Rhode Island Lemon Laws – Summary
Rhode Island’s lemon laws state that if the buyer or lessee of a vehicle finds a major fault in it – which the manufacturers are unable to fix even after 4 valid attempts by the vehicle manufacturer to repair it – the manufacturer is liable to repurchase or replace the faulty vehicle. This law applies to the vehicle throughout its express warranty period, or 1 year from its delivery, or 15,000 miles on the vehicle’s odometer, and if the vehicle is still under its warranty period and meets the eligibility criteria as specified by Rhode Island’s state laws, the owner of the vehicle can claim their lemon aid and demand the manufacturers to provide them with the necessary reimbursement, in the form of a refund or replacement of the faulty vehicle through arbitration. The repurchase costs will also cover any additional costs the owner underwent while purchasing the vehicle, while replacements do not require the customer to pay any additional fees, instead providing them with all collateral charges paid during the original purchase of the vehicle.
Rhode Island Lemon Law Time Limits & Eligibility
The lemon law covers all motor vehicles which weigh less than 10,000 pounds, including trucks, motorcycles, vehicle converters and vans. However, motorized campers are not protected. The vehicle must be purchased or leased (for over a period of 1 year) for purposes other than resale, and should have a nonconformity which severely impairs the vehicle’s usability, safety and market value. The nonconformity should solely be the responsibility of the manufacturer, and should not, in any way, be caused by the owner’s negligence, abuse or an unauthorized modification attempt. The term of protection lasts for 1 year from the vehicle’s delivery, or 15,000 miles on the vehicle’s odometer, whichever comes first, and the defect in the vehicle needs to be reported within this period.
Rhode Island Lemon Law Used Vehicles
Used vehicles are also eligible for receiving arbitrary aid. As long as the vehicle fits the eligibility criteria as stated above, they may claim their arbitrary aid even if the vehicle may have undergone a change of ownership.
Rhode Island Lemon Law Repairs
The manufacturer needs to be provided a written notice informing them about the nonconformity, following which they must immediately commence with necessary repair to fix the nonconformity. If the nonconformity remains even after 4 or more repair attempts, or if the vehicle remains out of service for repair reasons for over 30 calendar days, the manufacturer must then give the customer a refund or replace the vehicle. Repair attempts may commence even after the expiration of the term of protection, and the vehicle would still be eligible to receive these benefits.
Following the unsuccessful repair attempts or 30 day period, the case may be proceeded to a certified arbitration program affiliated with the manufacturer. However, if the owner is unhappy with the judgment passed by the arbiter, or if the manufacturer is not affiliated with any such program, the case may then proceed to a civil court. Claims in a civil court may be filed within a period of 3 years from the delivery of the vehicle, or 2 years from the vehicle reaching the mileage of 15,000 miles. This excludes any time spent during the arbitration process.
Compensation for Lemon in Rhode Island
In case of a refund, the customer will be refunded the full purchasing price of the vehicle as well as all collateral costs, excluding a fee for the customer’s prior usage of the faulty vehicle. In case of a replacement, the owner will be given a new vehicle which is comparable or identical to the original model, and they will also be repaid all collateral costs charged from them during the purchase of the original vehicle. The new vehicle must be delivered to the customer within 30 calendar days, failing which, the manufacturer will have to award the owner a refund.
Other Rhode Island Laws