ND Lemon Law Statutes

North Dakota Lemon Law Qualifications

  • North Dakota's "lemon law" applies only to new vehicles. It does not apply to motorcycles, motor homes, or used cars.
  • There is no "right to cancel" a vehicle purchase, although many dealers offer a voluntary limited time satisfaction guarantee.
  • You have little protection against defects that surface after you buy a used car, unless you purchased an extended warranty or you can prove the seller lied about the condition of the car.

Before your new car is declared a lemon, the problem must be determined to be one that " substantially impairs the use and market value of the passenger motor vehicle, " and the dealer must be given a "reasonable number of attempts" to fix it.

The defect or problem must be reported to the dealer or manufacturer within one year of the purchase or during the term of the warranty, whichever is less. A "reason - able number" is more than three tries, or a cumulative total of 30 business days in which the vehicle is out of service during the term of applicable warranties or a year from purchase.

If you leased a car that has been determined to be a lemon, you are entitled to receive a refund of all lease payments, cash payments, and security deposits, less a reasonable deduction for use of the vehicle. Your lease agreement will be canceled when you return the car, and you cannot be charged a penalty for early termination. A car may be resold or leased again even though it is a lemon, as long as the manufacturer provides a warranty for 12 months or 12,000 miles from the date of resale and provides a statement to the buyer that the car had been returned to the manufacturer as a lemon.

What Is A Reasonable Number Of Repair Attempts?

Before involving the courts and justice system, make sure your car fits the state's lemon law definition. According to the North Dakota attorney general, you have a lemon on your hands if:

  • After giving the car dealer 3 attempts to correct the problem, the defect still exists and is so troublesome that it impairs your vehicle's value and use.
  • The vehicle has been out of service for at least 30 business days.
  • The dealer or manufacturer has been notified of the problem within 1 year of purchase or during the warranty.

NOTE: As you go through the process of attempting to repair your vehicle, be sure to keep records of all of your service orders, receipts and any correspondence you may have had with the manufacturer or the authorized dealer/service facility.

North Dakota Arbitration Requirements

You are required first try to settle the dispute through the manufacturer's arbitration procedures. The manufacturers have third-party arbitration systems set up to work out non-binding settlements. If you are a North Dakota resident, the arbitration hearing must be held in this state.

Many auto manufacturers have their own dispute settlement boards. Check your owner's manual for specific information. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the arbitration hearing, you may hire a private attorney and sue the manufacturer for a new car or a refund. A judge will decide who is correct and, if you win, how much you will receive. The law gives you little time to sue, however, so don't delay!

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