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Understanding Idaho Lemon Law
The lemon law also covers anyone to whom the vehicle is transferred during the terms of the vehicle’s express warranty, and anyone else entitled by the warranty to enforce its obligations. Arizona’s lemon law does not cover leased vehicles.
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Idaho’s lemon law offers protection to consumers who purchase or lease new vehicles for personal business use or personal, family or household use. The lemon law further covers those to whom the vehicle is transferred for the same purposes during the duration of the vehicle’s warranty term.
The lemon law covers vehicle “nonconformities.” Idaho’s lemon law defines a nonconformity as “any defect or condition that substantially impairs the use or market value of a vehicle.” The law does not cover nonconformities caused by abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modifications by the consumer.
Idaho’s lemon law requires manufacturers to repair nonconformities reported by consumers within the warranty period, two years following the vehicle’s delivery, or within the vehicle’s first 24,000 miles of operation. The manufacturer must make the repairs even after the expiration of these periods.
The manufacturer must replace or repurchase the nonconforming vehicle if they are unable fix the problem after a reasonable number of attempts. The Idaho lemon law defines “reasonable number of attempts” as four or more attempts for the same nonconformity, without success. After that, or if the vehicle is out of service for a cumulative total of 30 business days, the manufacturer must repurchase or replace the vehicle.
If the nonconformity in question results in a condition likely to cause death or serious bodily injury if the vehicle is driven, the manufacturer has one attempt to repair it before they must buy it back or replace it.
The Idaho lemon law compels manufacturers to repay the full contract price of the vehicle when repurchasing. They must also pay all collateral charges, including sales taxes, license and registration fees, and other governmental charges. The manufacturer must also reimburse the consumer for towing and rental vehicle expenses incurred as a result of the nonconforming vehicle. Idaho’s lemon law allows manufacturers to withhold a reasonable allowance for use. That allowance is calculated using the number of miles driven on the vehicle up until the date of the arbitration hearing.
When replacing a vehicle under the Idaho lemon law, the manufacturer must provide a new vehicle acceptable to the consumer. The reasonable allowance for use does not apply to a replacement.
The Idaho lemon law requires manufacturers doing business in the state to operate or participate in an informal dispute settlement mechanism, i.e. arbitration. The lemon law’s provisions requiring repurchase or replacement do not apply to consumers who do not first resort to arbitration.
For more information on arbitration and other frequently asked lemon law questions, click here
The manufacturer must abide by the decision of the arbitrator, while the consumer does not. If dissatisfied with the outcome, a consumer can bring civil action in court. By filing a claim under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, Idaho consumers can hire lawyers who will represent them without the vehicle owner having to pay any attorneys’ fees directly out of their pocket. This is because the federal Act provides that the vehicle manufacturer shall pay the claimants’ reasonable attorneys’ fees if the claimant prevails against the manufacturer. Lemonlawusa.org encourages vehicle owners with a lemon to hire a lemon law attorney. You can bet the car manufacturers have legal counsel at the ready to help defend against lemon law claims both in arbitration and in court.
Ross said those clients who successfully pursue their lemon law claim to a positive resolution can use their awarded money for any purpose they choose. That can include paying off their last vehicle, buying a new vehicle, or anything else they want.
If the client financed their vehicle they must continue making their monthly payments even as their lemon law claim works its way through the courts. They must continue making payments regardless of whether the vehicle is in their possession or if it is even drivable. Falling behind on their loan payments could imperil their lemon law claim.
Clients who purchased their vehicle outright or who have already paid their loan off by the time their lemon law claim resolves can use their awarded funds as a down payment on a new vehicle. They could also choose to purchase a less expensive vehicle outright. It’s the client’s money and they can spend it however they like.
The Idaho lemon law covers used vehicles if the problem occurs while the vehicle is still under the manufacturer’s warranty, within two years following the date of the motor vehicle’s original delivery or before the vehicle’s mileage reaches 24,000 miles. Many used vehicles are resold long after these periods end, so check with a qualified lemon law attorney to make sure your case falls within these limits.
The longer a client waits to pursue their potential lemon law claim, the more likely it will be that statutes of limitation will keep them from getting compensation. Don’t wait; contact the offices of Allen Stewart P.C. today and speak with a qualified lemon law attorney.
This information brought to you by Allen Stewart P.C.