If a manufacturer has established an informal dispute settlement procedure which complies in all respects with the provisions of 16 CFR, Part 703, as from time to time amended, the provisions of section 1163, subsection 2, concerning refunds or replacement shall not apply to any consumer who has not first resorted to that procedure or to state-certified arbitration. This requirement shall be satisfied 40 days after notification to the informal dispute settlement procedure of the dispute or when the procedure s duties under 16 CFR, Part 703.5(d) are completed, whichever occurs sooner.
1166 Unfair or deceptive trade practice.
A violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall be considered prima facie evidence of an unfair or deceptive trade practice under Title 5, chapter 10.
1167 Attorney s fees. In the case of a consumer s successful action to enforce any liability under this chapter, a court may award reasonable attorney s fees and costs incurred.
1168 New car leases.
For the purposes of this chapter only, the following apply to leases of new motor vehicles.
1. Warranties. If express warranties are regularly furnished to purchasers of substantially the same kind of motor vehicles:
A. Those warranties shall be deemed to apply to the leased motor vehicles; and
B. The consumer lessee shall be deemed to be the first purchaser of the motor vehicle for the purpose of any warranty provisions limiting warranty benefits to the original purchaser.
2. Lessee s rights. The lessee of a motor vehicle has the same rights under this chapter against the manufacturer and any person making express warranties that the lessee would have under this chapter if the vehicle had been purchased by the lessee. The manufacturer and any person making express warranties have the same duties and obligations under this chapter with respect to the vehicle that the manufacturer and other person would have under this chapter if the goods had been sold to the lessee.
1169 State-certified, new car arbitration.
1. Neutral new car arbitration. All manufacturers shall submit to state-certified, new car arbitration if arbitration is requested by the consumer within 2 years from the date of original delivery to the consumer of a new motor vehicle or during the first 18,000 miles of operation, whichever comes first. State-certified arbitration shall be performed by one or more neutral arbitrators selected by the Department of the Attorney General operating in accordance with the rules promulgated pursuant to this chapter. The Attorney General may contract with an independent entity to provide arbitration or the Attorney General s office may appoint neutral arbitrators. Each party to an arbitration is entitled to one rejection of a proposed arbitrator.
2. Written findings. Each arbitration shall result in a written finding of whether the motor vehicle in dispute meets the standards set forth by this chapter for vehicles that are required to be replaced or refunded. This finding shall be issued within 45 days of receipt by the Department of the Attorney General of a properly completed written request by a consumer for state-certified arbitration under this section. All findings of fact issuing from a state-certified arbitration shall be taken as admissible evidence of whether the standards set forth in this chapter for vehicles required to be refunded or replaced have been met in any subsequent action brought by either party ensuing from the matter considered in the arbitration. The finding reporting date may be extended by 5 days if the arbitrator seeks an independent evaluation of the motor vehicle.