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Colorado Lemon Law
One of the last things that anybody thinks about when driving a shiny new car off a dealer's lot is that their new pride and joy just might have a defect that will cause endless havoc. But it happens, and in many cases that defect cannot seem to be repaired even after countless attempts.
Luckily, state governments, with a bit of federal backing, have enacted consumer protection laws (lemon laws) assisting buyers in retrieving new replacement vehicles, or a return of money for flawed vehicles meeting certain conditions.
In general, a new vehicle that cannot be repaired after a number of attempts within a certain amount of time must be replaced or repurchased by the manufacturer.
On this page you'll find a basic overview of Colorado's lemon law and the steps to take if you find yourself stuck with a sour one.
Colorado's Lemon Law (a.k.a. Warranties Act) comes into play when a new car, truck, or van under warranty has some sort of recurring malfunction that hinders the vehicle's function and skews its value more than normal appreciation loss.
NOTE: Motorcycles and motorhomes are not included in the Colorado lemon law. Additionally, minor defects and damages caused by neglect, misuse and alterations are not covered in the lemon law.
If, within 1 year of purchasing the vehicle, every valiant effort has been made to fix the defect (and it has to be the same defect) the buyer may be able to apply the Lemon Law. Colorado statute defines "a reasonable number of attempts" as 4 attempts or a total of 30 days (not consecutive) in a shop within 1 year.
Your vehicle manual will list the manufacturer representative to contact so you can begin the complaint process. It is extremely important that you document everything during this time period, especially the frequent visits to the service garage.
Before you can sue a vehicle manufacturer to replace or refund your defective vehicles, you'll generally need to send the manufacturer written notice with a final chance to settle the issue.
If the vehicle manufacturer has an informal dispute settlement program, you'll likely need to try that first.
Some manufacturers use the Better Business Bureau to help settle any lemon law issues. For more information, please visit the BBB Lemon Law website.
If you are not able to settle the claim with the manufacturer or the settlement is not satisfactory, you can contact the Colorado Attorney General or an attorney and file a law suit. You'll have 6 months after the expiration of your vehicle's warranty or up to 1 year after your purchase to file a suit, whichever comes first.
You can contact the Colorado Attorney General's office by calling (800) 222-4444 or by visiting the CO Attorney General website.
Again, make sure you keep good records/documentation of all of your vehicle's service history and all correspondence with your vehicle's manufacturer or authorized dealer.
The state Attorney General has provided further information on Lemon Law claims.Other Topics in This Section