A lemon is a new or used car with major defects that weren’t known during the time of purchase. Luckily, residents of Rhode Island have an excellent lemon law. Basically, the Rhode Island lemon law demands vehicle manufacturers to either refund your purchase or replace your vehicle if your vehicle is discovered to be a lemon. So, if you realize that the car you bought is a lemon, whether it was intentional or unintentional, you can use this law and get your refund or vehicle replacement.
Rhode Island Lemon Law Protections
The Rhode Island lemon law protects new and used cars. Your vehicle will qualify for protection under this law if the same defect is not repaired after 4 attempts. You must take your vehicle for repair within a 1 year after your lease/purchase or 15,000 miles of use.
Qualifications for Used Vehicles
If you purchased a used vehicle and realize that it is a lemon, it may qualify for protection under this law if it meets either one of the following criteria:
- It has been out of service for 15 days or more within the period of the warranty
- If the defect can’t be fixed after 3 attempts of repair and the same defect continues to exist within the warranty period.
Lemon Law Documentation
You need to keep all the required records if you intend to file a lemon law case at the office of the Attorney General in Rhode Island. The documents that you need to keep include:
- Lease or purchase documents
- Maintenance records, plus receipts for maintenance supplies
- Repair statements
- All documents regarding the problem.
Taking RI Lemon Law Legal Action
Under Rhode Island lemon law, if you have a lemon, you must follow a specific dispute settlement process. Try to settle your lemon law case through the manufacturer’s informal dispute board before taking any legal action in a civil court.
You may either file your complaint at the Office of the Attorney General in Rhode Island or settle the issue through the informal dispute program normally provided by the manufacturer. If you choose the Attorney General’s option, they will notify your car dealer or manufacturer before handing your case to the Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board. This Board will gather and study all information relevant to your case.
If you win the case
If the case is resolved in your favor, the dealer or manufacturer from whom you bought the vehicle will be authorized to comply with the board’s resolutions within 30 days. As stipulated in Rhode Island lemon law, they may be authorized to either refund your money or replace your vehicle with a comparable one.
If you lose the case
If the verdict of this board does not favor you or if the manufacturer fails to comply with the board’s verdict, you may hire a lemon law attorney to file a law suit in a civil court.