The New Lemon Law Code 3

As used in this chapter, unless the context indicates otherwise, the following terms have the following meanings.

1. Consumer. “Consumer” means the purchaser, other than for purposes of resale, or the lessee, of a motor vehicle, any person to whom the motor vehicle is transferred during the duration of an express warranty applicable to the motor vehicle and any other person entitled by the terms of the warranty to enforce the obligations of the warranty, except that the term “consumer” shall not include any governmental entity, or any business or commercial enterprise which registers three or more motor vehicles.

2. Manufacturer. “Manufacturer” means manufacturer, importer, distributor or anyone who is named as the warrantor on an express written warranty on a motor vehicle.

3. Motor Vehicle. “Motor vehicle” means any motor driven vehicle, designed for the conveyance of passengers or property on the public highways, which is sold or leased in this State, except that the term  motor vehicle does not include any commercial vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of 8,500 pounds or more.

4. Reasonable allowance for use. “Reasonable allowance for use” means that amount obtained by multiplying the total purchase price of the vehicle by a fraction having as its denominator 100,000 and having as it numerator the number of miles that the vehicle traveled prior to the manufacturer s acceptance of its return.

5. State-certified arbitration. “State-certified arbitration” means the informal dispute settlement procedure administered by the Department of the Attorney General which arbitrates consumer complaints dealing with new motor vehicles that may be so defective as to qualify for equitable relief under the Maine lemon laws.

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Lemon Laws and You 2

1. Repair of nonconformities. If a new motor vehicle does not conform to all express warranties, the manufacturer, its agent or authorized dealer shall make those repairs necessary to conform the vehicle to the express warranties if the consumer reports the nonconformity to the manufacturer, its agent or authorized dealer during the term of the express warranties, within a period of 2 years following the date of original delivery of the motor vehicle to a consumer, or during the first 18,000 miles of operation, whichever is the earlier date. This obligation exists notwithstanding the fact that the repairs are made after the expiration of the appropriate time period.

2. Failure to make effective repair. If the manufacturer or its agents or authorized dealers are unable to conform the motor vehicle to any applicable express warranty by repairing or correcting any defect or condition, or combination of defects or conditions, which substantially impairs the use, safety or value of the motor vehicle after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer shall either replace the motor vehicle with a comparable new motor vehicle or accept return of the vehicle from the consumer and make a refund to the consumer and lien holder, if any, as their interests may appear. The consumer may reject any offered replacement and receive instead a refund. The refund shall consist of the following items, less a reasonable allowance for use of the vehicle:

A. The full purchase price or, if a leased vehicle, the lease payments made to date, including any paid finance charges on the purchased or leased vehicle;

B. All collateral charges, including, but not limited to, sales tax, license and registration fees and similar government charges; and

C. Costs incurred by the consumer for towing and storage of the vehicle and for procuring alternative transportation while the vehicle was out of service by reason of repair.

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Lemon Lawyers achieve results 1

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.

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