Utah Lemon Law
Utah’s lemon law protects consumers from having to keep newly purchased vehicles with serious defects. Eligible defects must be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty and attempts must be made to repair the damage at least four times.
In some cases, vehicles that are rendered non-operational due to a defect are also eligible for a claim. Regardless of the circumstances, the defect must be addressed within the first year of ownership or within the warranty period.
Used car lemon law policies are not recognized in the state of Utah.
What is the Lemon Law in Utah
The Utah New Motor Vehicle Warranties Act, commonly referred to as the state’s lemon law, allows consumers to return a defective vehicle or receive a refund. A defect is often called a non-conformity and only includes items covered under the manufacturer’s vehicle warranty.
The defect must significantly affect the use, value or safety of the vehicle to qualify. The new car lemon law does not cover defects caused by modifications, accidents or abuses. Similarly, the law does not provide protection for buyers who want to return a car for personal reasons.
Utah’s lemon law may only be used if all of the following requirements are met:
- The vehicle was purchased or leased in the state of Utah;
- The vehicle is still under the manufacturer’s warranty;
- The vehicle meets the law’s weight requirements; and
- The manufacturer has had at least four attempts to repair the defect or the car was non-operational for at least 30 days as a result of the defect. In all cases, the repairs or out-of-service dates must be within the first year of purchase or within the warranty period. 30-day used car lemon law allowances are not available.
In addition to the above eligibility requirements, owners must follow the correct repair procedures. In some cases, a manufacturer may have separate arbitration rules for new owners with warranty disputes.
These policies must be adhered to before the state’s lemon law can be used.
Note: The state’s lemon law definition only includes new vehicles, such as purchased or leased cars and motor homes.
How does the Lemon Law work in Utah?
If your situation meets all of the above eligibility requirements, you may file a claim under this law.
Claims and complaints are handled through the state’s division of consumer protection. Include all relevant documents, such as repair receipts, settlement forms and application papers with your complaint.
Do not send original lemon law documents; only copies may be submitted. All complaints must be mailed or faxed to the consumer protection division.
Once your complaint has been received, your claim will be reviewed. If the board rules in your favor, the vehicle will be branded as a lemon and a refund or replacement car will be ordered. If a refund is issued, you will be reimbursed in cash.
Depending on the circumstance of your lemon law claim, you may not receive a full refund. Additional fees and deductions based on the use of the car may be applied to your claim. If a replacement is ordered, you will be issued with a new version of the same vehicle.
Utah Lemon Law Lawyers
Although a lawyer is not mandatory, hiring a professional may increase the chances of winning a claim. Even if the court rules in your favor, the refund amount may be disputed.
Therefore, having a lemon law attorney on your case will help you fight additional settlement battles that may arise after a verdict is reached.
While the state sometimes helps you receive restitution from a lemon, a specialist lemon law attorney will help you take further action when the courts are unable to.
Similarly, you may not be familiar with the legal terms, filing procedures or intricate details of the law. Experienced attorneys will help you understand your options and explore legal avenues you may not have been aware of.
Additional New and Used Car Laws in Utah
The state’s car lemon law continues to cover eligible vehicles even after a verdict has been reached. For example, if the manufacturer repurchases a car from the owner, they are allowed to sell or lease the vehicle on to a new customer.
However, the sale must adhere to the following lemon law buyback rules:
- The seller must inform buyers of the vehicle’s defect history. A clear and conspicuous written statement must be presented to all new owners, stating that the vehicle is a buyback. UT state lemon law disclosure forms must include the following information:
- Vehicle details, such as VIN, year, make and model
- Odometer reading
- Buyback disclosure statement and defect history
- Buyer’s signature and sale date
- The seller must include the statement in all contracts pertaining to the resale or lease of the vehicle in question.
How to Tell if Your New Car Is a Lemon in Utah
Not all defective vehicles qualify as a lemon. It is important to not only correctly diagnose your vehicle before submitting a complaint but avoid purchasing a lemon in the first place. Make sure the information on the window sticker and bill of sale matches the vehicle.
Federal lemon law states that the window sticker must be intact when the vehicle is sold. Ensure that all of the included items, service reports and lemon law warranty details are up-to-date and correct.
Most importantly, drive the vehicle and perform a thorough examination on how the car runs before buying a car.
If you purchase a vehicle after completing the above checks and experience an eligible defect, you may have a lemon. Keep in mind that the defect must affect your ability to operate the vehicle safely or sell it at market value.