Wisconsin Lemon Law

Wisconsin Lemon Laws

Wisconsin’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, and if the vehicle is still under its warranty period and meets the eligibility criteria as specified by Wisconsin’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.

Wisconsin Lemon Law Time Limit & Eligibility

To be eligible for a lemon aid, the vehicle must have been no more than 1 year old during filing and has been bought and sold for a consumer residing in Wisconsin. It will not be eligible for a lemon aid if the vehicle was bought from Wisconsin but designated to be used by another consumer who does not reside in Wisconsin. The vehicle must also not be a moped, semitrailer, trailers that need to be towed by a truck or a truck tractor. 

Nonconforming Conditions of Lemon Law in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, a vehicle must have a defect that impairs its use or value significantly. Thus, simple problems such as rattling windows are not covered by Wisconsin’s lemon law. The defect must also not be a direct result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modification of the vehicle.

Wisconsin Law Repairs

For significant problems being repaired by the manufacturer, they have at least four valid attempts to repair the defects before being liable for the lemon law. The problem must persist even after four valid attempts. However, the manufacturer has only two valid attempts at repairing a defect that makes the vehicle unusable.

In both cases, the manufacturer can also be held liable if the vehicle has been unusable or under repairs for a cumulative minimum of 30 days. This minimum may be adjusted if a natural disaster impairs the manufacturer’s capacity to fix or return the vehicle.

Lemon Law Compensation in Wisconsin

Wisconsin lemon law allows the consumer three options for compensation. The first one is to have a replacement vehicle or the value of buying a replacement vehicle converted into cash, plus collateral cost. If the consumer opts to have the value of the replacement vehicle instead, then they will also be paid the subsequent sales tax and finance charge. The payment or replacement in both cases should be provided within 45 days for vehicles at or under 10,000 lbs; 120 days for vehicles over 10,000 lbs.

The second option is to refund the full price of the defective vehicle instead. This also includes sales tax, finance charge, and collateral cost; a reasonable amount for mileage will be deducted. In this option, the manufacturer should provide the compensation within 30 days.

The third option is for leased vehicles. In this case, the manufacturer will need to pay the paid value that the lessee has paid minus a reasonable amount for mileage.

Wisconsin Lemon Law on Used Vehicles

The lemon law also covers used cars. However, the defect must have occurred during the first year after the original buying date. The law may not be invoked if the vehicle broke down after the validity period but at less than one year since the buying date of the new owner.

Other Wisconsin Laws

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