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Lemon Law Infomation
Maryland Lemon Law
§ 14-1501. (a) In this subtitle the following words have the meanings indicated.
(b) "Consumer" means:
(1) The purchaser, other than for purposes of resale, of a new motor vehicle; (2) Any person to whom a new motor vehicle is transferred during the duration of the warranty applicable to such motor vehicle; or (3) Any other person who is entitled to enforce the obligations of the warranty.
(1) "Motor vehicle" means a vehicle that is registered in this State as a:
(i) Class A (passenger) vehicle; (ii) Class D (motorcycle) vehicle; (iii) Class E (truck) vehicle with a 3/4 ton or less manufacturer's rated capacity; or (iv) Class M (multipurpose) vehicle.
(2) "Motor vehicle" does not include a motor home. For the purpose of administering this subtitle, the Motor Vehicle Administration shall promulgate a regulation defining a motor home.
(d) "Dealer" has the meaning provided in § 15-101(b) of the Transportation Article.
(e) "Manufacturer, factory branch, or distributor" means a person, partnership, association, corporation, or entity engaged in the business of manufacturing or assembling motor vehicles or of distributing motor vehicles to motor vehicle dealers as defined in § 15-201(b), (c), and (e) of the Transportation Article.
(f) "Warranty" means warranties as defined in §§ 2-312, 2-313, 2-314, and 2-315 of this article.
(1) "Manufacturer's warranty period" means the earlier of:
(i) The period of the motor vehicle's first 15,000 miles of operation; or (ii) 15 months following the date of original delivery of the motor vehicle to the consumer.
(2) This subsection does not extend any manufacturer's express warranty.
(a) If the manufacturer's warranty period is to include those miles of operation when the new motor vehicle is in the possession of any person other than the consumer, the manufacturer shall state that fact in 12 point bold face type in the manufacturer's written warranty.
(1) If a new motor vehicle does not conform to all applicable warranties during the warranty period, the consumer shall, during such period, report the nonconformity, defect, or condition by giving written notice to the manufacturer or factory branch by certified mail, return receipt requested. Notice of this procedure shall be conspicuously disclosed to the consumer in writing at the time of sale or delivery of the motor vehicle. (2) The consumer shall provide an opportunity for the manufacturer or factory branch, or its agent to cure the nonconformity, defect, or condition. (3) The manufacturer or factory branch, its agent, or its authorized dealer shall correct the nonconformity, defect, or condition at no charge to the consumer, even if repairs are made after the expiration of the warranty period. The corrections shall be completed within 30 days of the manufacturer's receipt of the consumer's notification of the nonconformity, defect, or condition.
(1) If, during the warranty period, the manufacturer or factory branch, its agent, or its authorized dealer is unable to repair or correct any defect or condition that substantially impairs the use and market value of the motor vehicle to the consumer after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer or factory branch, at the option of the consumer, shall:
(i) Replace the motor vehicle with a comparable motor vehicle acceptable to the consumer; or (ii) Accept return of the motor vehicle from the consumer and refund to the consumer the full purchase price including all license fees, registration fees, and any similar governmental charges, less:
1. A reasonable allowance for the consumer's use of the vehicle not to exceed 15 percent of the purchase price; and 2. A reasonable allowance for damage not attributable to normal wear but not to include damage resulting from a nonconformity, defect, or condition.
(2) The manufacturer or factory branch shall make refunds under this section to the consumer and lienholder, if any, as their interests appear on the records of ownership maintained by the Motor Vehicle Administration. (3) It is an affirmative defense to any claim under this section that the nonconformity, defect, or condition:
(i) Does not substantially impair the use and market value of the motor vehicle; or (ii) Is the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modifications or alterations of the motor vehicle.
(d) It shall be presumed that a reasonable number of attempts have been undertaken to conform a motor vehicle to the applicable warranties if:
(1) The same nonconformity, defect, or condition has been subject to repair 4 or more times by the manufacturer or factory branch, or its agents or authorized dealers, within the warranty period but such nonconformity, defect, or condition continues to exist; (2) The vehicle is out of service by reason of repair of 1 or more nonconformities, defects, or conditions for a cumulative total of 30 or more days during the warranty period; or (3) A nonconformity, defect, or condition resulting in failure of the braking or steering system has been subject to the same repair at least once within the warranty period, and the manufacturer has been notified and given the opportunity to cure the defect, and the repair does not bring the vehicle into compliance with the motor vehicle safety inspection laws of the State.
(e) The term of any warranty, the warranty period, and the 30 day out of service period shall be extended by any time during which repair services are not available to the consumer by reason of war, invasion, strike, or fire, flood, or other natural disaster.
(i) It shall be the duty of a dealer to notify the manufacturer of the existence of a nonconformity, defect, or condition within 7 days when the motor vehicle is delivered to the same dealer for a fourth time for repair of the same nonconformity or when the vehicle is out of service by reason of repair of one or more nonconformities, defects, or conditions for a cumulative total of 20 days. (ii) The notification shall be sent by certified mail and a copy of the notification shall be sent to the Motor Vehicle Administration; however, failure of the dealer to give the required notice required under this subsection shall not affect the consumer's right under this subtitle.
