Lemon Law in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico combines both its own laws and federal laws together in regard to lemon products. These combined laws state that consumers of New Mexico are entitled to compensation after purchasing a defective motor vehicle.
Only certain vehicles are eligible for lemon compensation, including automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, boats, recreational vehicles, and computers. Other consumer products and appliances may also apply. New Mexico law states that the product, usually a motor vehicle, must have undergone several repair attempts while still under the manufacturer’s express warranty.
Lemon compensation in this state can include cash compensation, replacement, or refund. Those who may qualify for lemons are requested to consult an attorney. An attorney will be able to determine if a defect is a lemon or not. Lemon defects are required to either hinder the market value of the motor vehicle or be a defect that may hinder the safety of the passengers or driver.
Each state has specific statutes in which lemon laws are listed. The lemon laws of New Mexico began in 1985 and include the Motor Vehicle Quality Assurance Act. This act defines the different characteristics of motor vehicles and the related terms.
New Mexico Lemon Law 57-16A-3 states the necessity for a valid express warranty. This section says that if a consumer presents a motor vehicle to the manufacturer for a nonconformity defect, the manufacturer or agent must attempt a repair on the motor vehicle, but only if the motor vehicle is still under the express warranty. If the motor vehicle has an expired express warranty, the manufacturer or agent is not required to attempt a repair on the nonconformity.
While still under express warranty, the manufacturer must replace the motor vehicle if the manufacturer cannot repair the defective nonconformity in a reasonable number of attempts. This is only possible if the lack of repair would hinder the motor vehicle’s market value.
A replacement vehicle will be comparable to the lemon vehicle. If the consumer declines a replacement vehicle, he or she may be refunded in compensation. Such compensation will include the purchasing price of the motor vehicle, collateral charges, taxes, registration fees, licensing fees, and any other government-required fee payments. If a motor vehicle has signs of neglect or abuse, such compensation may be subtracted from the refunded amount.
Motor vehicles will only be subject to manufacturer repair attempts and possible replacement if the consumer shows that the motor vehicle has four or more attempted repairs to the same nonconforming defect. If the nonconformity still exists after a reasonable number of repair attempts and while still under one year since the vehicle’s original delivery date, the manufacturer must attempt a repair.
Suppose the manufacturer has the motor vehicle while attempting repair for over thirty calendar days, and the express warranty has been terminated. In that case, the agent or manufacturer must still repair the motor vehicle. Such an agreement will be agreed in written consent before an attempted repair.
Here are some resources and citations related to New Mexico’s lemon laws:
- New Mexico Motor Vehicle Quality Assurance Act: The text of the law can be found in the New Mexico Statutes Annotated, Section 57-16A-1 et seq. This law protects consumers who purchase or lease new motor vehicles that fail to meet certain quality standards.
- New Mexico Office of the Attorney General: The Attorney General’s office provides information on lemon laws in New Mexico on its website, including an overview of the Motor Vehicle Quality Assurance Act and a lemon law complaint form that consumers can use to seek relief.
- New Mexico Better Business Bureau: The BBB provides information on lemon laws in New Mexico on its website, including an overview of the Motor Vehicle Quality Assurance Act and tips for consumers who are dealing with a lemon vehicle.
- New Mexico Consumer Protection Division: The Consumer Protection Division is a part of the New Mexico Attorney General’s office and provides information and resources for consumers, including information on lemon laws in New Mexico.
- New Mexico Courts: In the event that a lemon law dispute cannot be resolved through negotiation or arbitration, consumers may need to file a lawsuit in court. Information on New Mexico’s courts and the process for filing a lawsuit can be found on the New Mexico Courts website.
These are just a few resources and citations related to New Mexico’s lemon laws. Consumers dealing with a potential lemon vehicle should also consider consulting with an attorney specializing in lemon law cases for further guidance and support.