Virginia Lemon Law Qualifications
The Virginia lemon l aw covers "motor vehicles", defined as:
- Passenger cars designed and used primarily for the transportation of no more than 10 persons including the driver;
- Pickup and panel trucks designed for the transportation of property and having a registered gross weight of 7,500 pounds or less;
- Motorcycles, mopeds, and the self - propelled motorized chassis of motor homes; and
- Demonstrators and leased vehicles with which a warranty was issued.
The lemon law covers the following "consumers":
- The purchaser, other than for purposes of resale, or the lessee of a motor vehicle used in substantial part for personal, family, or household purposes;
- Any person to whom the motor vehicle is transferred for the same purposes during the duration of any warranty applicable to the motor vehicle; and
- Any other person entitled by the terms of the warranty to enforce its obligations.
The lemon law applies to vehicle converters.
The lemon law covers any nonconformity , which is defined as a failure to conform with a warranty, a defect or a condition, including those that do not affect the driveability of the vehicle, that significantly impairs the use, market value or safety of the motor vehicle. "Significant impairment" means to render the motor vehicle unfit, unreliable or unsafe for ordinary use or reasonable intended purposes.
The lemon law provides manufacturers with an affirmative defense if it can be shown that the alleged nonconformity does not significantly impair the use, market value, or safety of the motor vehicle, or the nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modification or alteration of the motor vehicle by a consumer.
Reasonable Number Of Repair Attempts
The Virginia lemon law establishes a presumption that a reasonable number of repair attempts has been undertaken to conform a motor vehicle to any warranty if, within 18 months following the date of the motor vehicle's original delivery, any of the following occurs:
- The same nonconformity has been subject to repair three or more times by the manufacturer, its agents or authorized dealers, and the same nonconformity continues to exist;
- A nonconformity that is a serious safety defect (a life - threatening malfunction that impedes the consumer's ability to control or operate the motor vehicle for ordinary use or reasonable intended purposes, or creates a risk of fire or explosion) has been subject to repair one or more times by the manufacturer, its agents or authorized dealers, and the same nonconformity continues to exist; or
- The motor vehicle is out of service due to repair for a cumulative total of 30 calendar days, unless repairs could not be performed because of conditions beyond the control of the manufacturer, its agents or authorized dealers, including war, invasion, strike, fire, flood or other natural disasters.
Virginia Arbitration Requirements
If the manufacturer has established or participates in an informal dispute settlement procedure, it is the consumer's choice whether or not to use it prior to asserting lemon law rights.
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