Lemon Laws in Utah
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Utah’s Lemon Laws extend to new cars registered or purchased in Utah. This includes leased vehicles as well as cars and trucks that weigh less than 12,000 pounds. Utah’s law does not include motorcycles, golf carts, or trucks that weigh more than 12,000 pounds.
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Continue reading on to learn more about lemon laws in Utah.
What is a lemon law?
Lemon laws are laws designed to protect consumers from products that are defective. While the term "lemon" can refer to any product, it colloquially refers to automobiles, including cars, trucks, and motorcycles.
All fifty states and Washington D.C. have their own variation of lemon laws, including their own limitations and coverages.
A vehicle is considered a lemon if it has a manufacturer’s defect that can’t be repaired satisfactorily in a reasonable period of time. This reasonable time frame depends on the state.
If the vehicle can’t be fixed, the manufacturer, not the dealership, is required to buy the car back or provide a new vehicle so that the consumer isn’t stuck footing the bill for a vehicle they can’t use.
Is there a lemon law in Utah?
Yes, Utah’s lemon law extends to new cars purchased in Utah.
Is my defect covered under the lemon law?
Utah’s lemon laws cover defects found in motor vehicles leased or purchased in the state, or registered in the state by the purchaser.
This includes cars, trucks weighing less than 12,000 pounds gross vehicle weight, and motorhomes. It does not include motorcycles, golf carts, or trucks weighing more than 12,000 pounds.
Your vehicle could be considered a lemon if it fits the following criteria within two years or 24,000 miles of purchasing it(whichever comes first):
- You’ve had to bring it in for repairs three or more times, or the defect could cause injury or death, in which case the manufacturer only has one repair attempt
- The defect cannot be repaired in less than thirty days
- Your vehicle’s problems are all caused by the same defect
- The defect was not caused by any neglect, abuse, or alterations on your part
- The defect is something that is covered under your vehicle’s express warranty
Key Takeaway Utah’s lemon laws only apply to brand new cars purchased in Utah.
Are used cars covered under the lemon law?
No, Utah’s lemon laws do not extend to used cars.
For this reason, use your due diligence when it comes to used car shopping. Test drive the car before you buy it.
Purchase a CARFAX report or look into the vehicle’s history, including any recalls for the make, model, and year. Have a mechanic evaluate it, if you can.
What about new cars?
Yes, new cars are covered under Utah’s lemon laws up to two years after delivery or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first.
If your new car requires the same repair more than three times in that time frame, or if it spends more than 30 days in the shop as a result of the same defect, then your car is considered a lemon.
If you have altered your vehicle in any way since you purchased it, it may no longer qualify for protection under lemon laws.
How to pursue your lemon law rights in Utah
If you are looking to pursue your lemon law rights in Utah, you should contact the manufacturer, carefully document any repairs, and pursue arbitration or legal action if necessary.
If your car meets the criteria to be classed as a lemon, the first thing you should do is notify the manufacturer. They will be required within seven days of the notice to direct you to a specific repair facility for one last chance at fixing the problem.
If the repair is not completed in 30 days, or the defect is still an issue after the attempt, the manufacturer must refund your money or replace your vehicle, whichever you request. They’ll have 20 days to comply.
The next step is arbitration, which is mandated by the state of Utah if the manufacturer has an arbitration process. Make sure you keep good records of all repairs that have been made, the notices you’ve sent the manufacturer, and anything else that sufficiently proves your car is a lemon.
If the manufacturer refuses to refund or replace your car, only then can you file a lawsuit. It’s a good idea to hire an attorney who specializes in lemon laws. Your attorney fees will be covered if you win the case.
Bear in mind that following every step isn’t a guarantee that you will win. Diligence is extremely important, so make sure you have all your bases covered.
Key Takeaway You must notify the manufacturer of the car before you pursue lemon law coverage.
Lemon law tips
Here are a few things to keep in mind about lemon laws:
- If you modify your vehicle in any way, whether by customization, neglect, abuse, or misuse, lemon laws will no longer apply to your car.
- All repairs should be made through the manufacturer or dealership, or by repair facilities that the dealer has authorized. Keep all of the records of these repairs.
- Keep your terminology consistent. If you initially referred to the defect as the car "stalling," for example, keep referring to it as "stalling." Don’t change how you refer to the problem, or a manufacturer can argue that the issue does not need to be fixed repeatedly, which is not covered by the lemon law.
- Lemon laws can vary from state to state, including their requirements. If your situation is not covered by the lemon laws in your state, you may still be protected by the Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. Talk to an appropriate attorney to find out your options.
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