The state of West Virginia requires all motor vehicle manufacturers to meet specific responsibilities and obligations for motor vehicles under warranties. This means that as long as a vehicle is under warranty the manufacturer must resolve a recurring problem, if the problem is specifically a lemon.
Lemons can be difficult to define, so each state has created their own laws and regulations for lemon determination. West Virginia lemon laws state that only particular motor vehicles can be under consideration. These include vans, pickups, trucks, automobiles, motor homes, and any self-propelling motor vehicle chassis. These motor vehicles must have been sold as new products from the manufacturer while in state lines.
All vehicles must also be under express warranties, though some conditions do apply. If the owner has reported the problem within the warranty’s time period or after the original delivery’s date, the case will be classified as a legal lemon.
Each state also sets a minimum number of times a vehicle must have been repaired without success before being accepted as a lemon. This number is usually three or four times. West Virginia law does not set a specific number – though three times is often chosen – but instead states the number of times to be a “reasonable number.” The reasonable number must be within the one-year timeline and while under warranty.
When a motor vehicle defect can result in bodily harm or death to its owner or passengers, the reasonable number is lowered to only one repair before the law mandates replacement. West Virginia also requires that the repairs made only be enough to satisfy the express warranty conditions. Any other work for damages or cosmetic work will not be considered in replacement.
When the owner has attempted to repair the vehicle through an agent, authorized dealer, or manufacturer, but has not amounted in success, the manufacturer is required by law to replace the motor vehicle. This kind of replacement must be a motor vehicle of comparable pricing, warranty, and function.
The regulations and law for lemon cases in West Virginia are stated in Chapter 46A of Article 6A in the Consumer Protection Section of New Motor Vehicle Warranties. The first portion of this statute declares legislative acts for public policy and why manufacturers are required to conform to warranties and lemon laws.
The statute’s second section outlines definitions of lemon portions. These include consumer, manufacturer, manufacturer’s express warranty, and motor vehicle. Section three includes the manufacturer’s duty in repairing or replacing the new motor vehicle as well as upholding warranties.
Another subsections outline a dealer’s duties in disclosing all repairs to a customer, including written disclosure. The list of all unsuccessful repairs will need to be made to prove a vehicle is indeed a lemon. Section five lists the obligations of consumer actions, including any damages, abuse, or attorney fees. Section six requires written statements be given to consumers, while section seven states resale of returned motor vehicles. The final two sections of the West Virginia statute include third party dispute resolution processes and any further remedies for lemon cases.