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Colorado Lemon Law

1. Colorado Lemon Law
2. Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act
3. Uniform Commercial Code

Colorado Lemon Law Statutes
CO Statutes 42-10-101 - 42-10-107


42-10-101 Definitions. As used in this article, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) "Consumer" means the purchaser, other than for purposes of resale, of a motor vehicle normally used for personal, family, or household purposes, any person to whom such motor vehicle is transferred for the same purposes during the duration of a manufacturer's express warranty for such motor vehicle, and any other person entitled by the terms of such warranty to enforce the obligations of the warranty.

(2) "Motor vehicle" means a self-propelled private passenger vehicle, including pickup trucks and vans, designed primarily for travel on the public highways and used to carry not more than ten persons, which is sold to a consumer in this state; except that the term does not include motor homes as defined in section 42-1-102 (57) or vehicles designed to travel on three or fewer wheels in contact with the ground.

(3) "Warranty" means the written warranty, so labeled, of the manufacturer of a new motor vehicle, including any terms or conditions precedent to the enforcement of obligations under that warranty.

42-10-102 Repairs to conform vehicle to warranty.

If a motor vehicle does not conform to a warranty and the consumer reports the nonconformity to the manufacturer, its agent, or its authorized dealer during the term of such warranty or during a period of one year following the date of the original delivery of the motor vehicle to a consumer, whichever is the earlier date, the manufacturer, its agent, or its authorized dealer shall make such repairs as are necessary to conform the vehicle to such warranty, notwithstanding the fact that such repairs are made after the expiration of such term or such one-year period.

42-10-103 Failure to conform vehicle to warranty - replacement or return of vehicle.

(1) If the manufacturer, its agent, or its authorized dealer is unable to conform the motor vehicle to the warranty by repairing or correcting the defect or condition which substantially impairs the use and market value of such motor vehicle after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer shall, at its option, replace the motor vehicle with a comparable motor vehicle or accept return of the motor vehicle from the consumer and refund to the consumer the full purchase price, including the sales tax, license fees, and registration fees and any similar governmental charges, less a reasonable allowance for the consumer's use of the motor vehicle. Refunds shall be made to the consumer and lienholder, if any, as their interests may appear. A reasonable allowance for use shall be that amount directly attributable to use by the consumer and any previous consumer prior to the consumer's first written report of the nonconformity to the manufacturer, agent, or dealer and during any subsequent period when the vehicle is not out of service by reason of repair.

(2) (a) It shall be presumed that a reasonable number of attempts have been undertaken to conform a motor vehicle to the warranty if:

  • (I) The same nonconformity has been subject to repair four or more times by the manufacturer, its agent, or its authorized dealer within the warranty term or during a period of one year following the date of the original delivery of the motor vehicle to the consumer, whichever is the earlier date, but such nonconformity continues to exist; or
  • (II) The motor vehicle is out of service by reason of repair for a cumulative total of thirty or more business days of the repairer during the term specified in subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (a) or during the period specified in said subparagraph (I), whichever is the earlier date.

(b) For the purposes of this subsection (2), the term of a warranty, the one-year period, and the thirty-day period shall be extended by any period of time during which repair services are not available to the consumer because of war, invasion, strike, or fire, flood, or other natural disaster.

(c) In no event shall a presumption under paragraph (a) of this subsection (2) apply against a manufacturer unless the manufacturer has received prior written notification by certified mail from or on behalf of the consumer and has been provided an opportunity to cure the defect alleged. Such defect shall count as one nonconformity subject to repair under subparagraph (I) of paragraph (a) of this subsection (2).

(d) Every authorized motor vehicle dealer shall include a form, containing the manufacturer's name and business address, with each motor vehicle owner's manual on which the consumer may give written notification of any defect, as such notification is required by paragraph (c) of this subsection (2), and the form shall clearly and conspicuously disclose that written notification by certified mail of the nonconformity is required, in order for the consumer to obtain remedies under this article.

(3) The court shall award reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing side in any action brought to enforce the provisions of this article.

42-10-104 Affirmative defenses.

(1) It shall be an affirmative defense to any claim under this article that:

  • (a) An alleged nonconformity does not substantially impair the use and market value of a motor vehicle; or
  • (b) A nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modifications or alterations of the motor vehicle by a consumer.