(2) If a motor vehicle is returned to a manufacturer or factory branch either under this subtitle, or by judgment, decree, arbitration award, or by voluntary agreement, the manufacturer or factory branch shall notify the Motor Vehicle Administration in writing within 15 days of the fact that the vehicle was returned.
(i) If a motor vehicle that is returned to the manufacturer under either this subtitle or by judgment, decree, arbitration award, settlement agreement, or by voluntary agreement in this or any other state and is then transferred to a dealer in Maryland, the manufacturer shall disclose this information to the dealer. (ii) The manufacturer's disclosure under this paragraph shall be in writing on a separate piece of paper in 10 point all capital type and shall state in a clear and conspicuous manner:
1. That the motor vehicle was returned to the manufacturer or factory branch; 2. The nature of the defect, if any, that resulted in the return; and 3. The condition of the motor vehicle at the time that it is transferred to the dealer.
(i) If the returned vehicle is then made available for resale, the seller shall provide a copy of the manufacturer's disclosure form to the consumer prior to sale. (ii) If the returned vehicle is sold, the seller shall send a copy of the manufacturer's disclosure form, signed by the consumer, to the Administration.
(h) This section does not limit the rights or remedies that are otherwise available to a consumer under any other law, including any implied warranties.
(1) Any agreement entered into by a consumer for the purchase of a new motor vehicle that waives, limits, or disclaims the rights set forth in this section shall be void. (2) The rights available to a consumer under this section shall inure to a subsequent transferee of a new motor vehicle for the duration of the applicable warranties.
(k) Any action brought under this section shall be commenced within 3 years of the date of original delivery of the motor vehicle to the consumer.
(1) A court may award reasonable attorney's fees to a prevailing plaintiff under this section. (2) If it appears to the satisfaction of the court that an action is brought in bad faith or is of a frivolous nature, the court may order the offending party to pay to the other party reasonable attorney's fees.
(m) This subtitle does not apply to a fleet purchase of five or more motor vehicles.
(b) The notice shall:
(1) Be written in simple and readable plain language; and (2) Contain sufficient detail to fully inform consumers about the rights and remedies available under this subtitle and the procedures to follow to enforce those rights and remedies.
(1) If a dealer, manufacturer, factory branch, or distributor is required under a judgment, decree, arbitration award, or settlement agreement to accept, or by voluntary agreement accepts, return of a motor vehicle from a consumer, the consumer shall be entitled to recover from the Motor Vehicle Administration the excise taxes originally paid by the consumer, subject to subsection (b) of this section. (2)
(i) If a dealer, manufacturer, factory branch, or distributor replaces a motor vehicle with a comparable motor vehicle under § 14-1502(c)(1)(i) of this subtitle, the Motor Vehicle Administration shall allow a credit against the excise tax imposed for the replacement vehicle in the amount of the excise taxes originally paid by the consumer for the returned vehicle, subject to subsection (b) of this section. (ii)
1. If the excise tax on the replacement vehicle exceeds the credit allowed under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph, the dealer shall collect only that portion of excise tax due; or 2. If the excise tax on the vehicle being replaced exceeds the excise tax on the replacement vehicle, the consumer shall be entitled to recover from the Motor Vehicle Administration the excess of the excise tax paid.
(b) The excise taxes that a consumer is entitled to recover under this section shall be calculated based on the amount of the purchase price or any portion of the purchase price of the motor vehicle that the dealer, manufacturer, factory branch, or distributor refunds to the consumer.
(c) A dealer, manufacturer, factory branch, or distributor who is required under a judgment, decree, arbitration award, or settlement agreement to accept, or who accepts, by voluntary agreement, return of a motor vehicle shall notify the consumer in writing that the consumer is entitled to recover the excise taxes from the Motor Vehicle Administration.
(a) A violation of this subtitle shall be an unfair and deceptive trade practice under Title 13 of the Commercial Law Article.
(b) In addition to any other remedies that may be available under this subtitle, if a manufacturer, factory branch, or distributor is found to have acted in bad faith, the court may award the consumer damages of up to $10,000.
MARYLAND'S LEMON LAW
A Guide to Consumer Rights and Remedies When a New Car Turns Out to be Defective
Prepared by the Department of Legislative Reference Annapolis, Maryland
In 1984 the General Assembly enacted the Maryland Automotive Warranty Enforcement Act more commonly known as "The Lemon Law." This law provides consumers with a number of rights and remedies to aid in the enforcement of manufacturer's warranties on new cars.
Every new automobile sold by a dealership in the United States comes with a manufacturer's warranty. The warranty may be of little comfort when the car dealer or manufacturer does not satisfy the guarantees made in the warranty or when the new car must be returned for repairs again and again. If this happens, the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) is the first place to turn for help.
The MVA licenses car dealers and may be helpful in resolving a warranty complaint. If the MVA is unable to resolve the dispute, several private legal remedies are available. Maryland's Lemon Law is intended to aid in enforcing a new car warranty.
