Understanding Kansas Lemon Law
Kansas’ lemon law covers vehicle “nonconformities.” The lemon law defines a nonconformity as any problem causing the vehicle to not conform to all applicable warranties.
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The lemon law does not cover any problem that does not substantially impair the use and value of the vehicle. It further does not cover any nonconformity caused by neglect, abuse, or unauthorized modification by the consumer.
The Kansas lemon law compels manufacturers to repair all nonconformities reported to them within the warranty period or within one year following the vehicle’s delivery, whichever comes first. The repairs must be made even after the warranty term expires.
The lemon law requires manufacturers to repurchase or replace a nonconforming vehicle if they are unable to conform the vehicle to its warranty. However, the consumer must allow the manufacturer a “reasonable number of attempts” to repair the vehicle.
The Kansas lemon law establishes the presumption of a reasonable number of repair attempts if the manufacturer has attempted to fix the problem four or more times with no success. The law further establishes the presumption if the vehicle is out of service for a cumulative total of 30 or more calendar days. The presumption is met if the vehicle has required 10 or more repair attempts for any nonconformities as well.
Kansas’ lemon law requires manufacturers to repay the full purchase or lease price when repurchasing a vehicle. They must also repay all collateral charges. They are allowed by the lemon law to withhold a reasonable allowance for use, calculated using the miles driven by the vehicle before the first report of nonconformity.
The lemon law requires manufacturers replacing a vehicle to provide a comparable vehicle under warranty. The reasonable allowance for use clause does not apply to replacements.
The Kansas lemon law’s provisions for repurchase or replacement won’t apply unless the consumer first resorts to the manufacturer’s informal dispute settlement procedure, i.e. arbitration.
For more information on arbitration and other frequently asked lemon law questions, click here.
Kansas consumers with warrantied vehicle problems would be well served to contact a law firm for a consultation on what their next step should be, whether it be going through with arbitration or proceeding to trial. In court, consumers are guaranteed the ability to gather evidence under the state’s civil discovery rules, and to be represented by a qualified lawyer who can guide them through the often complex legal process.
By pursuing a claim under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, Kansas 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.
Ross said those who prevail in court against their vehicle’s manufacturer or settle with them out of court can use the money they earn however they want.
Clients who bought their vehicles via financing must continue making regular payments on their auto loan even during their lemon law claim. Falling behind on these payments could imperil their lemon law claim. Luckily, clients whose lemon law claims are successful can use awarded funds to pay off what remains of their loan and get out from under that debt. Freed from their old loan clients can seek out a new vehicle.
Clients who’ve paid their vehicle off or bought it outright by the time their lemon law claim resolves can use funds from a successful claim as a down payment on a new, functioning vehicle – without the repeated unfixable problems of their previous one. Alternatively, they could use their funds to purchase a less expensive vehicle outright.
The Kansas Attorney General’s Office stated the state’s lemon law specifically does not cover used vehicles. The lemon laws in most states usually apply only to new vehicles as those vehicles are still covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. Most used vehicles are usually resold after these protections expire, putting them outside lemon law coverage.
Whether you prevail in court against your vehicle’s manufacturer or settle with them outside of court, money awarded is yours to use however you choose. However, statutes of limitation can prevent you from getting the compensation you rightly deserve. Don’t wait; contact the offices of Allen Stewart P.C. today. Their qualified lemon law lawyers have combined decades of experience helping clients just like you get justice and get back on the road.
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