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Understanding New Mexico Lemon Law
New Mexico’s lemon law covers passenger vehicles including cars, pickup trucks, motorcycles and vans.
The vehicles must be sold and registered in the state and normally used for personal, family or household purposes. The vehicles must also have a gross vehicle weight of less than 10,000 pounds.
The lemon law prohibits used vehicle dealers in New Mexico from excluding, modifying, or disclaiming the implied warranty of merchantability before the earlier of 15 days or 500 miles after the vehicle’s delivery. A dealer who does so renders the purchase agreement voidable. The maximum liability of a seller is limited to the purchase price paid for the vehicle, to be refunded to the consumer in exchange for that vehicle’s return. That liability limit is removed if the seller knew about the defect prior to sale and did not disclose that to the consumer.
The New Mexico lemon law covers consumers who purchase new or used vehicles used for personal, family or household purposes. The lemon law further covers anyone to whom the vehicle is transferred during the express warranty period, along with anyone else entitled to enforce the warranty’s terms. The lemon law does not cover consumers who lease vehicles.
New Mexico’s lemon law covers defects and conditions that substantially impairs the use and market value of the vehicle to the consumer. The law refers to such issues as “nonconformities.” The law does not cover any nonconformity caused by abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modifications of the vehicle by the consumer.
The New Mexico lemon law compels manufacturers to repair any and all nonconformities reported to the manufacturer within the warranty term or one year following the vehicle’s delivery, whichever comes first. If the manufacturer cannot bring the vehicle into conformity after a reasonable number of attempts,” they must repurchase or replace the vehicle.
The lemon law defines a reasonable number of attempts as four or more times for the same problem without success, or if the vehicle is in the shop for 30 business days or more without successfully repairing the problem. If the manufacturer is unable to successfully repair the vehicle, they must either repurchase or replace it.
The New Mexico lemon law requires manufacturers repurchasing the vehicle to repay the full purchase price of the vehicle. The manufacturer must also pay all collateral charges, including all taxes, license, titles and registration fees. The manufacturer may withhold a reasonable allowance for the consumer’s use of the vehicle, calculated from the consumer’s use of the vehicle prior to the first report of nonconformity.
A manufacturer replacing a nonconforming vehicle must provide an identical or reasonably equivalent vehicle. The consumer is responsible for paying a reasonable allowance for use.
New Mexico’s lemon law requires consumers to go through a manufacturer’s “informal dispute settlement procedure,” i.e. arbitration, if the manufacturer has established such a procedure. The lemon law’s provisions concerning repurchase or replacement don’t apply until the consumer has first resorted to arbitration.
For more information on arbitration and other frequently asked lemon law questions, click here
By pursuing a claim under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, New Mexico 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.
Allen Stewart P.C 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.
Clients can use funds earned through settlement or judgement for anything they like, Ross said.
Clients who financed their vehicle must continue making their monthly payments as long as they own the vehicle throughout the lemon law claim process, regardless of whether you can still drive the vehicle. Clients can harm their claim by falling behind on payments. Clients who prevail against their vehicle’s manufacturer in court can use those awarded funds to pay their vehicle off, getting them out from under a burdensome loan and freeing them to seek a new vehicle.
Clients who buy their vehicle outright or have already paid their vehicle off can use those funds as a down payment on a completely new vehicle – hopefully one without recurring, unrepairable problems that made their last vehicle a lemon.
Unlike many states, New Mexico’s lemon law protects consumers who purchase used vehicles as well as new ones. The law requires every used car dealer in the state make minimum quality guarantees for the vehicle at the time of sale. The law limits the seller’s maximum liability to the purchase price paid for the vehicle.
Clients who win against their vehicle’s manufacturer, either though settlement or in court, can use their funds for anything they like. However, they must act quickly. Statutes of limitation can limit your options if you wait too long. Contact Allen Stewart P.C. today and speak with a qualified, experienced lemon law attorney. Federal laws ensure you never pay a dime out of pocket for lemon law legal services. Don’t waste any more time and reach out now.
This information brought to you by Allen Stewart P.C.