Applicability of the Lemon Law The Lemon Law applies to the sale of all new cars, small trucks, and multipurpose vehicles in Maryland. It does not apply to motor homes.
The benefits of the Lemon Law are available not only if the vehicle that was purchased from a dealer was new, but also if it was transferred to another person during the vehicle's warranty period. That warranty period is 15 months after the car was originally delivered by the dealer or 15,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Under the law, a car is considered a lemon if, during the 15-month/15,000 mile warranty period, a defect or condition that substantially impairs the use and market value of the car cannot be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts. A "reasonable number of attempts" means once, in the case of the braking or steering system, and four times in the case of other defects.
Alternatively, the "reasonable number of attempts" requirement is satisfied if the car is out of service for repair of defects for a total of 30 or more days during the warranty period.
A car is not considered a lemon, however, if the defect is the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modifications of the car.
How the Process Works
The Lemon Law imposes certain requirements on the consumer, the car dealer, and the manufacturer. If the dealer and manufacturer do not comply with these requirements, they may be subject to several different penalties under the law. If the consumer does not fulfill the consumer's obligations, the right to take advantage of the Lemon Law may be lost.
If there is a problem with a new car during the warranty period, the dealer or the manufacturer must be given an opportunity to repair the defect. Also, the consumer must send a written notice of the defect to the manufacturer by certified mail, return receipt requested, during the warranty period. The manufacturer or dealer must correct the defect, at no charge to the consumer, within 30 days after receiving notice of the defect. If the car is returned to the dealer four times to repair the same defect or if it is out of service for more than a total of 20 days because of defects, the dealer must notify the manufacturer of the defect and send a copy of the notice to the Motor Vehicle Administration. However, failure of the dealer to give the required notice does not affect the consumer's rights under the Lemon Law. If the consumer is not satisfied with the way the dealer or manufacturer is handling the new car's defect or if the consumer is unable to reach an agreement as to an appropriate remedy, the consumer may submit the dispute to the manufacturer's informal arbitration procedure, if one exists. The consumer is not required to submit to arbitration, however, and even if arbitration is chosen, it is not binding on the consumer. Legal action in the courts before, during, or after an arbitration proceeding is always an option. The only limitation is that a legal action under the Lemon Law must be filed in court within three years after the date of original delivery of the vehicle to the consumer.
If the dealer or manufacturer is unable to repair the consumer's car after a reasonable number of attempts (as described above), the manufacturer is required to do one of two things. At the consumer's option, the manufacturer must either: (1) Replace the car with another that is acceptable to the consumer; or (2) Accept return of the car and refund the full purchase price, less a reasonable allowance for the use of the vehicle.
There are other remedies available to a consumer under the Lemon Law. If the consumer cannot settle a dispute with the manufacturer out of court, the court may require the manufacturer to pay part or all of the consumer's attorney's fees if the consumer prevails in court. If the court finds that the manufacturer has acted in bad faith in failing to fulfill its obligations under the Lemon Law, the manufacturer may be ordered to pay the consumer up to $10,000, in addition to any other remedies ordered by the court. Furthermore, a violation of the Lemon Law by a car dealer or manufacturer is considered an "unfair and deceptive trade practice" and may subject the dealer or manufacturer to certain penalties under the Maryland Consumer Protection Act.
In addition to the Lemon Law, other areas of the law may help the consumer in a dispute concerning a new car. For example, under the Maryland Uniform Commercial Code, the consumer may be entitled to the benefit of certain implied warranties which are not contained in a written warranty.
Is it a Lemon?
Maryland's lemon law applies only to cars, light trucks and motorcycles that:
1. Are registered in Maryland, and
2. Have been driven less than 15,000 miles and been owned less than 15 months. (Even if you are not the original owner, the Lemon Law might apply to your vehicle if the original owner purchased it less than 15 months ago.)
The law provides that a dealer or manufacturer must correct a defect within 30 days after the consumer writes to the manufacturer by certified mail. If the manufacturer or dealer is unable to do so, the consumer is entitled to a refund or replacement vehicle under the Lemon Law if the car has:
A brake or steering failure that was not corrected after the first repair attempt, and that causes the vehicle to fail Maryland's safety inspection; or Any one problem that substantially impairs the use and market value of the vehicle that was not corrected in four repair attempts; or Any number of problems that substantially impair the use and market value of the vehicle that have caused it to be out of service for a cumulative total of 30 or more days. If you suspect your car is a lemon -- for example, if the dealer has tried once or twice unsuccessfully to repair the problem and you believe the problem substantially impairs the use and market value of the vehicle -- you should write to the manufacturer immediately. You do not need to wait until the dealer has made the four repair attempts, or until the car has been out of service for 30 days.
