Utah Lemon Law Summary
- Eligibility: 4 unsuccessful repairs or 30 business days out of service within shorter of 1 year or warranty.
- Resolution Attempt: Written notice to manufacturer, agent or dealer.
- (Manufacturer's informal arbitrations process serves as prerequisite to consumer refund or replacement.)
Utah has one of the most majestic sceneries in all of the US. With plenty of recreational activities to commute to, a dependable car is a must-have. If your car’s condition is keeping you from going mountain climbing, then Utah’s lemon law is for you.
An advisor at Utah’s Department of Consumer Protection explained the guidelines Utah uses in determining a lemon.
“The lemon law only applies to brand new vehicles that have never been titled or registered to anyone previously,” he said. “They’re essentially sold new through a dealership by a manufacturer and they have to have fewer than 7500 miles on them, meaning even if they were used as dealer or demo vehicles they would still technically not be a new vehicle.”
He clarified that the new vehicle would qualify as long as it is within the first year or the applicable express warranty period, whichever comes first. If within that time frame, the vehicle has a defect that has sent it to repair 4 times, or has caused the vehicle to be out of service for 30 or more cumulative business days for repairs, then it might be a lemon.
“The only affirmative defenses [against a lemon law claim] are abuse, neglect, or after market modifications that are causing the defect,” he said.
The advisor detailed Utah’s unique process in handling lemon law claims, which demands that consumers first pursue arbitration with the manufacturer as prescribed by their owner’s manual. However, there are some unique cases that require further steps than arbitration. The advisor explained that typically if the manufacturer is successful in defending the arbitration, but the consumer still feels unsettled, they can contact the Attorney General’s office.
“They don’t need an attorney at that point or a state agency,” he said. “They can just file a case with us at that point and then we will take a look at the disposition from the arbiter and determine if it meets the criteria of the law. If it does, then we will represent the consumer ...trying to seek the enforcement of law.”
The advisor added that under Utah statute, if the consumer wins in arbitration, or if the department decides in favor of the consumer upon further investigation, the remedy is a replacement or repurchase of the vehicle at the discretion of the manufacturer.
For more information, you can contact Utah’s Department of Consumer Protection at (801) 530-6601 or visit their website at www.dcp.utah.gov.