Lemon Law in Rhode Island
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A lemon is considered any recently purchased vehicle with an unexpected flaw that is not repaired after repeated attempts by the seller or manufacturer. To protect you from such a problem, Rhode Island instituted a Lemon Law.
If you suspect you may have been burdened with a lemon, regardless if it was intentional or unintentional, you may use the court to aid your cause. But, before taking legal action, you must make sure you understand the Lemon Law.
- Out of service for 30 days or more during the warranty period
- After four repair attempts for the same flaw within one year or 15,000 miles, the problem remains unrectified
- Out of service for 15 days or more within the warranty period
- The vehicle has been serviced for the same defect three times within the warranty period
If you have detailed documentation of your vehicle's problems, you'll have a much stronger case. So, before notifying Rhode Island's Attorney General's office, make sure you have on file:
- Sale and/or lease documents
- Maintenance records, including receipts for maintenance supplies
- Repair statements
- All documents pertaining to the problem
How to Proceed if You Own a New or Leased Vehicle
You must complete a complaint form with Rhode Island's Attorney General and pay a $20 filing fee. The Attorney General will then notify the manufacturer or dealer and then hand your case over to the Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board. The Board will gather and study all information relevant to your case before issuing a verdict.
If the verdict falls in your favor, the manufacturer or dealer who sold you your lemon will then have 30 days to comply to the terms decided by the Board. Usually, this means you'll either receive a full refund or an identical or similar replacement vehicle.
The Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board does not handle used car cases. You, unfortunately, must do most of the leg work. You should inquire if the dealership or manufacturer has an informal dispute process. If not, you should hire a lawyer to handle your case. Rhode Island Lemon Law attorneys can be easily found.
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