Maryland's Lemon Law
Protecting You from Getting Stuck with a Lemon Maryland's Lemon Law: The Automobile Warranty Enforcement Law In Maryland, the Lemon Law protects you from getting "stuck" if the new vehicle you buy turns out to be a problem. When a new car, light duty truck, motorcycle or multi-purpose vehicle has been "repaired" for the same problem four or more times, or the vehicle has been out of service for at least 30 days for repairs, under the warranty, you are entitled to a new vehicle or a refund for the vehicle you have bought. If the problem involves the steering or braking system, only one attempt to repair it is required.
How to Pursue a Claim
Your owner's manual will have the specifics on how to pursue a claim if your vehicle meets all the requirements of a real lemon! Your new vehicle only qualifies under this process if the problem you have with it occurs during the first 15 months or 15,000 miles. Before the time or mileage limit is up, you must report the problem in writing to the manufacturer by certified mail. Request a return receipt so you have a record of the notification. After you notify the manufacturer of your problem, you must give them the opportunity to fix it.
What Happens Next?
The manufacturer must fix your vehicle's problem, or replace it. The manufacturer can also refund you the full purchase price for the vehicle, less a reasonable allowance for your use of the vehicle. If you are refunded for your vehicle, the manufacturer must notify you in writing that you are entitled to the recovery of the excise taxes you paid on the vehicle. The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration will then be able to refund your excise taxes, calculated on the amount of the refund you received.
There are essentially three sets of laws that apply to defective vehicles and products in the United States.
1. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is a Federal Law that protects the buyer of any product that costs more than $25 and comes with an express written warranty. Here is a summary of the Act in layman's language, and here is a more detailed explanation of the Act from the FTC.
Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act
US Code - Title 15, Chapter 50, Sections 2301-2312
Section 2301. Definitions For the purposes of this chapter
(1) The term "consumer product" means any tangible personal property which is distributed in commerce and which is normally used for personal, family, or household purposes (including any such property intended to be attached to or installed in any real property without regard to whether it is so attached or installed). (2) The term "Commission" means the Federal Trade Commission.
(3) The term "consumer" means a buyer (other than for purposes of resale) of any consumer product, any person to whom such product is transferred during the duration of an implied or written warranty (or service contract) applicable to the product, and any other person who is entitled by the terms of such warranty (or service contract) or under applicable State law to enforce against the warrantor (or service contractor) the obligations of the warranty (or service contract).
(4) The term "supplier" means any person engaged in the business of making a consumer product directly or indirectly available to consumers.
(5) The term "warrantor" means any supplier or other person who gives or offers to give a written warranty or who is or may be obligated under an implied warranty.
(6) The term "written warranty" means -
(A) any written affirmation of fact or written promise made in connection with the sale of a consumer product by a supplier to a buyer which relates to the nature of the material or workmanship and affirms or promises that such material or workmanship is defect free or will meet a specified level of performance over a specified period of time, or (B) any undertaking in writing in connection with the sale by a supplier of a consumer product to refund, repair, replace, or take other remedial action with respect to such product in the event that such product fails to meet the specifications set forth in the undertaking, which written affirmation, promise, or undertaking becomes part of the basis of the bargain between a supplier and a buyer for purposes other than resale of such product.
(7) The term "implied warranty" means an implied warranty arising under State law (as modified by sections 2308 and 2304(a) of this title) in connection with the sale by a supplier of a consumer product.
(8) The term "service contract" means a contract in writing to perform, over a fixed period of time or for a specified duration, services relating to the maintenance or repair (or both) of a consumer product.
(9) The term "reasonable and necessary maintenance" consists of those operations
(A) which the consumer reasonably can be expected to perform or have performed and
(10) The term "remedy" means whichever of the following actions the warrantor elects:
(11) The term ''replacement'' means furnishing a new consumer product which is identical or reasonably equivalent to the warranted consumer product.
(12) The term "refund" means refunding the actual purchase price (less reasonable depreciation based on actual use where permitted by rules of the Commission).
(13) The term "distributed in commerce" means sold in commerce, introduced or delivered for introduction into commerce, or held for sale or distribution after introduction into commerce.
(14) The term "commerce" means trade, traffic, commerce, or transportation -
(A) between a place in a State and any place outside thereof,
Section 2302. Rules governing contents of warranties
(a) Full and conspicuous disclosure of terms and conditions; additional requirements for contents In order to improve the adequacy of information available to consumers, prevent deception, and improve competition in the marketing of consumer products, any warrantor warranting a consumer product to a consumer by means of a written warranty shall, to the extent required by rules of the Commission, fully and conspicuously disclose in simple and readily understood language the terms and conditions of such warranty. Such rules may require inclusion in the written warranty of any of the following items among others:
(1) The clear identification of the names and addresses of the warrantors.
(2) Nothing in this chapter (other than paragraph (3) of this subsection) shall be deemed to authorize the Commission to prescribe the duration of written warranties given or to require that a consumer product or any of its components be warranted.
(3) The Commission may prescribe rules for extending the period of time a written warranty or service contract is in effect to correspond with any period of time in excess of a reasonable period (not less than 10 days) during which the consumer is deprived of the use of such consumer product by reason of failure of the product to conform with the written warranty or by reason of the failure of the warrantor (or service contractor) to carry out such warranty (or service contract) within the period specified in the warranty (or service contract).
