DE Lemon Law Statutes

Delaware Lemon Law Qualifications

Vehicles Covered

The Delaware lemon law covers automobiles, defined as any passenger motor vehicle that is leased or bought in Delaware or registered in Delaware. The lemon law does not cover motorcycles or the living facilities of motor homes.

Guidance from the Delaware Department of Justice indicates that the lemon law applies only to new automobiles.

Consumers Covered

The lemon law covers the following consumers:

  • The purchaser of an automobile, for purposes other than resale;
  • A person to whom an automobile is transferred during the duration of an express warranty applicable to the automobile; and
  • Any other person entitled by the terms of the warranty to enforce the obligations of the warranty.

Because the lemon law covers leased vehicles, "consumer" appears to also include a lessee.

Problems Covered

The lemon law covers any nonconformity , which is defined as a defect or condition that substantially impairs the use, value or safety of an automobile.

Reasonable Number Of Repair Attempts

The Delaware lemon law establishes a presumption that a reasonable number of repair attempts has been undertaken to conform a new automobile to the manufacturer's express warranty if, during the warranty term or during the period of one year following the date of the automobile's original delivery to a consumer, whichever is earlier, either of the following occurs:

  • Substantially the same nonconformity has been subject to repair or correction four or more times by the manufacturer, its agents or dealers and the nonconformity continues to exist; or
  • The automobile is out of service by reason of repair or correction of a nonconformity by the manufacturer, its agents or dealers for a cumulative total of more than 30 calendar days since the automobile's original delivery to the consumer. The 30 day limit begins on the first day on which the consumer presents the automobile to the manufacturer, its agent or dealer for service of the nonconformity and the manufacturer, its agent or dealer prepares a written document describing the nonconformity.

This 30-day time limit is extended if repairs cannot be performed due to conditions beyond the control of the manufacturer, its agents or dealers, including war, invasion, strike, fire, flood or other natural disaster.

Delaware Arbitration Requirements

If the manufacturer has established an informal dispute settlement procedure that has been certified or approved by the Division of Consumer Protection, the lemon law's remedies are not available to a consumer who has not first resorted to the informal dispute settlement procedure. If an informal dispute settlement procedure has not been certified or approved, the consumer may immediately and directly seek the remedies provided by the lemon law.

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