Hawaii Lemon Law
In desperate circumstances, sometimes new car buyers need to use the lemon law in Hawaii after finding out that their new vehicle has an unrepairable issue. Car lemon law guidelines help drivers when dealerships or manufacturers sell them faulty vehicles, and they should be followed to properly resolve the problem.
The federal lemon law gives car owners general rules so that they can get their money back or receive a new vehicle if they were sold a lemon car. Drivers can also get a lemon law attorney to help them effectively follow the legal process and keep them from endangering their opportunity for resolve or reimbursement.
To learn more about this law, look over the helpful sections explaining the laws in more detail below.
What is the Lemon Law in Hawaii?
The lemon law in Hawaii states that a new car with a nonconformity that is unrepairable after multiple tries can be listed as a lemon vehicle. The details of these laws differ throughout the various states, but Hawaii lemon laws claim that the car should be in completely new condition for it to fall under the lemon law definition.
The criteria that must be met for a car to be a lemon are:
- The vehicle must have been purchased in new condition within two years or 24,000 miles, whichever happens first.
- The vehicle needs to portray a significant deficiency. The defect should be extreme and should impact the vehicle’s operation ability, value or safety.
- A mechanic should have tried at least three repairs on the car to fix the defect OR
- A mechanic should have tried one repair if the vehicle demonstrates a defect that threatens life safety so it cannot be driven OR
- The car should have been in a mechanic’s shop and out of use for at least 30 days.
The Hawaii Department Commerce and Consumer Affairs enforces lemon laws in Hawaii, which cover all purchased and leased new vehicles whether cars or trucks. The communicated warranty from the dealer also applies to the defective issues that can classify a vehicle as a lemon.
Mopeds, motor scooters and cars or trucks that weigh more than 10,000 pounds are not eligible for the lemon law warranty in Hawaii.
Does the Hawaii Lemon Law apply to used cars?
Used car lemon law is available in the state of Hawaii, named the Used Car Warranty Law. Residents must follow used car laws if they purchase a lemon vehicle that does not meet the standards for a new car.
The lemon law for used cars in Hawaii requires that drivers notify the dealer of the nonconformity, and if the dealer cannot solve the issue, the dealer is required to either refund the cost of the car or replace the vehicle.
The car must have a warranty from the dealer and drivers should be sure to take the lemon car back to the dealer to get fixed before the warranty expires.
How does the Lemon Law work in Hawaii?
Hawaii residents’ vehicles can be classified as lemons if, within two years of purchase or before reaching 24,000 miles, they present a defect that is not in the manufacturer’s warranty, they meet the 30 day lemon law used cars requirement and the problem could not be fixed after at least three tries.
If drivers’ vehicles are out of use and in the mechanic’s shop for at least 30 cumulative days and the defect still is not resolved, drivers do not need to instantly turn to the HI lemon law for a solution. Drivers can begin moving forward with handling the situation by writing to the vehicle manufacturer in a letter that explains:
- What is wrong with the car.
- Work orders and invoices copies from the mechanic’s shop, with the mailing address of the shop and the number of times the car was in repair.
- The name, address and phone number of the driver.
- An appeal for a new vehicle, a refund or another solution.
If drivers’ cars meet these lemon law conditions, drivers should send the letter to the manufacturer through overnight or certified mail delivery with a request for a return receipt.
It is recommended that drivers give the manufacturer ten to 14 days after delivery to respond. Doing so gives them one more chance to try and fix or look at the vehicle before going forward with the lemon law.
If a car is confirmed to be a lemon, drivers should file an arbitration demand to the State Certified Arbitration Program within one year after the lemon law period expires, and they will present their evidence to the arbitrator. The arbitrator then dictates one of two lemon law buyback options from the manufacturer:
- They should provide you with a replacement vehicle or;
- They should give you a refund.
If the manufacturer will not do its part in compensating you, Hawaii drivers are allowed to hire a lemon law attorney to defend their case and get what they are owed.
Sometimes, a manufacturer may be less willing to cooperate, so it is drivers should recognize what rights are given to them under this law and who can best defend those rights if necessary.
Hawaii residents can contact the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to go through the lemon law process and get the due resolution.
As proof of eligibility for federal lemon law use, drivers should always hold on to record copies and any documentation of their vehicle’s mechanic service history that gives its nonconformity information.
In addition, it is good to keep communication records between drivers and vehicle dealerships if a lawsuit is needed for legal compensation.
Hawaii Lemon Law Lawyers
Hiring a lemon law attorney is a good idea if you are unsure of how to proceed after your defective vehicle is said to be a lemon and you want to get the proper compensation for your issues.
Lawyers for lemon law warranty issues know about the process very well and can help you determine what steps to take throughout the process, how to form a strong case and what you can request in court.
Before you start your search for a lawyer to represent you, review the following tips to make sure you are prepared:
- Conduct good research: Consult a variety of lemon law lawyers before you decide which one to move forward with in your case. Figure out which attorney is best for your situation before hiring one that may not be able to help you as well as another.
- Make sure the attorney has past experience: Hire a lawyer who has extensive experience with lemon law cases in the past. Ask any lawyers you meet with about their past success and what types of cases they usually defend.
- Find a local lawyer: Hire a lawyer who understands the Hawaii lemon law specifically because the laws in other states are often different.
- Compare fees and terms of payment: Understand how much each lawyer you consult expects you to pay. You need to be able to afford the cost of a lemon law attorney and that you will not be surprised by fees or other costs that come up later.
Drivers who are not well-versed in the HI lemon law will often find that there are many great reasons to hire an attorney for representation. Lemon law attorneys are most often a very good investment for drivers who can afford to hire them, especially when manufacturers make resolution difficult and do not want to comply legally.
In addition to car owners who just do not want to worry about dealing with the car manufacturer, attorneys can help you resolve your car lemon law case by:
- Detailing your rights and options to you.
- Making sure the manufacturer follows the lemon law in Hawaii.
- Ensuring you get everything to which you are legally entitled.
- Handling the entire case from beginning to end.
- Organizing all of your paperwork.
How to Tell if Your New Car Is a Lemon
If you cannot figure out if your car is eligible for the Hawaii lemon law, read the basic standards below to see if they apply:
- Your vehicle shows significant defect that came up within two years or 24,000 miles after you got it.
- The defect is covered by a warranty.
- The defect cannot be repaired after attempting at least one or three repairs by a mechanic, depending of the nature of the defect.
Hawaii residents with cars that meet the new car lemon law can move forward with the process of getting a lemon law buyback or refund. New car makes and models with the most complaints are provided below:
- Mercedes-Benz B
- Chevrolet Volt
- Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
- Chrysler Pacifica
- Tesla Model S