(c) Prohibition on conditions for written or implied warranty; waiver by Commission No warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumer's using, in connection with such product, any article or service (other than article or service provided without charge under the terms of the warranty) which is identified by brand, trade, or corporate name; except that the prohibition of this subsection may be waived by the Commission if -
(1) the warrantor satisfies the Commission that the warranted product will function properly only if the article or service so identified is used in connection with the warranted product, and
(d) Incorporation by reference of detailed substantive warranty provisions The Commission may by rule devise detailed substantive warranty provisions which warrantors may incorporate by reference in their warranties.
(e) Applicability to consumer products costing more than $5 The provisions of this section apply only to warranties which pertain to consumer products actually costing the consumer more than $5.
Section 2303. Designation of written warranties
(a) Full (statement of duration) or limited warranty Any warrantor warranting a consumer product by means of a written warranty shall clearly and conspicuously designate such warranty in the following manner, unless exempted from doing so by the Commission pursuant to subsection (c) of this section:
(1) If the written warranty meets the Federal minimum standards for warranty set forth in section 2304 of this title, then it shall be conspicuously designated a ''full (statement of duration) warranty''.
(b) Applicability of requirements, standards, etc., to representations or statements of customer satisfaction This section and sections 2302 and 2304 of this title shall not apply to statements or representations which are similar to expressions of general policy concerning customer satisfaction and which are not subject to any specific limitations.
(c) Exemptions by Commission In addition to exercising the authority pertaining to disclosure granted in section 2302 of this title, the Commission may by rule determine when a written warranty does not have to be designated either ''full (statement of duration)'' or ''limited'' in accordance with this section.
(d) Applicability to consumer products costing more than $10 and not designated as full warranties The provisions of subsections (a) and (c) of this section apply only to warranties which pertain to consumer products actually costing the consumer more than $10 and which are not designated "full (statement of duration) warranties".
Section 2304. Federal minimum standards for warranties
(a) Remedies under written warranty; duration of implied warranty; exclusion or limitation on consequential damages for breach of written or implied warranty; election of refund or replacement. In order for a warrantor warranting a consumer product by means of a written warranty to meet the Federal minimum standards for warranty -
(1) such warrantor must as a minimum remedy such consumer product within a reasonable time and without charge, in the case of a defect, malfunction, or failure to conform with such written warranty;
(b) Duties and conditions imposed on consumer by warrantor
(1) In fulfilling the duties under subsection (a) of this section respecting a written warranty, the warrantor shall not impose any duty other than notification upon any consumer as a condition of securing remedy of any consumer product which malfunctions, is defective, or does not conform to the written warranty, unless the warrantor has demonstrated in a rulemaking proceeding, or can demonstrate in an administrative or judicial enforcement proceeding (including private enforcement), or in an informal dispute settlement proceeding, that such a duty is reasonable.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a warrantor may require, as a condition to replacement of, or refund for, any consumer product under subsection (a) of this section, that such consumer product shall be made available to the warrantor free and clear of liens and other encumbrances, except as otherwise provided by rule or order of the Commission in cases in which such a requirement would not be practicable.
(3) The Commission may, by rule define in detail the duties set forth in subsection (a) of this section and the applicability of such duties to warrantors of different categories of consumer products with ''full (statement of duration)'' warranties.
(4) The duties under subsection (a) of this section extend from the warrantor to each person who is a consumer with respect to the consumer product.
(c) Waiver of standards The performance of the duties under subsection (a) of this section shall not be required of the warrantor if he can show that the defect, malfunction, or failure of any warranted consumer product to conform with a written warranty, was caused by damage (not resulting from defect or malfunction) while in the possession of the consumer, or unreasonable use (including failure to provide reasonable and necessary maintenance).
(d) Remedy without charge For purposes of this section and of section 2302(c) of this title, the term ''without charge'' means that the warrantor may not assess the consumer for any costs the warrantor or his representatives incur in connection with the required remedy of a warranted consumer product. An obligation under subsection (a)(1)(A) of this section to remedy without charge does not necessarily require the warrantor to compensate the consumer for incidental expenses; however, if any incidental expenses are incurred because the remedy is not made within a reasonable time or because the warrantor imposed an unreasonable duty upon the consumer as a condition of securing remedy, then the consumer shall be entitled to recover reasonable incidental expenses which are so incurred in any action against the warrantor.
(e) Incorporation of standards to products designated with full warranty for purposes of judicial actions If a supplier designates a warranty applicable to a consumer product as a ''full (statement of duration)'' warranty, then the warranty on such product shall, for purposes of any action under section 2310(d) of this title or under any State law, be deemed to incorporate at least the minimum requirements of this section and rules prescribed under this section.
Section 2305. Full and limited warranting of a consumer product
Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the selling of a consumer product which has both full and limited warranties if such warranties are clearly and conspicuously differentiated.
