Lemon Law in Rhode Island
Under the state of Rhode Island‘s lemon law a manufacturer is required to return a motor vehicle to its proper condition under the implied warranty if the motor vehicle does not conform to the warranty’s standards while still under the warranty. The dealer is held under the law to conform to all state laws, regardless of belief. If the manufacturer, dealer, or agent is unable to conform the motor vehicle to the proper standard und the express warranty, the dealer, manufacturer, or agent is required to replace the vehicle.
When a motor vehicle is to be replaced the manufacturer is given thirty days, including weekends, to provide the consumer with a proper, working motor vehicle of the same standard as the motor vehicle that was a lemon. If the manufacturer is not able to provide a working vehicle within those thirty days, the manufacturer is then bound by law to refund the purchase.
The refund will include any taxes, licenses, registration, or fees that occurred because of purchasing the motor vehicle. All refunds will allow interests to appear as they had prior to purchase. The consumer is allowed to have the lemon motor vehicle in his or her possession for use during the thirty days of waiting.
A refund will not be made if the defect to the motor vehicle was caused by neglect, unauthorized substantial modification, alteration, or abuse. A refund will also not be made if the defect does not impede the market value, safety of, or impairment towards to motor vehicle.
In order to be classified as a lemon a motor vehicle must undergo a reasonable number of repair attempts to qualify. The repairs must be attempted on the same defect and not several different defects. To qualify all the attempts must be made while the motor vehicle is still under express warranty.
The state of Rhode Island considers a reasonable number of attempts four or more times. These attempts must be made by an authorized dealer or the manufacturer. A motor vehicle will also qualify for a lemon if it has been out of commission for thirty or more days, while still under express warranty. In these cases the motor vehicle does not need to be subject to a reasonable number of repair attempts. After thirty days the manufacturer has the right to attempt a repair within seven days.
The defects of a motor vehicle that are eligible under lemon law are those that have safety defects that would put the driver, passengers, or other drivers at risk for harm. When a vehicle is replaced or refunded, the manufacturer, agent, or dealer is not required to replace or refund any cosmetic additions, such as paint, body work, or sound systems.
In some cases used vehicles will also qualify for lemon laws. If a motor vehicle is still under express warranty but the current owner is not the original consumer, the vehicle may be eligible if all other requirements are met. All attempted repairs are required to take place prior to the express warranty’s expiration, in all cases, both used and new.