used in this chapter:
"Consumer" means the purchaser or lessor, other than
for purposes of resale, of a motor vehicle normally used for
personal, family, or household purposes and subject to the
manufacturer's express warranty, and any other person entitled
by the warranty to enforce the obligations of the warranty.
"Manufacturer" means any person, resident, or
nonresident, who manufactures or assembles or imports or
distributes new motor vehicles which are to be sold in the
"Manufacturer's express warranty" or
"warranty" means the written warranty, so labeled, of
the manufacturer of a new motor vehicle, including any terms or
conditions precedent to the enforcement of obligations under
"Motor vehicle" means a private passenger motor
vehicle, as classified by Section 56-3-630, but excluding the
living portion of recreational vehicles and off-road vehicles,
which is sold and registered in this State.
A "new motor vehicle" means a private passenger motor
vehicle which has been sold to a new motor vehicle dealer by a
manufacturer and which has not been used for other than
demonstration purposes and on which the original title has not
been issued from the new motor vehicle dealer.
"Nonconformity" means a defect or condition that
substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of a motor
vehicle, but does not include a defect or condition that results
from an accident, modification, or alteration of the motor
vehicle by persons other than the manufacturer or its authorized
Manufacturers to provide annual written summaries of certain
records to be made available; penalties.
manufacturer, in a format and a form that must be mailed
annually to each manufacturer approved by the Administrator of
the Department of Consumer Affairs, shall provide a written
summary of all motor vehicles repurchased or replaced under this
chapter no less than once each calendar year. In addition, every
manufacturer shall make available any paperwork, reports, or
other information regarding vehicles subject to this chapter
upon request by the administrator. Failure to supply either the
written summaries of repurchased vehicles or respond to
reasonable requests for information by the administrator
subjects the manufacturer to an administrative penalty not to
exceed one thousand dollars for each violation which the
administrator in his discretion may impose.
Nonconformity with express warranties.
required; repairs required.
a new motor vehicle does not conform to all applicable express
warranties within the first twelve months of purchase or the
first twelve thousand miles of operation, whichever occurs
first, and the consumer reports the nonconformity to the
manufacturer or its agent during the term of the express
warranties, the manufacturer, or its agent, shall make those
repairs as are necessary to conform the vehicle to the express
warranties at no cost to the consumer, notwithstanding the fact
that the repairs are made after the expiration of the term.
Replacement of motor vehicle.
of purchase price.
within the term specified in Section 56-28-30, the manufacturer,
through its agents or authorized dealer, is unable to conform
the motor vehicle to any applicable express warranty by
repairing or correcting any defect or condition which
substantially impairs the use, market value, or safety of the
motor vehicle to the consumer after a reasonable number of
attempts, the manufacturer shall replace the motor vehicle with
a comparable motor vehicle, or at its option, accept return of
the vehicle from the consumer and refund to the consumer the
full purchase price as delivered including applicable finance
charges, sales taxes, license fees, registration fees, and any
other similar governmental charges, less a reasonable allowance
for the consumer's use of the vehicle. Refunds must be made to
the consumer and lien holder, if any, as their interest may
appear on the record of ownership kept by the Division of Motor
Vehicles. A reasonable allowance for use must be that amount
directly attributable to use by the consumer before his first
report of the nonconformity to the manufacturer, agent, or
dealer, and must be calculated by multiplying the full purchase
price of the vehicle by a fraction having as its denominator one
hundred twenty thousand and having as its numerator the number
of miles that the vehicle traveled before the first report of
nonconformity. The consumer is not entitled to a refund or
the nonconformity does not substantially impair the motor
vehicle's use, market value, or safety;
the nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect, or
modification or alteration of the motor vehicle by the consumer.
Presumption of attempts to conform.
to be provided to consumers; obligations of manufacturer; costs
and attorney's fees; notice requirements.
