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Virginia

Virginia Lemon Law

Virginia Lemon Law Title 59.1, Chapter 17.3, ?59.1-207.9 - ?59.1-207.16

Virginia Lemon Law 59.1-207.9

This chapter may be cited as the Virginia Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act.

Virginia Lemon Law 59.1-207.10

The General Assembly recognizes that a motor vehicle is a major consumer purchase, and there is no doubt that a defective motor vehicle creates a hardship for the consumer. It is the intent of the General Assembly that a good faith motor vehicle warranty complaint by a consumer should be resolved by the manufacturer, or its agent, within a specified period of time. It is further the intent of the General Assembly to provide the statutory procedures whereby a consumer may receive a replacement motor vehicle, or a full refund, for a motor vehicle which cannot be brought into conformity with the express warranty issued by the manufacturer. However, nothing in this chapter shall in any way limit the rights or remedies which are otherwise available to a consumer under any other law.

Virginia Lemon Law 59.1-207.11

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

“Collateral charges” means any sales-related charges including but not limited to sales tax, license fees, registration fees, title fees, finance charges and interest, transportation charges, dealer preparation charges or any other charges for service contracts, undercoating, rust proofing or installed options, not recoverable from a third party.

“Comparable motor vehicle” means a motor vehicle that is identical or reasonably equivalent to the motor vehicle to be replaced, as the motor vehicle to be replaced existed at the time of purchase with an offset from this value for a reasonable allowance for its use.

“Consumer” means the purchaser, other than for purposes of resale, of a motor vehicle used in substantial part for personal, family, or household purposes, and any person to whom such motor vehicle is transferred for the same purposes during the duration of any warranty applicable to such motor vehicle, and any other person entitled by the terms of such warranty to enforce the obligations of the warranty.

“Incidental damages” shall have the same meaning as provided in ? 8.2-715.

“Lemon law rights period” means the period ending eighteen months after the date of the original delivery to the consumer of a new motor vehicle. This shall be the period during which the consumer can report any nonconformity to the manufacturer and pursue any rights provided for under this chapter.

“Lien” means a security interest in a motor vehicle.

“Lienholder” means a person, partnership, association, corporation or entity with a security interest in a motor vehicle pursuant to a lien.

“Manufacturer” means a person, partnership, association, corporation or entity engaged in the business of manufacturing or assembling motor vehicles, or of distributing motor vehicles to motor vehicle dealers.

“Manufacturer’s express warranty” means the written warranty, so labeled, of the manufacturer of a new automobile, including any terms or conditions precedent to the enforcement of obligations under that warranty.

“Motor vehicle” means only passenger cars, pickup or panel trucks, motorcycles, self-propelled motorized chassis of motor homes and mopeds as those terms are defined in ? 46.2-100 and demonstrators or lease purchase vehicles with which a warranty was issued.

“Motor vehicle dealer” shall have the same meaning as provided in ? 46.2-1500.

“Nonconformity” means a failure to conform with a warranty, a defect or a condition, including those that do not affect the driveability of the vehicle, which significantly impairs the use, market value, or safety of a motor vehicle.

“Notify” or “notification” means that the manufacturer shall be deemed to have been notified under this chapter if a written complaint of the defect or defects has been mailed to it or it has responded to the consumer in writing regarding a complaint, or a factory representative has either inspected the vehicle or met with the consumer or an authorized dealer regarding the nonconformity.

“Reasonable allowance for use” shall not exceed one-half of the amount allowed per mile by the Internal Revenue Service, as provided by regulation, revenue procedure, or revenue ruling promulgated pursuant to ? 162 of the Internal Revenue Code, for use of a personal vehicle for business purposes, plus an amount to account for any loss to the fair market value of the vehicle resulting from damage beyond normal wear and tear, unless the damage resulted from nonconformity to any warranty.

“Serious safety defect” means a life-threatening malfunction or nonconformity that impedes the consumer’s ability to control or operate the new motor vehicle for ordinary use or reasonable intended purposes or creates a risk of fire or explosion.

“Significant impairment” means to render the new motor vehicle unfit, unreliable or unsafe for ordinary use or reasonable intended purposes.

“Warranty” means any implied warranty or any written warranty of the manufacturer, or any affirmations of fact or promise made by the manufacturer in connection with the sale of a motor vehicle that become part of the basis of the bargain. The term “warranty” pertains to the obligations of the manufacturer in relation to materials, workmanship, and fitness of a motor vehicle for ordinary use or reasonable intended purposes throughout the duration of the lemon law rights period as defined under this section.

Virginia Lemon Law 59.1-207.12

Conformity to all warranties

If a new motor vehicle does not conform to all warranties, and the consumer reports the nonconformity to the manufacturer, its agents, or its authorized dealer during the manufacturer’s warranty period, the manufacturer, its agent or its authorized dealer shall make such repairs as are necessary to conform the vehicle to such warranties, notwithstanding the fact that such repairs are made after the expiration of such manufacturer’s warranty period. Virginia Lemon Law 59.1-207.13 Nonconformity of motor vehicles

Virginia Lemon Law 59.1-207.14

Action to enforce provisions of chapter

Any consumer who suffers loss by reason of a violation of any provision of this chapter may bring a civil action to enforce such provision. Any consumer who is successful in such an action or any defendant in any frivolous action brought by a consumer shall recover reasonable attorney’s fees, expert witness fees and court costs incurred by bringing such actions.

Virginia Lemon Law 59.1-207.15

Informal dispute settlement procedure

Virginia Lemon Law 59.1-207.16

Action to be brought within certain time

Any action brought under this chapter shall be commenced within the lemon law rights period following the date of original delivery of the motor vehicle to the consumer; however, any consumer whose good faith attempts to settle the dispute have not resulted in the satisfactory correction or repair of the nonconformity, replacement of the motor vehicle or refund to the consumer of the amount described in subdivision 2 of subsection A of ? 59.1-207.13, shall have twelve months from the date of the final action taken by the manufacturer in its dispute settlement procedure or within the lemon law rights period, whichever is longer, to file an action in the proper court, provided the consumer has rejected the manufacturer’s final action.