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The Utah Lemon Law

The Utah lemon law protects the owners or lessees of new vehicles in Utah from serious defects.

Does the UT Lemon Law Cover My Vehicle?

To qualify for compensation under the lemon law in Utah, your vehicle must...

  • be a car or truck less than 12,000 pounds, or a motorhome (recreational vehicle, or RV, but only the chassis and drivetrain are covered, not the living quarters) that was purchased or leased in Utah

  • be new, still under warranty, and owned by you for no more than 12 months

  • have a defect that substantially impairs your use of or the safety of the vehicle, or substantially reduces its market value. The defect cannot be the result of neglect, abuse or unauthorized modifications of the vehicle

  • have been repaired at least four times for the same defect, or have been out of service due to repairs for a total of 30 business days during the 12 month period from the date of delivery to you

Motorcycles and farm tractors are not covered by the law.

You must also go through the manufacturer's informal dispute settlement procedure or arbitration procedure, if there is one, before you can use the Utah lemon law in court.

I Have a Utah Lemon. What Can I Do?

If your vehicle meets the criteria above, start the process by filing a complaint with the Utah Department of Commerce's Division of Consumer Protection (DCP). You must submit two signed and notarized affidavits from two mechanics who have witnessed the defect(s).

The DCP will determine if your vehicle qualifies for compensation. In other words, it will decide if your vehicle is indeed a lemon. If it decides in your favor, you qualify for a replacement or refund. The next step is the informal dispute resolution or arbitration procedure.

Arbitration and Law Suits

As mentioned above, you must use any dispute resolution or arbitration system the manufacturer has in place (either its own or third-party, such as the Better Business Bureau's), before you can use the courts. If you disagree with the decision handed down, which is usually binding on the manufacturer, but not on you, you are free to file suit in court.

If you decide on a law suit, I recommend that you consult a lemon law attorney, who is a lawyer experienced with the lemon law in Utah. You may be awarded the lawyer's fees if you win, but you may also be charged the manufacturer's lawyer's fees if you lose. So be certain that you can win by consulting a lemon law lawyer first.

Replacement or Refund?

You're entitled to a replacement of your lemon vehicle, or a refund of its purchase price. The manufacturer is entitled to deduct a reasonable use fee based on the number of miles you've driven the vehicle before handing it over to the manufacturer.

If you choose the refund, the manufacturer must also refund all collateral charges related to the lemon vehicle, including registration fees, sales tax, the cost of dealer-installed options, etc. If you have financed the vehicle, the lien holder will be paid off first. Any balance will be paid to you.

Utah Lemon Law Summary

If you own a small vehicle or a motorhome that you purchased in Utah, you're covered by the lemon law in Utah. The Division of Consumer Protection will determine if your claim meets certain criteria. If it does, then you negotiate with the manufacturer for a refund a replacement.

NOTE:The information here is not legal advice and is only presented to you so you can know your options if you purchased a lemon. As with any legal issue, you should seek the advice of a qualified attorney.


 

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