It is presumed that a reasonable number of attempts have been
undertaken to conform a motor vehicle to the applicable express
the same nonconformity has been subject to repair three or more
times by the manufacturer, or its agent, within the express
warranty term, but the nonconformity continues to exist; or
the vehicle is out of service by reason of repair for a
cumulative total of thirty or more calendar days during the
express warranty. The term of an express warranty, and the
twenty-day period must be extended by any period of time during
which repair services are not available to the consumer because
of a war, invasion, strike, fire, flood, or other natural
The manufacturer must provide information regarding consumer
complaint remedies with each new motor vehicle. It is the
responsibility of the consumer, or his representative, before
availing himself of the provisions of this chapter, to give
written notification to the manufacturer of the need for the
repair of the nonconformity, in order to allow the manufacturer
a final opportunity to cure the alleged defect if the
manufacturer has clearly and prominently informed the consumer
of the requirement of written notification to the manufacturer
at the time of sale. The manufacturer, within ten business days,
must notify the consumer of a reasonably accessible repair
facility of a franchised new vehicle dealer to conform the new
vehicle to the express warranty. After delivery of the new
vehicle to an authorized repair facility by the consumer, the
manufacturer must attempt immediately to repair the vehicle
within a period not to exceed ten business days in order to
conform the new motor vehicle to the express warranty. If the
manufacturer is unable to repair properly the vehicle within the
final ten-business-day period, the manufacturer must replace the
vehicle with an identical or reasonably equivalent vehicle or
refund the purchase price subject to the provisions of Section
Upon notification from the consumer that the new vehicle has not
been conformed to the express warranty, the manufacturer shall
inform the consumer if an informal dispute settlement procedure
has been established by the manufacturer as enumerated in
Section 56-28-60. However, if prior notice by the manufacturer
of an informal dispute settlement procedure has been given, no
further notice is required.
Any consumer who finally prevails in any action brought under
this chapter, may be allowed by the court to recover as part of
the judgment a sum equal to the aggregate amount of cost and
expenses (including attorney's fees based on actual time
expended) and other such costs which are directly attributable
to the nonconformity of the motor vehicle determined by the
court to have been reasonably incurred by the plaintiff for or
in connection with the commencement and prosecution of such
action, unless the court in its discretion determines that such
an award of attorney's fees would be inappropriate.
All written notifications required by this section shall be sent
by registered, certified, or express mail.
Informal dispute settlement procedures.
a manufacturer has established an informal dispute settlement
procedure which substantially complies with Title 16 of the Code
of Federal Regulations, Part 703, or if the manufacturer
participates in a consumer-industry appeals, arbitration, or
mediation panel or board, whose decisions are binding on the
manufacturer, the provisions of Section 56-28-40 concerning
refunds or replacement do not apply to any consumer who has not
first resorted to those procedures or to the alternate procedure
provided in Section 56-28-90.
Limitation of actions.
action brought under this chapter must be commenced within three
years following the date of original delivery of the motor
vehicle to the consumer.
Construction of chapter.
from dealer prohibited; exception.
in this chapter may be construed as imposing any liability on a
motor vehicle dealer or creating a cause of action by a consumer
against a motor vehicle dealer under Section 56-28-40. The
manufacturer shall not charge back or require reimbursement by
the dealer for any costs, including, but not limited to, any
refunds or vehicle replacements incurred by the manufacturer
arising out of this chapter in the absence of evidence that the
related repairs had been carried out by the dealer in a manner
substantially inconsistent with the manufacturer's published
State arbitration board may be established.
Administrator of the Department of Consumer Affairs may
establish by regulation a state arbitration board consisting of
five members appointed by him to serve at his pleasure. The
board shall review matters involving manufacturers that have not
created an informal dispute settlement procedure that
substantially complies with Title 16 of the Code of Federal
Regulations, Part 703. The cost of the arbitration board must be
borne by the manufacturer of the vehicle purchased or leased by
Repurchased vehicles not to be resold; exceptions.
vehicle required to be repurchased by a manufacturer under this
chapter or any other provision of law relating to motor vehicle
warranties may not be resold, reassigned, or retransferred,
either at wholesale or retail in this State, unless:
The manufacturer notifies the Administrator of the Department of
Consumer Affairs within thirty calendar days, in writing, of the
vehicle identification number of that motor vehicle, the reason
that the vehicle was repurchased, and provides a statement that
all necessary repairs and adjustments have been made and that
the vehicle meets acceptable operating standards.
The manufacturer provides a written warranty to the subsequent
retail purchaser of the vehicle covering the vehicle for twelve
months or twelve thousand miles. The warranty must expressly
include any component related to the manufacturer's decision to
repurchase the vehicle.
The manufacturer shall disclose to any dealer or other wholesale
purchaser of the fact that the vehicle was required to be
repurchased under this chapter or another provision of law
relating to motor vehicle warranties.
Notification to subsequent purchasers.
for failure to notify.
subsequent purchaser must be notified by the seller of the fact
that the vehicle was required to be repurchased under the terms
of this chapter or another provision of law relating to motor
vehicle warranties. Failure to notify properly any purchaser of
the requirements of this section subjects the seller to an
administrative penalty to be imposed by the administrator up to
a maximum of five hundred dollars for each vehicle.