Colorado Lemon law statutes are state-enacted legislation that safeguards consumers who acquire a damaged automobile. A lemon is described as a car that is defective and has material faults. Additionally, there is a legal remedy available under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, federal legislation that protects purchasers of products that cost more than $25 and includes an express written warranty. This law applies to any product you purchase that does not function properly.
What exactly is the lemon law?
Colorado Lemon Law on the other hand applies solely to newly manufactured self-propelled vehicles, such as pickup trucks and vans. The Lemon Law does not apply to motor homes or motorbikes.
When a buyer acquires a new automobile, the vehicle is typically accompanied by a warranty. The majority of these guarantees say that the manufacturer will repair or replace damaged parts within the warranty’s terms. This does not inevitably imply that the manufacturer will replace the car or issue a refund. The warranty is nothing more than a commitment to do specific tasks.
When a consumer purchases a new vehicle with a manufacturer’s warranty and the vehicle develops a defect that significantly impairs its use and market value within one year of purchase and the defect is not repaired after a “reasonable number of attempts,” the consumer may be entitled to relief under Colorado Lemon Law. A court may require the manufacturer to replace the car or refund the purchase price less an allowance for fair usage of the vehicle.
A “reasonable number of tries” to remedy a fault is defined by the law as to when the same defect persists after being repaired four (4) or more times within the first year following the date of initial delivery. Additionally, it applies if the vehicle is out of service for a cumulative total of thirty (30) or more business days for repairs within the warranty period or one year after original delivery.
Defects like rattles or squeaks that do not materially affect the vehicle’s usability or market value are not covered. Neither are faults caused by abuse, neglect, or illegal modifications or alterations to the vehicle by a consumer covered under this warranty.
Is the Colorado Lemon Law Applicable to All Types of Motor Vehicles?
No, Colorado lemon law applies exclusively to NEW private passenger automobiles, pickup trucks, and vans with a maximum seating capacity of ten. These cars must be intended for highway use and be no more than a year old. No coverage is provided for motorhomes, motorcycles, or any vehicle with three or fewer wheels.
Which Consumers Are Protected by Colorado Lemon Law?
Lemon legislation applies to the customer, who must be purchasing the car for personal, family, or home use. The lemon legislation does not apply if the purchaser wants to resell the vehicle.
Colorado lemon law also applies to any consumer who acquires a motor vehicle for personal use during the duration of the manufacturer’s explicit warranty.
What Types of Issues are Colorado Lemon Law Covered By?
Any problem that impairs the consumer’s ability to use the car or detracts from the vehicle’s market worth is covered by the lemon law. In the perspective of the law, such faults or abnormal circumstances are referred to as nonconformities. Colorado lemon law mandates the maker of a car to correct any faults that prevent the vehicle from complying with its original warranty.
How Many Chances Must I Give the Dealership to Correct the Same Issue?
According to Colorado lemon law, a vehicle is considered a lemon if it is not repaired after a “reasonable number of tries” to resolve the issue. Typically, this indicates that a repair effort has been made at least four times without success.
The vehicle has been in the shop for a total of 30 days (not necessarily consecutive days), yet the problem persists.
What Do I Need to Do as a Colorado Resident with a Possibility of a Lemon?
Maintain accurate records of when you bring your car in for routine maintenance and specialty repairs. Keep any email or text message correspondence, receipts, and work orders for work performed on the car.
When you purchase a new vehicle, it’s a good idea to keep a sort of diary, documenting each time you return the vehicle to the dealership. Make a note of any issues you detect and the date you first became aware of them. Additionally, keep track of the length of time the dealership has your vehicle for each repair and elicit as much detail as possible regarding their attempt to resolve the issue.
When you take your vehicle to the dealership for the first time due to an unforeseen issue, you have no way of knowing if this will be the only time the issue requires attention or if it will recur and fall under lemon law standards. By maintaining correct records from the start, you are preserving your investment to the fullest extent possible. Additionally, you’ll want to know if a particular component creating an issue with your car becomes the subject of a recall. To initiate the lemon law process in Colorado, you must notify the maker of the concern via certified letter.
If the manufacturer of your car has an informal dispute resolution method in place, you are required to use that route prior to initiating a lawsuit.
If you are unable to resolve your dispute through these channels, you may bring a lemon law case within six months after the warranty’s expiration date or one year of the date you received the vehicle. The earliest of those two dates will take precedence.
How Does Colorado Lemon Law Compare to the Laws of Other States?
The majority of states have lemon laws or something similar to Colorado Lemon Law in place to safeguard motorists from unanticipated flaws that could result in physical or financial injury. However, not all of these state statutes operate identically.
To assist in assessing these regulations, the Center for Auto Safety developed a comprehensive score based on ten parameters, including the number of repair efforts required, manufacturer fines, and whether an arbitration procedure is state-run.
“In an era when the average cost of a new vehicle exceeds $36,000, the ability to return a lemon is more critical than ever for customers who find themselves in a stressful situation through no fault of their own,” said Jason Levine, Executive Director of the Center for Auto Safety.
New Jersey is at the top of the list, in part because the state’s lemon legislation only allows manufacturers one chance to correct a critical safety fault and three chances to fix less serious defects. Similarly, vehicles may be out of service for no more than 20 days. Due to these constraints and the fact that the arbitration is administered by the state, New Jersey was able to claim the top rank.
The state of Colorado’s lemon legislation came in second-to-last place on the list. The program earned points for completing the required number of lemon-status efforts; it lost points for attorney’s fees and deductions.
Under Colorado Lemon Law, the losing party in lemon law litigation is obligated to pay the opposing party’s attorneys’ costs. While this assures that a claimant’s fees are reimbursed if they prevail, they are equally obligated to pay attorneys’ fees if they lose. A loss and associated attorney fees can be prevented by retaining the services of an experienced lemon law attorney familiar with the law’s requirements.