New Hampshire Lemon Law
The New Hampshire lemon law protects consumers from having to pay out of pocket for newly purchased vehicles that are issued as defective from their manufacturers.
In New Hampshire, a used car lemon law protecting consumers who have purchased used vehicles from being stuck with a lemon does not exist, however.
Whether a car can be considered a lemon or not is dependent on the vehicle owner taking the necessary steps to repair the vehicle and alerting the manufacturer to the issues.
These consumer protection standards generally extend to new vehicles still under their manufacturer’s warranties, and certain classes of used vehicles.
When a vehicle owner realizes that he or she may have bought a lemon, a lemon law attorney may be able to help him or her understand his or her rights, and the best way to receive full compensation for the defective car.
The Nevada car lemon law requires manufacturers to replace or refund vehicles that have been deemed a lemon, according to state laws, and that are owned by eligible buyers.
Because the lemon law definition in New Hampshire includes strict time limits, it is important for vehicle owners to know how to spot a lemon before it is too late. Keep reading for more important information about consumer protections from defective vehicles in New Hampshire.
What is the Lemon Law in New Hampshire?
A lemon law buyback for a newly issued vehicle can be initiated in New Hampshire if the vehicle and driver meet certain conditions.
Unlike with some situations of 30 day lemon law used cars found in other states, the issues with new vehicle purchases must be explicitly covered under its warranty and significantly impair vehicle performance. In most cases, a new NH vehicle can be classified as a lemon if:
- The issues with the vehicle have substantially impacted its use, value or level of safety and have not been able to be repaired by the manufacturer.
- The manufacturer or licensed representative of the vehicle has made at least three unsuccessful attempts to repair the vehicle, or the vehicle has been out of service for at least 30 cumulative days.
State and federal lemon law policies both apply in New Hampshire, and are enforced by the Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board (MVAB).
The MVAB is a five-person group of consumers, usually comprised of auto dealers and certified mechanics that review new car lemon law complaints to determine whether a vehicle is actually a lemon.
The MVAB does not apply to used car laws, though the MVAB does typically carrying out an inspection and/or test drive of those vehicles which are suspected of being lemons.
The decision of the MVAB is what usually causes the manufacturer to issue a replacement or refund when necessary.
Does the New Hampshire Lemon Law apply to used cars?
The state lemon law does not apply to owners of used vehicles. For the lemon law warranty in New Hampshire to kick in, the vehicle must still be under the manufacturer’s original warranty.
Technically, a vehicle may be able to qualify for the used car lemon law in New Hampshire if it transferred owners while it was still under its manufacturer’s warranty. Unlike in some states, used cars with high mileage are not covered by consumer laws in NH.
It is also important to note that there is no “cooling off period” enabling the refund of the purchase of a used car within any amount of time after the sale is complete.
How does the Lemon Law work in New Hampshire?
All lemon law complaints in New Hampshire are managed and arbitrated by the MVAB. Before requesting a lemon law buyback from the manufacturer, the vehicle owner must have attempted to get the issues fixed the necessary number of times.
After meeting all lemon law definition requirements, he or she should contact the MVAB in-person or in-writing to make a formal consumer law complaint.
The panel will request the necessary documentation to make the case and most likely request to see the vehicle in question.
According to the new car lemon law in New Hampshire, buyers of new vehicles should receive a notice of their rights to arbitration from the manufacturer at the time of purchase, including the necessary paperwork to submit a claim.
Manufacturers are required to respond to repair requests within 30 days of receipt.
Once the lemon law MVAB panel has reviewed all necessary material, it will come to a decision about the status of the vehicle.
If the vehicle is deemed a lemon according to state lemon law, the manufacturer will be required by the state to refund the purchase cost of the vehicle (minus any deductions) or offer the owner a comparable trade option, whichever the consumer prefers.
Eligible amounts that may be refunded by the manufacturer include:
- The original purchase price as written on the sales contract, including any trade-ins and down payments.
- Credit and finance charges, license fees, car registration fees and similar charges related to legalizing the vehicle.
- Damage due to everyday use.
- Deductions for reasonable use
When applicable, the MVAB can also use the lemon law to award damages to the consumer for additional costs spent due to owning the defective vehicle, like registration fees and auto loan interest charges. Appeals of MVAB decisions head to the Nevada Supreme Court.
New Hampshire Lemon Law Lawyers
While it is not necessary to hire a lemon law attorney to file a complaint about a defective vehicle in New Hampshire, getting representation is the preferred way to take legal action by many consumers.
For some vehicle owners with cars that clearly meet the NH lemon law definition, and who bought the vehicle directly from the manufacturer or a reputable dealer, hiring an attorney may not be necessary.
It becomes important to have legal representation when there is debate over whether the vehicle is, in fact, a lemon or not, how or why the vehicle has become defective and other similar types of issues.
A seasoned attorney can help consumers in these cases qualify for the refunds or replacements they deserve. A lemon law lawyer can also be extremely helpful in cases when the value of the vehicle is in question.
Sometimes, the manufacturer or dealer who sold the car will try to charge the owner fees to reduce the overall value of the vehicle, or the value of the vehicle replacement to which the consumer has the right.
Whatever the case, a seasoned lemon law attorney can be instrumental to getting a consumer a fair amount of compensation or exchange for lemons whose value are disputed for any reason.
Hiring the right legal representation is the best way to guarantee that the vehicle owner receives the compensation he or she is due in a timely manner.
How to Tell if Your New Car Is a Lemon
The New Hampshire lemon law warranty only applies to vehicles that do not meet up to the manufacturer’s explicit guarantees after multiple repair attempts.
Even though most people do not expect to need to know about the car lemon law in New Hampshire, hundreds of thousands of new cars are deemed lemons every year, due to serious defects in their systems.
As a new car owner, knowing the lemon law definition, and being able to spot a lemon, is important to being able to practice consumer rights if things do turn sour.
Before buying a new car, consumers should look into avoiding vehicle models that have had high recall rates and dealers with high rates of selling lemons.
Consumers who have already bought a new vehicle can watch out for issues in some of the most common defect areas, which include the below:
- Gas and mileage defects
- Electrical system defects
- Engine defects
- Shifting defects
- Steering defects