Section 2306. Service contracts; rules for full, clear and conspicuous disclosure of terms and conditions; addition to or in lieu of written warranty
(a) The Commission may prescribe by rule the manner and form in which the terms and conditions of service contracts shall be fully, clearly, and conspicuously disclosed.
(b) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent a supplier or warrantor from entering into a service contract with the consumer in addition to or in lieu of a written warranty if such contract fully, clearly, and conspicuously discloses its terms and conditions in simple and readily understood language.
Section 2307. Designation of representatives by warrantor to perform duties under written or implied warranty
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent any warrantor from designating representatives to perform duties under the written or implied warranty: Provided, That such warrantor shall make reasonable arrangements for compensation of such designated representatives, but no such designation shall relieve the warrantor of his direct responsibilities to the consumer or make the representative a co-warrantor.
Section 2308. Implied warranties
(a) Restrictions on disclaimers or modifications No supplier may disclaim or modify (except as provided in subsection (b) of this section) any implied warranty to a consumer with respect to such consumer product if
(1) such supplier makes any written warranty to the consumer with respect to such consumer Product, or
(b) Limitation on duration
(c) Effectiveness of disclaimers, modifications, or limitations A disclaimer, modification, or limitation made in violation of this section shall be ineffective for purposes of this chapter and State law.
Section 2309. Procedures applicable to promulgation of rules by Commission
(a) Oral presentation
(b) Warranties and warranty practices involved in sale of used motor vehicles The Commission shall initiate within one year after January 4, 1975, a rulemaking proceeding dealing with warranties and warranty practices in connection with the sale of used motor vehicles; and, to the extent necessary to supplement the protections offered the consumer by this chapter, shall prescribe rules dealing with such warranties and practices. In prescribing rules under this subsection, the Commission may exercise any authority it may have under this chapter, or other law, and in addition it may require disclosure that a used motor vehicle is sold without any warranty and specify the form and content of such disclosure.
Section 2310. Remedies in consumer disputes
(a) Informal dispute settlement procedures; establishment; rules setting forth minimum requirements; effect of compliance by warrantor; review of informal procedures or implementation by Commission; application to existing informal procedures
(1) Congress hereby declares it to be its policy to encourage warrantors to establish procedures whereby consumer disputes are fairly and expeditiously settled through informal dispute settlement mechanisms.
(A) a warrantor establishes such a procedure,
(B) such procedure, and its implementation, meets the requirements of such rules, and
(C) he incorporates in a written warranty a requirement that the consumer resort to such procedure before pursuing any legal remedy under this section respecting such warranty, then
(i) the consumer may not commence a civil action (other than a class action) under subsection (d) of this section unless he initially resorts to such procedure; and
(4) The Commission on its own initiative may, or upon written complaint filed by any interested person shall, review the bona fide operation of any dispute settlement procedure resort to which is stated in a written warranty to be a prerequisite to pursuing a legal remedy under this section.
(5) Until rules under paragraph (2) take effect, this subsection shall not affect the validity of any informal dispute settlement procedure respecting consumer warranties, but in any action under subsection (d) of this section, the court may invalidate any such procedure if it finds that such procedure is unfair.
(b) Prohibited acts It shall be a violation of section 45(a)(1) of this title for any person to fail to comply with any requirement imposed on such person by this chapter (or a rule thereunder) or to violate any prohibition contained in this chapter (or a rule thereunder).
(c) Injunction proceedings by Attorney General or Commission for deceptive warranty, noncompliance with requirements, or violating prohibitions; procedures; definitions
(1) The district courts of the United States shall have jurisdiction of any action brought by the Attorney General (in his capacity as such), or by the Commission by any of its attorneys designated by it for such purpose, to restrain
(A) any warrantor from making a deceptive warranty with respect to a consumer product, or
(B) any person from failing to comply with any requirement imposed on such person by or pursuant to this chapter or from violating any prohibition contained in this chapter. Upon proper showing that, weighing the equities and considering the Commission's or Attorney General's likelihood of ultimate success, such action would be in the public interest and after notice to the defendant, a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction may be granted without bond. In the case of an action brought by the Commission, if a complaint under section 45 of this title is not filed within such period (not exceeding 10 days) as may be specified by the court after the issuance of the temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction, the order or injunction shall be dissolved by the court and be of no further force and effect. Any suit shall be brought in the district in which such person resides or transacts business. Whenever it appears to the court that the ends of justice require that other persons should be parties in the action, the court may cause them to be summoned whether or not they reside in the district in which the court is held, and to that end process may be served in any district.
(2) For the purposes of this subsection, the term ''deceptive warranty'' means
(A) a written warranty which (i) contains an affirmation, promise, description, or representation which is either false or fraudulent, or which, in light of all of the circumstances, would mislead a reasonable individual exercising due care; or (ii) fails to contain information which is necessary in light of all of the circumstances, to make the warranty not misleading to a reasonable individual exercising due care; or
(B) a written warranty created by the use of such terms as ''guaranty'' or ''warranty'', if the terms and conditions of such warranty so limit its scope and application as to deceive a reasonable individual.
