Alabama Lemon Law Statutes...
Alabama Lemon Laws and the federal Lemon Law (the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act) provide for compensation to Alabama consumers of defective automobiles and trucks and other vehicles and products including motorcycles, RV's, boats, computers and other consumer appliances and products. To qualify under the Alabama Lemon Law or the Federal Lemon Law, you must generally have a product that suffered multiple repair attempts under the manufacturer's factory warranty. Lemon Law compensation can include a refund, replacement or cash
Alabama State Statutes
Title 8, Section 20A
Commercial Law And Consumer Protection
Motor Vehicle Lemon Law Rights
As used in this chapter, the following terms
shall have the respective meanings as indicated:
The purchaser, other than for purposes of
resale, of a new or previously untitled motor vehicle used in substantial
part for personal, family, or household purposes, and any other person
entitled by the terms of such warranty to enforce the obligations of the
(2) Motor vehicle.
Every vehicle intended primarily for use and
operation on the public highways which is self-propelled; provided, however,
that the term "motor vehicle" shall not apply to motor homes or to
any motor vehicle having a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR)
of 10,000 pounds or more.
The person, firm, or corporation engaged in
the business of manufacturing, importing and/or distributing motor vehicles
to be made available to a motor vehicle dealer for retail sale.
(4) Motor vehicle dealer or Authorized
The person, firm, or corporation operating
under a dealer agreement from a manufacturer, importer, or distributor and
who is engaged regularly in the business of buying, selling or exchanging
motor vehicles in this state and who has in this state an established place
(5) Express warranty.
A written warranty, so labeled, issued by the
manufacturer of a new motor vehicle, including any terms or conditions
precedent to the enforcement of obligations under that warranty.
(6) Nonconforming condition.
Any condition of a motor vehicle which shall
not be in conformity with the terms of any express warranty issued by the
manufacturer to a consumer and which:
(i) significantly impairs the use,
value or safety of the motor vehicle and
(ii) occurs or arises solely in the
course of the ordinary use of the motor vehicle, and which does not arise
or occur as a result of abuse, neglect, modification, or alteration of the
motor vehicle not authorized by the manufacturer, nor from any accident or
other damage to the motor vehicle which occurs or arises after such motor
vehicle was delivered by an authorized dealer to the consumer.
(7) Notice of a nonconforming condition.
A written statement which shall be delivered
to the manufacturer and which shall describe the subject motor vehicle, the
nonconforming condition, and shall describe all previous attempts to correct
such nonconforming condition by identifying the person, firm or corporation
who or which made such attempt, and the time when such attempt was made.
(8) Lemon law rights period.
The period ending one year after the date of
the original delivery of a motor vehicle to a consumer or the first 12,000
miles of operation, whichever first occurs.
8-20A-2 Obligations of manufacturer.
(a) If a new motor vehicle does not
conform to any applicable express warranty, and the consumer delivers the
motor vehicle to the manufacturer, its agent, or its authorized dealer, and
gives notice of the nonconforming condition during the lemon law rights
period, the manufacturer of the motor vehicle shall be obligated to make such
repairs to the motor vehicle as shall be necessary to remedy any nonconforming
condition thereof. Such repairs shall be required even after the expiration of
the lemon law rights period provided that notice of the nonconforming
condition was first given during the lemon law rights period and provided
further that the manufacturer's obligation to repair the nonconforming
condition shall not extend beyond the period of 24 months following delivery
of the vehicle or 24,000 miles, whichever occurs first.
