VT Lemon Law Statutes

Vermont Lemon Law Qualifications

Vehicles Covered

The Vermont lemon law covers a passenger motor vehicle purchased, leased or registered in the state. The lemon law does not cover tractors, motorized highway building equipment, road - making appliances, snowmobiles, motorcycles, mopeds, the living portion of recreational vehicles, or trucks with a gross vehicle weight over 12,000 pounds.

Consumers Covered

The lemon law covers the following "consumers":

  • The purchaser, other than for purposes of resale, of a motor vehicle still under the manufacturer's express warranty;
  • The lessee, other than for purposes of sub - lease, of a motor vehicle still under the manufacturer's express warranty and that has not been previously leased by another person;
  • Any person to whom the motor vehicle is transferred during the duration of an express warranty applicable to the motor vehicle; and
  • Any other person entitled by the terms of the warranty to enforce its obligations.

The lemon law does not cover any government entity, or any business or commercial enterprise that registers or leases three or m ore motor vehicles.

Vehicle Converters

The lemon law applies to vehicle converters.

Problems Covered

The lemon law covers any defect or condition covered by the warranty that substantially impairs the use, market value or safety of the motor vehicle to the consumer. This is referred to as a nonconformity.

The lemon law provides manufacturers with an affirmative defense if it can be shown that the alleged nonconformity does not substantially impair the use, market value or safety, or that the nonconformity i s the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modifications or alterations of a motor vehicle by a consumer.

Reasonable Number Of Repair Attempts

The Vermont lemon law establishes a presumption that a reasonable number of repair attempts has been undertaken to conform a motor vehicle to the applicable warranties if either of the following occurs:

  • The same nonconformity, as identified in any written examination or repair order, has been subject to repair at least three times by the manufacturer, its agent or authorized dealer, at least the first repair attempt occurs within the express warranty term, and the same nonconformity continues to exist; or
  • The motor vehicle is out of service by reason of repair of one or more nonconformities for a cumulative total of 30 or more calendar days during the express warranty term. A motor vehicle is not out of service if it is available to the consumer for a major part of the day.

For purposes of the presumption, repair attempts must be evidenced by a written examination or repair order issued by the manufacturer, its agent or authorized dealer. The repair attempts must be undertaken by the same agent or authorized dealer unless the consumer shows good cause for taking the vehicle to a different agent or authorized dealer.

The term of an express warranty and the 30 day period are extended by any period of time during which repair services are not available to the consumer because of a war, invasion, strike fire, flood or other natural disaster. If an extension is required because of any of these conditions, the manufacturer shall provide for the free use of a motor vehicle t o the consumer whose vehicle is out of service.

Vermont Arbitration Requirements

On the written notice provided to the manufacturer, the consumer must elect to use the dispute settlement mechanism established by the manufacturer or the state arbitration board. The election to proceed before the manufacturer's mechanism or the state arbitration board precludes the consumer's recourse to the method not selected.

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