(d) Civil action by consumer for damages, etc.; jurisdiction; recovery of costs and expenses; cognizable claims
(1) Subject to subsections (a)(3) and (e) of this section, a consumer who is damaged by the failure of a supplier, warrantor, or service contractor to comply with any obligation under this chapter, or under a written warranty, implied warranty, or service contract, may bring suit for damages and other legal and equitable relief -
(A) in any court of competent jurisdiction in any State or the District of Columbia; or
(B) in an appropriate district court of the United States, subject to paragraph (3) of this subsection.
(2) If a consumer finally prevails in any action brought under paragraph (1) of this subsection, he may be allowed by the court to recover as part of the judgment a sum equal to the aggregate amount of cost and expenses (including attorneys' fees based on actual time expended) determined by the court to have been reasonably incurred by the plaintiff for or in connection with the commencement and prosecution of such action, unless the court in its discretion shall determine that such an award of attorneys' fees would be inappropriate.
(3) No claim shall be cognizable in a suit brought under paragraph (1)(B) of this subsection -
(A) if the amount in controversy of any individual claim is less than the sum or value of $25;
(B) if the amount in controversy is less than the sum or value of $50,000 (exclusive of interests and costs) computed on the basis of all claims to be determined in this suit; or
(C) if the action is brought as a class action, and the number of named plaintiffs is less than one hundred.
(e) Class actions; conditions; procedures applicable No action (other than a class action or an action respecting a warranty to which subsection (a)(3) of this section applies) may be brought under subsection (d) of this section for failure to comply with any obligation under any written or implied warranty or service contract, and a class of consumers may not proceed in a class action under such subsection with respect to such a failure except to the extent the court determines necessary to establish the representative capacity of the named plaintiffs, unless the person obligated under the warranty or service contract is afforded a reasonable opportunity to cure such failure to comply. In the case of such a class action (other than a class action respecting a warranty to which subsection (a)(3) of this section applies) brought under subsection (d) of this section for breach of any written or implied warranty or service contract, such reasonable opportunity will be afforded by the named plaintiffs and they shall at that time notify the defendant that they are acting on behalf of the class. In the case of such a class action which is brought in a district court of the United States, the representative capacity of the named plaintiffs shall be established in the application of rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
(f) Warrantors subject to enforcement of remedies
Section 2311. Applicability to other laws
(a) Federal Trade Commission Act and Federal Seed Act
(1) Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to repeal, invalidate, or supersede the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 41 et seq.) or any statute defined therein as an Antitrust Act.
(b) Rights, remedies, and liabilities
(1) Nothing in this chapter shall invalidate or restrict any right or remedy of any consumer under State law or any other Federal law.
(A) affect the liability of, or impose liability on, any person for personal injury, or (B) supersede any provision of State law regarding consequential damages for injury to the person or other injury.
(c) State warranty laws
(1) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section and in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a State requirement -
(A) which relates to labeling or disclosure with respect to written warranties or performance thereunder;
(B) which is within the scope of an applicable requirement of sections 2302, 2303, and 2304 of this title (and rules implementing such sections), and
(C) which is not identical to a requirement of section 2302, 2303, or 2304 of this title (or a rule thereunder), shall not be applicable to written warranties complying with such sections (or rules thereunder).
(2) If, upon application of an appropriate State agency, the Commission determines (pursuant to rules issued in accordance with section 2309 of this title) that any requirement of such State covering any transaction to which this chapter applies
(A) affords protection to consumers greater than the requirements of this chapter and
(B) does not unduly burden interstate commerce, then such State requirement shall be applicable (notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection) to the extent specified in such determination for so long as the State administers and enforces effectively any such greater requirement.
(d) Other Federal warranty laws This chapter (other than section 2302(c) of this title) shall be inapplicable to any written warranty the making or content of which is otherwise governed by Federal law. If only a portion of a written warranty is so governed by Federal law, the remaining portion shall be subject to this chapter.
Section 2312. Effective dates
(a) Effective date of chapter
(b) Effective date of section 2302(a)
(c) Promulgation of rules
2. The Uniform Commercial Code or UCC has been adopted in all 50 states and covers contracts dealing with the sale of products.
3. Summary of State Lemon Laws here and individual State Lemon Laws begin here.
If the manufacturer or dealer cannot fix the vehicle to conform to the warranty within a "reasonable" number of repair attempts, then the manufacturer must replace the vehicle or reimburse the buyer or lessee for its purchase price, whichever the consumer prefers (less a mileage offset for the consumer's use of the vehicle prior to the first repair attempt), subject in certain cases to arbitration that the consumer may or may not accept.
The Lemon Law uses a presumption as a guideline for determining whether a "reasonable" number of repair attempts have been made on a new vehicle. In order for the buyer or lessee to use the Lemon Law presumption, all of the following must be true:
The vehicle must be one that qualifies as a "new motor vehicle" as described above.
The vehicle's problems must be covered by the manufacturer's warranty.
The problem(s) must occur within the first 18 months of delivery or 18,000 miles on the odometer, whichever occurs first.
The problem(s) must substantially reduce the use, value, or safety of the vehicle to the buyer.