(b) If, after reasonable attempts, the
manufacturer, its agent, or its authorized dealer is unable to conform the
motor vehicle to any express warranty by repairing or correcting a
nonconforming condition of the motor vehicle which first occurred during the
lemon law rights period, the manufacturer shall, at the option of the
consumer, replace the motor vehicle with a comparable new motor vehicle or
shall accept return of the vehicle from the consumer and refund to the
consumer the following:
(1) The full contract price including,
but not limited to, charges for undercoating, dealer preparation and
transportation charges, and installed options, plus the nonrefundable
portions of extended warranties and service contracts;
(2) All collateral charges, including
but not limited to, sales tax, license and registration fees, and similar
(3) All finance charges incurred by
the consumer after he first reported the nonconformity to the manufacturer,
its agent, or its authorized dealer; and
(4) Any incidental damages which shall
include the reasonable cost of alternative transportation during the period
that the consumer is without the use of the motor vehicle because of the
nonconforming condition. There shall be offset against any monetary recovery
of the consumer a reasonable allowance for the consumer's use of the
vehicle. Refunds shall be made to the consumer, and any lien holders, as
their interests may appear. A reasonable allowance for use is that amount
directly attributable to use by the consumer before his first report of the
nonconformity to the manufacturer, agent, or authorized dealer, and must be
calculated by multiplying the full purchase price of the motor vehicle by a
fraction having as its denominator 100,000 and having as its numerator the
number of miles that the vehicle travelled before the first report of
(c) It shall be presumed that reasonable
attempts to correct a nonconforming condition have been allowed by the
consumer if, during the period of 24 months following delivery of the vehicle
or 24,000 miles, whichever first occurs, either of the following events shall
(1) The same nonconforming condition
has been subject to repair attempts three or more times by the manufacturer,
its agents or its authorized dealers, at least one of which occurred during
the lemon law rights period, plus a final attempt by the manufacturer, and
the same nonconforming condition continues to exist; or
(2) The motor vehicle is out of
service and in the custody of the manufacturer, its agent, or an authorized
dealer due to repair attempts (including the final repair attempt), one of
which occurred during the lemon law rights period, for a cumulative total of
30 calendar days, unless such repair could not be performed because of
conditions beyond the control of the manufacturer, its agents or authorized
dealers, such as war, invasion, strike, fire, flood, or other natural
8-20A-3 Cause of action against manufacturer.
(a) A consumer sustaining damages as a
proximate consequence of the failure by a manufacturer to perform its
obligations imposed under this chapter may bring a civil action against the
manufacturer to enforce the provisions of this chapter. Prior to the
commencement of any such proceeding a consumer must give notice of a
nonconforming condition by certified United States mail to the manufacturer
and demand correction or repair of the nonconforming condition. If at the time
such notice of a nonconforming condition is given to the manufacturer, a
presumption has arisen that reasonable attempts to correct a nonconforming
condition have been allowed, the manufacturer shall be given a final
opportunity to cure the nonconforming condition. The manufacturer shall within
seven calendar days of receiving the written notice of nonconforming condition
notify the consumer of a reasonably accessible repair facility. After delivery
of the new vehicle to the authorized repair facility by the consumer, the
manufacturer shall attempt to correct the nonconforming condition and conform
the vehicle to the express warranty within a period not to exceed 14 calendar
days. If a manufacturer has established an informal dispute settlement
procedure which is in compliance with federal rules and regulations, a
consumer must first exhaust any remedy afforded to the consumer under the
informal dispute procedure of the manufacturer before a cause of action may be
instituted under the provisions of this chapter.
(b) It shall be an affirmative defense
to any claim against the manufacturer under this chapter that:
(i) an alleged nonconforming condition
does not significantly impair the use, market value, or safety of the motor
(ii) a nonconforming condition is a
result of abuse, neglect, or any modification or alteration of a motor
vehicle by a consumer that is not authorized by the manufacturer.
(c) If it is determined that the
manufacturer has breached its obligations imposed under this chapter, then the
consumer shall be entitled to recover, in addition to the remedy provided
under Section 8-20A-2 above, an additional award for reasonable attorneys
8-20A-4 Resale of returned motor vehicle.
If a motor vehicle has been returned to the
manufacturer under the provisions of this chapter or a similar statute of
another state, whether as the result of a legal action or as the result of an
informal dispute settlement proceeding, it may not be resold in this state
(1) The manufacturer discloses in
writing to the subsequent purchaser the fact that the motor vehicle was
returned under the provisions of this chapter and the nature of the
nonconformity to the vehicle warranty.
(2) The manufacturer returns the title
of the motor vehicle to the Alabama Department of Revenue advising of the
return of the motor vehicle under provisions of this chapter with an
application for title in the name of the manufacturer. The Department of
Revenue shall brand the title issued to the manufacturer and all subsequent
titles to the motor vehicle with the following statement:
THIS VEHICLE WAS RETURNED TO THE
MANUFACTURER BECAUSE IT DID NOT CONFORM TO ITS WARRANTY.
8-20A-5 No dealership liability.
Nothing in this chapter imposes any liability
upon a motor vehicle dealer or authorized dealer or creates a cause of action
by a consumer against a motor vehicle dealer or authorized dealer. A motor
vehicle dealer or authorized dealer may not be made a party defendant in any
action involving or relating to this chapter. The manufacturer shall not
charge back or require reimbursement by a motor vehicle dealer or authorized
dealer for any costs, including, but not limited to, any refunds or vehicle
replacements, incurred by the manufacturer arising out of this chapter.
8-20A-6 Statute of limitations.
Any action brought under this chapter against
the manufacturer shall be commenced within three years following the date of
original delivery of the motor vehicle to the consumer.