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Idaho Lemon Law
You never thought it would happen to you and for good reason. Buying a lemon is a rare occurrence, and nothing short of a headache. Yet it occurs often enough that the state has created a lemon law to protect consumers against the burden of purchasing a new vehicle that is so flawed that neither the manufacturer nor its agents and authorized dealers can repair it after a reasonable number of attempts.
Plainly stated, if the defective vehicle bears enough flaws affecting its market value or its performance, according to this law, its manufacturer must either replace the new vehicle or refund your money.
The specifics of the lemon law are designed to keep the consumer's best interest in mind. Although the trouble you have already endured may have cost you valuable time, you should not lose any money on the deal.
On this page you'll find an overview of Idaho's lemon law and the steps you may need to take to settle a dispute.
Your new vehicle purchase is protected by the Idaho lemon law if it:
- Was purchased or licensed in Idaho.
- Weighs no more than 12,000 lbs.
- The car is used for personal business matters or family/household reasons.
Motorcycles, tractors, trailers, and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are not covered by the lemon law.
Your vehicle is covered until one of the following events occur:
- The manufacturer's warranty expires.
- You have driven the vehicle 24,000 miles or more.
- 2 years have passed since you took possession of the vehicle.
You'll need to report the defect and try to repair it through your manufacturer or an authorized dealer before one of the events above passes.
To learn more about the specifics of the lemon law, the Idaho Attorney General's office also offers a Lemon Law pamphlet online that discusses your rights under the lemon law.
Manufacturer Repair Attempts
If you are within the lemon law rights timeframe and your defect qualifies your new car as a lemon, the manufacturer must try to fix the issue in a reasonable number of tries, which are defined as:
- At least 4 attempts.
- 1 attempt for major defects that are likely to cause death or serious injury.
- After the vehicle is out-of-service for repairs for at least 30 business days.
If after the reasonable number of repair attempts your vehicle is not fixed, you must send a final repair notice by certified mail to your vehicle's manufacturer.
If the defect can't be repaired after the final attempt or the manufacturer fails to respond, the manufacturer must:
- Replace the vehicle.
- Refund your purchase.
If the vehicle's manufacturer refuses to replace or refund your defective vehicle, you may need to begin an informal dispute process or file a lawsuit.
If you feel it's necessary to file a complaint, call the Better Business Bureau's (BBB) at (800) 955-5100. You may also consider hiring an attorney to represent your interests.
Many vehicle manufacturers have their own lemon law dispute settlement programs. If so, you must go through that process before you can file a lawsuit.
If you are unsatisfied with the informal dispute program's decision or if your manufacturer does not have an informal arbitration service, you'll be able to file a lawsuit.
For more information contact the Idaho Office of the Attorney General at:
- (208) 334-2424.
- (800) 432-3545.
- Online on the attorney general website.
NOTE: If you are seeking legal advice you should contact a lawyer.Other Topics in This Section