North Dakota Lemon Law
The North Dakota lemon law protects owners of passenger motor vehicles purchased in the state from getting stuck with paying for defective vehicles. There is no used car lemon law in North Dakota, as consumer protection policies for vehicles apply only to those automobiles still under their manufacturer warranties. Under consumer protection laws in North Dakota, owners of vehicles that are deemed to be lemons because they do not meet up to one or more of the guarantees included in their manufacturer warranties are entitled to a reimbursement of the original price of the vehicle.
A lemon law attorney can help concerned vehicle owners qualify for coverage under the law, and receive fair compensation for the vehicle. While hiring a lawyer is not necessary when using the car lemon law in North Dakota, legal counselors can help take the pressure of the situation off the vehicle owners. Once a vehicle owner is certain his or her car meet’s the lemon law definition, he or she should immediately contact the manufacturer or licensed dealer who sold the vehicle to begin the resolution processes. ND consumers should try to watch out for telltale signs of a lemon before making a final purchase. Keep reading to learn more about consumer protection laws for owners of new vehicles in North Dakota.
What is the Lemon Law in North Dakota?
According to North Dakota legal statutes, a lemon law buyback can be initiated by eligible buyers of new vehicles that are not living up to their original manufacturer warranties. State guidelines propose that an eligible vehicle owner is anyone who:
- Purchased or leased a vehicle in North Dakota for personal use.
- Received the vehicle as a transfer while the vehicle was still under its manufacturer’s warranty.
- Is permitted rights to the vehicle under the vehicle’s original warranty.
Even though there is no 30 day lemon law for used cars in North Dakota, like in some states, the federal lemon law provides for a minimum level of protection for most types of new vehicles. To be covered under consumer protection policies in North Dakota, a vehicle must:
- Be designated for passenger transport.
- Weigh less than a gross weight of 10,000 pounds.
The new car lemon law of North Dakota does not cover used vehicles or other types of automobiles (like motorhomes). For new cars, the issues covered include any defect or condition that significantly impacts the normal use or market value of the vehicle. Manufacturers can dispute a claim if they can show that the defect does not substantially impact the use of the vehicle, or that the defect is due to use by the owner.
Does the North Dakota Lemon Law apply to used cars?
Used car laws do not incorporate consumer protection policies like those mentioned above for owners of new vehicles. The lack of a used car lemon law in North Carolina makes it more difficult for owners of used vehicles to seek recourse if they think they have been sold a lemon, which is why it is often recommended that consumers that find themselves in this situation hire legal help before submitting a complaint.
How does the Lemon Law work in North Dakota?
In North Dakota, the state lemon law requires that owners of new vehicles alert the manufacturer or licensed dealer to the problems with the covered aspects of the car as soon as there begins to be a problem. Under the lemon law warranty, this complaint should be sent within one year of when the vehicle was delivered to the owner, or when it is still under its manufacturer’s warranty (whichever is first). Manufacturers are required to attempt to repair covered defects that are reported during this period. To qualify for reimbursement, the vehicle must have undergone one of the following:
- It received a reasonable number of repair attempts (at least three) for the issue
- It has been out of service for a cumulative 30 days, because of the issue.
Under the ND lemon law, eligible vehicles deemed to be defective must be reimbursed by the manufacturer or licensed dealer, or replaced by a vehicle of equal value. All complaints should be sent within six months after the expiration of the vehicle’s warranty, or within 18 months of its delivery date to the owner.
North Dakota Lemon Law Lawyers
Many North Dakota vehicle owners choose to hire a lemon law attorney when they realize they have purchased a defective vehicle. There are many benefits to working with an experienced lemon law lawyer, especially for vehicle owners in situations that are not extremely clear-cut. Because there are relatively strict rules concerning how a vehicle can be deemed a lemon in North Carolina, a lawyer can be instrumental in making sure that a vehicle owner follows all the steps necessary to get the vehicle correctly categorized. Without successfully passing this first step, owners of problematic vehicles have no hope of receiving reimbursement for the car.
Lemon law attorneys can also be extremely helpful to vehicle owners after their vehicles have been designated as lemons, when they are negotiating the reimbursement value for the vehicles. While car lemon law policies layout how manufacturers and licensed dealers should calculate the return value of the vehicle, some companies will do everything they can to shortchange the vehicle owner on the return amount. Working with an experienced lemon law lawyer can help the vehicle owner make sure he or she receives the full purchase price of the vehicle back, and that unnecessary deductions are not taken from the total amount. Many legal representatives working in the consumer protection sector offer their services on a commission-basis, permitting vehicle owners to pay their fees only after they have successfully received a refund for the faulty vehicle.
How to Tell if Your New Car is a Lemon in North Dakota
A federal lemon law has existed in the United States for decades to mandate that states offer a minimum level of protection to purchasers of new vehicles. This is because, unfortunately, knowing which vehicles will ultimately meet the lemon law definition of a defective vehicle is exceedingly difficult to do before the vehicle has been significantly road-tested. Beyond doing some basic research on new vehicle makes and models that have been recalled by their manufacturers, or that have received several complaints, most consumers can only follow through on their due diligence of checking the vehicle for telltale signs before purchase. Consumers shopping for a new vehicle should double-check the following commonly problematic areas for defects before signing new vehicle purchase contracts:
- Gas and mileage systems
- The electrical system
- The engine
- Shifting Gears
- The steering system