The problem(s) are not caused by abuse of the vehicle.
The manufacturer has not fixed the problem(s) after four or more attempts or the vehicle's problem(s) could cause death or serious bodily injury if driven and the manufacturer or dealer has made at least two unsuccessful repairs attempts; or the vehicle has been in the shop for more than 30 days (not necessarily in a row) for repair of any problem(s) covered by its factory warranty and if the warranty or owner's manual requires you to do so, that you have notified the manufacturer about your problems. (Best done in writing.)
However, a replacement or refund may not be automatic since the manufacturer is entitled to prove that no problem exists, that a reasonable number of repair attempts have not been made, or that the problem does not substantially impair the vehicle's use, value or safety. This is predicated upon the consumer's decision to utilize the manufacturer's arbitration program, which they are not required to do unless they decide to pursue the "presumption" rule.
Note that if the manufacturer of the vehicle offers a certified arbitration program, the buyer or lessee must utilize the arbitration program only if they wish to use the "presumption" rule, which is in effect only during the first 18 months/18,000 miles of purchase/lease date. After that date (and during the entire period of the balance of the manufacturer's New Vehicle Limited Warranty period), there is no requirement that a consumer must utilize arbitration, so a consumer may directly contact a Lemon Law attorney if they wish. If the consumer wants to use a Lemon Law attorney during the first 18 months/18,000 mile of purchase/lease of the vehicle, they may also do so if they wish, if their vehicle meets the requirements of the Lemon Law.
Note: Consumers must be aware that 3 potential decisions are awarded as a result of a arbitration hearing. 1. Repurchase or replacement of vehicle; 2. Denial of request for repurchase or replacement of vehicle; 3. Repair decision "award", allowing the manufacturer another attempt to repair the vehicle. The automobile manufacturer may also try to "settle" the consumers case by offering "solutions" such as a free Service Contract, refunded payments, "next vehicle" discount coupons or other offers to avoid the arbitration (whether before or during the Arbitration). Consumers should know that arbitration is not publicly funded by any state or governmental agency, but rather by contributions made by the automobile manufacturers.
Consumers must also be aware that though the arbitrator's decision is not binding on the consumer, that any documents, audio recordings, statements by any/all parties, the consumers decision to reject a repair attempt decisions, etc., can be used by the automobile manufacturer against the consumer in a later civil court action.
How much money is my case worth?
How long will it take to get a fair and reasonable settlement offer?
Will I have to go to court?
How much will you charge?
Is it true that the best lawyers in law firms never handle the small cases?
Can't any lawyer handle any type of case?
Should I release my medical records to the insurance adjuster?
Who will pay the doctor bills and fix my car if the other person has no insurance?
Auto Accident Procedures
Check to see if anyone is injured
Call the police
Visit your doctor
Inform your insurance company
Call Hyatt Legal Services Injury Lawyers
Free Case Evaluation!
What You Need to Know
The law requires the person or company responsible to pay for your auto accident repairs and injuries. Many victims of motorcycle and auto accidents in Maryland try to handle their own personal injury cases, hoping the insurance companies involved will settle as promptly and fairly as advertised. Unfortunately, not all insurance companies respond in that manner. Insurance companies' obligations are to their stockholders and policyholders, not to people injured in an Maryland auto accident. Insurance companies have enormous advantages: vast wealth, armies of sharp, experienced adjusters and lawyers, and dozens of legal reasons to reduce or deny compensation. At Hyatt Legal Services Injury Lawyers, our obligation is to you.
Negotiating alone or waiting until the insurance company makes an offer can be frustrating and costly. One wrong move or mistake can cost you money. Delay or guessing about the value of your personal injury case can result in the loss of valuable rights and thousands of dollars. You need an Maryland personal injury lawyer who can help you recover your losses. At Hyatt Legal Services Injury Lawyers, that is our main goal.
Compensation can be sought for medical bills, lost wages, car rentals and repairs, and for any pain and suffering you endured. Hyatt Legal Services Injury Lawyers is highly experienced in the field of auto accident law. Our expert case managers and investigators will take care of getting the proof needed to recover your damages when you’ve been injured in Maryland. Hyatt Legal Services will use every available resource to help you.
Beat the Insurance Company
Insurance companies understand auto accidents bring confusion to people's lives. But while they claim to offer hope and security to auto accident victims, sometimes they only make your recovery more confusing and difficult. These giant corporations manage their profits by paying less money to people injured in Maryland auto accidents -- people who need it. They do this by taking advantage of any instances where an injured person does not have proof of damages or injuries. Our Maryland personal injury lawyers at Hyatt Legal Services know that's not fair, so we've put together some ways that people injured in auto accidents can show proof of their injuries and beat the insurance company at its own game.
At the Scene of the Collision:
Be On Guard
Immediately After the Collision:
See a Doctor
Photograph Your Car
Photograph Your Injuries
As Time Passes:
Write Down Your Observations
Keep Records of Expenses
Consult an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
The Bottom Line
Free Case Evaluation!
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