Washington Lemon Laws

Washington lemon laws are dealt with in Revised Code of Washington, Title 19, Chapter 19.118 (Motor Vehicle Warranties), Section 19.118.005 et seq.  Nonconformity is a defect, serious safety defect, or condition that substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of a new motor vehicle.  A motor vehicle is defective if it does not conform to all applicable express warranties.

The prescribed time limit for manufacturer repair or the term of protection is two years after the date of the original delivery to the consumer of a new motor vehicle, or the first twenty-four thousand miles of operation, whichever occurs first.  This time limit is prescribed in Section 19.118.021.  During this time limit the consumer should report any nonconformity, defect, or condition to the manufacturer, its agent, or its authorized dealer.  The manufacturer, its agent, or its authorized dealer should repair or correct the nonconformity, defect, or condition at no charge to the consumer, within this time period.  The manufacturer’s obligation to fulfill warranties is provided in Section 19.118.031.

Certain remedies are available to the consumer if the manufacturer is unable to repair or correct any nonconformity, defect, or condition which results in significant impairment of the motor vehicle, after a reasonable number of attempts.  The manufacturer should either replace the motor vehicle or accept return of the motor vehicle from the consumer and refund to the consumer.

The replacement motor vehicle should be identical or reasonably equivalent to the motor vehicle to be replaced as the motor vehicle to be replaced existed at the time of original purchase or lease, including any service contract, undercoating, rust proofing, and factory or dealer installed options. The refund includes the full purchase price including all collateral charges, and incidental costs.  The consumer has the option to choose from either of the two remedies.  From the full purchase price, the manufacturer can deduct a reasonable offset for the consumer’s use of the motor vehicle.  The remedies are enumerated under Section 19.118.041.

Rev. Code Wash. (ARCW) § 19.118.021

Definitions
Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.
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(6) “Eligibility period” means the period ending two years after the date of the original delivery to the consumer of a new motor vehicle, or the first twenty-four thousand miles of operation, whichever occurs first.

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(14) “Nonconformity” means a defect, serious safety defect, or condition that substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of a new motor vehicle, but does not include a defect or condition that is the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modification or alteration of the new motor vehicle.

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Rev. Code Wash. (ARCW) § 19.118.031

Manufacturers and new motor vehicle dealers — Responsibilities to consumers — Extension of warranty period

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(3) For the purposes of this chapter, if a new motor vehicle does not conform to the warranty and the consumer reports the nonconformity during the term of the eligibility period or the period of coverage of the applicable manufacturer’s written warranty, whichever is less, to the manufacturer, its agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer who sold the new motor vehicle, the manufacturer, its agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer shall make repairs as are necessary to conform the vehicle to the warranty, regardless of whether such repairs are made after the expiration of the eligibility period. Any corrections or attempted repairs undertaken by a new motor vehicle dealer under this chapter shall be treated as warranty work and billed by the dealer to the manufacturer in the same manner as other work under the manufacturer’s written warranty is billed. For purposes of this subsection, the manufacturer’s written warranty shall be at least one year after the date of the original delivery to the consumer of the vehicle or the first twelve thousand miles of operation, whichever occurs first.

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Rev. Code Wash. (ARCW) § 19.118.041

Replacement or repurchase of nonconforming new motor vehicle — Reasonable number of attempts — Notice by consumer regarding motor home nonconformity — Liabilities and rights of parties — Application of consumer protection act
(1) If the manufacturer, its agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer is unable to conform the new motor vehicle to the warranty by repairing or correcting any nonconformity after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer, within forty calendar days of a consumer’s written request to the manufacturer’s corporate, dispute resolution, zone, or regional office address shall, at the option of the consumer, replace or repurchase the new motor vehicle.
(a) The replacement motor vehicle shall be identical or reasonably equivalent to the motor vehicle to be replaced as the motor vehicle to be replaced existed at the time of original purchase or lease, including any service contract, undercoating, rustproofing, and factory or dealer installed options. Where the manufacturer supplies a replacement motor vehicle, the manufacturer shall be responsible for sales tax, license, registration fees, and refund of any incidental costs. Compensation for a reasonable offset for use shall be paid by the consumer to the manufacturer in the event that the consumer accepts a replacement motor vehicle.
(b) When repurchasing the new motor vehicle, the manufacturer shall refund to the consumer the purchase price, all collateral charges, and incidental costs, less a reasonable offset for use. When repurchasing the new motor vehicle, in the instance of a lease, the manufacturer shall refund to the consumer all payments made by the consumer under the lease including but not limited to all lease payments, trade-in value or inception payment, security deposit, all collateral charges and incidental costs less a reasonable offset for use. The manufacturer shall make such payment to the lessor and/or lienholder of record as necessary to obtain clear title to the motor vehicle and upon the lessor’s and/or lienholder’s receipt of that payment and payment by the consumer of any late payment charges, the consumer shall be relieved of any future obligation to the lessor and/or lienholder.


Inside Washington Lemon Laws