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  • Lemon Law in Wyoming

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    Although Wyoming does not have an expressly titled lemon law, it does have a statute (40-17-101) on the books protecting consumers against faulty vehicles purchased under warranty.

    Despite the lack of a conspicuous moniker, the basics of the law are quite similar to the lemon laws of most other states. The law essentially gives buyers an out if all else fails with their vehicles.

    When a Car is a Lemon

    First off, the vehicle purchased must be brand new and under the standard manufacturer's warranty. If you are having problems with a used vehicle with 150,000 miles on it and no warranty, you won't get very far trying to use this law.

    If the new vehicle has a defect that is reported within 1 year of purchase, the manufacturer will, through its agents (usually the dealer you bought the auto from), generally fix the problem pronto.

    That will usually be the end of it. There are countless cars that for one reason or another did not roll off the assembly line in perfect condition. But after one trip to the shop, the car never has another problem. But when the garage fixes the defect and two weeks later the exact same problem is back, the makings for a lemon are in place.

    The manufacturer must have a "reasonable" number of attempts to cure the ailment and restore the vehicle's fair market value. In Wyoming, "reasonable" is defined as 3 attempts within 1 year, or a collective total of 30 days in the shop during a period of 1 year.

    Your Options

    If the 3 attempts or 30 days come to pass and the vehicle is still not fixed, it is a pretty good guess that you have purchased a lemon. But you are not necessarily stuck with the sour vehicle, as there is plenty of recourse under the statute.

    The initial step is to contact the dealer or manufacturer representative in your locale. Most likely, if you have kept detailed notes of the garage time and held onto all of the paperwork, the issue will not have to go much further.

    The law clearly states that the manufacturer must take one of two actions:

    1. Replace the vehicle with the same or a comparable model, complete with the option package that was on the original vehicle.
    2. Refund all monies, either to the consumer or to the lien holder.

    It will simply turn out to be an exceptionally expensive store return, but the customer is happy and the manufacturer has a tax write-off or finds a way to finally repair the car and return it to the lot. Either way, hopefully the lemon issue is resolved.

    If for some reason you run into roadblocks when dealing with the manufacturer, and you possess all the paperwork showing you meet the definition of the lemon statute, contact the Consumer Protection Unit of the Wyoming Attorney General's Office at the following address:

    • Consumer Protection Unit
    • 123 Capitol Building
    • 200 W. 24th Street
    • Cheyenne, WY 82002
    • (307) 777-7841
    • TDD: (307) 777-5351

    Another option is to refer the matter to a legal representative. Engaging a lemon law attorney as soon as you realize you have a lemon on your hands can help avoid the manufacturer trying to stall the process.

    An attorney who specializes in these types of cases will know exactly what moves the manufacturer will make, and can take steps to mitigate them. Having legal help also frees you from wasting your precious time haggling on the phone and in writing with a huge auto conglomerate―you've already wasted enough time taking your lemon to the shop.

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