42-10-105 Limitations on other rights and remedies. Nothing in this article shall in any way limit the rights or remedies which are otherwise available to a consumer under any other state law or any federal law. Nothing in this article shall affect the other rights and duties between the consumer and a seller, lessor, or lienholder of a motor vehicle or the rights between any of them. Nothing in this article shall be construed as imposing a liability on any authorized dealer with respect to a manufacturer or creating a cause of action by a manufacturer against its authorized dealer; except that failure by an authorized dealer to properly prepare a motor vehicle for sale, to properly install options on a motor vehicle, or to properly make repairs on a motor vehicle, when such preparation, installation, or repairs would have prevented or cured a nonconformity, shall be actionable by the manufacturer.

42-10-106 Applicability of federal procedures.

If a manufacturer has established or participates in an informal dispute settlement procedure which substantially complies with the provisions of part 703 of title 16 of the code of federal regulations, as from time to time amended, the provisions of section 42-10-103 (1) concerning refunds or replacement shall not apply to any consumer who has not first resorted to such procedure.

42-10-107 Statute of limitations.

Any action brought to enforce the provisions of this article shall be commenced within six months following the expiration date of any warranty term or within one year following the date of the original delivery of a motor vehicle to a consumer, whichever is the earlier date; except that the statute of limitations shall be tolled during the period the consumer has submitted to arbitration under section 42-10-106.

 

Magnuson-Moss Warranty-Federal Trade Commission ACT [Top]

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is a federal Law that protects the buyer of any product which costs more than $25 and comes with an express written warranty. This law applies to any product that you buy that does not perform as it should.

The Magnuson-Moss Act is a federal law giving consumers considerable rights in dealing with manufacturers and car-dealers of lemon automobiles. This law guarantees a car buyer that certain minimum requirements of warranties must be met, and provides for disclosure of warranties before purchase.

Regarding "lemon cars", this law greatly affects the rights of car buyers. For any product which has a written warranty, if any part of the product, or the product itself is considered defective, the warrantor must permit the buyer the choice of either a refund or replacement of the product.

We have argued successfully to juries that the lemon manufacturers and car-dealers should be given three (3) attempts to fix the defect. Continued attempts to repair beyond the initial three (3) should not be allowed. We call this the "three strikes and you're out" principle.

A consumer may pursue legal action in any court of general jurisdiction in the United States to enforce his rights under the Magnuson-Moss Act. Attorney's fees based on actual time spent will be covered if the consumer prevails.

Due to this particular condition, there is quite a bit of financial pressure on the manufacturer to settle consumer disputes before going to court, as this would keep their expenses down.

UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODE [Top]

TARR BABY-The Uniform Commercial Code or UCC has been enacted in all 50 states and some of the territories of the United States. It is the primary source of law in all contracts dealing with the sale of products. The “TARR” refers to Tender, Acceptance, Rejection, Revocation and applies to different aspects of the consumer's "relationship" with the purchased goods.

TENDER-The tender provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code contained in Section 2-601 provide that the buyer is entitled to reject any goods that fail in any respect to conform to the contract. Unfortunately, new cars are often technically complex and their innermost workings are beyond the understanding of the average new car buyer. The buyer, therefore, does not know whether the goods are non-conforming.

ACCEPTANCE-The new car buyer accepts the goods believing and expecting that the manufacturer will repair any problem he has with the goods under the warranty.

REJECTION-The new car buyer may discover a problem with the vehicle within the first few miles of his purchase. This would allow the new car buyer to reject the goods. If the new car buyer discovers a defect in the car within a reasonable time of inspecting the vehicle, he may reject the vehicle. This period is not defined. On the one hand, the buyer must be given a reasonable time to inspect and that reasonable time to inspect will be held as an acceptance of the vehicle. The courts will decide this reasonable time to inspect based on the knowledge and experience of the buyer, the difficulty in discovering the defect, and the opportunity to discover the defect.

REVOCATION- What happens when the consumer has used the new car for a lengthy period of time? This is the typical lemon car case. The UCC provides that a buyer may revoke his acceptance of goods whose non-conformity substantially impairs the value of the goods to him when he has accepted the goods without discovery of a non-conformity because it was difficult to discover or if he was assured that non-conformities would be repaired. Of course, the average new car buyer does not learn of the non-conformity until hundreds of thousands of miles later. And because quality is job one, and manufacturers are competing on the basis of their warranties, the consumer is always assured that any non-conformities he does discover will be remedied.


Note: The author of the sections on the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and the Uniform Commercial Code is T. Michael Flynn of www.defect.com