with a new motor vehicle from the same manufacturer of comparable worth to the same make and model with all options and accessories with appropriate adjustments being allowed for any model year differences.  Another remedy available is where the manufacturer should accept return of the vehicle from the consumer and refund to the consumer the full purchase price or to the lessee in the case of leased vehicles.  Additionally, the manufacturer should also refund to the consumer,  all credits and allowances for any trade-in or downpayment, finance charges, credit charges, registration fees and any similar charges and incidental and consequential damages, less reasonable allowance for use.

9 V.S.A. § 4172

(a) Every new motor vehicle as defined in section 4171 of this title sold in this state must conform to all applicable warranties.

(b) It shall be the manufacturer’s obligation under this chapter to insure that all new motor vehicles sold, leased or registered in this state conform with manufacturer’s express warranties. The manufacturer may delegate responsibility to its agents or authorized dealers provided, however, in the event the manufacturer delegates its responsibility under this chapter to its agents or authorized dealers, it shall compensate the dealer for all work performed by the dealer in satisfaction of the manufacturer’s responsibility under this chapter in the manner set forth in chapter 108 of this title known as the “Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, Distributors and Dealers’ Franchising Practices Act” as that act may be from time to time amended.

(c) If a new motor vehicle does not conform to all applicable express warranties and the consumer reports the nonconformity to the manufacturer, its agent or authorized dealer during the term of the warranty, the manufacturer shall cause whatever repairs are necessary to conform the vehicle to the warranties, notwithstanding the fact that the repairs are made after the expiration of a warranty term.
(d) A manufacturer, its agent or authorized dealer shall not refuse to provide a consumer with a written repair order and shall provide to the consumer each time the consumer’s vehicle is brought in for examination or repair of a defect, a written summary of the complaint and a fully itemized statement indicating all work performed on the vehicle including, but not limited to, examination of the vehicle, parts and labor.
(e) If, after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer, its agent or authorized dealer or its delegate is unable to conform the motor vehicle to any express warranty by repairing or correcting any defect or condition covered by the warranty which substantially impairs the use, market value, or safety of the motor vehicle to the consumer, the manufacturer shall, at the option of the consumer within 30 days of the effective date of the board’s order, replace the motor vehicle with a new motor vehicle from the same manufacturer, if available, of comparable worth to the same make and model with all options and accessories with appropriate adjustments being allowed for any model year differences or shall accept return of the vehicle from the consumer and refund to the consumer the full purchase price or to the lessee in the case of leased vehicles, as provided in subsection (i) of this section. In those instances in which a refund is tendered, the manufacturer shall refund to the consumer the full purchase price as indicated in the purchase contract and all credits and allowances for any trade-in or downpayment, finance charges, credit charges, registration fees and any similar charges and incidental and consequential damages or in the case of leased vehicles, as provided in subsection (i) of this section. Refunds shall be made to the consumer and lienholder, if any, as their interests may appear or to the motor vehicle lessor and lessee as provided in subsection (i) of this section. A reasonable allowance for use shall be that amount directly attributable to use by the consumer prior to his or her first repair attempt and shall be calculated by multiplying the full purchase price of the vehicle by a fraction having as its denominator 100,000 and having as its numerator the number of miles that the vehicle traveled prior to the first attempt at repairing the vehicle. If the manufacturer refunds the purchase price or a portion of the price to the consumer, any Vermont motor vehicle purchase and use tax paid shall be refunded by the state to the consumer in the proportionate amount. To receive a refund, the consumer must file a claim with the commissioner of motor vehicles within 90 days of the effective date of the order.
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Inside Vermont Lemon Laws