Delaware Lemon Law Statutes...
Delaware Lemon Laws and the federal Lemon Law (the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act) provide for compensation to Delaware 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 Delaware 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
Delaware State Statutes
Title 6, Subtitle II, Chapter 50,
Sections 5001 - 5009
Commerce And Trade
As used in this chapter:
(1) "Consumer" means the
purchaser, other than for purposes of resale, of an automobile; a person to
whom an automobile is transferred during the duration of an express warranty
applicable to the automobile; or any other person entitled by the terms of the
warranty to enforce the obligations of the warranty.
(2) "Dealer" means a person
actively engaged in the business of buying, selling or exchanging automobiles
at retail and who has an established place of business.
(3) "Manufacturer" means a
person engaged in the business of manufacturing, assembling or distributing
automobiles, who will, under normal business conditions during the year,
manufacture, assemble or distribute to dealers at least 10 new automobiles.
(4) "Manufacturer's express
warranty" or "warranty" means the written warranty of the
manufacturer of a new automobile of its condition and fitness for use,
including any terms or conditions precedent to the enforcement of obligations
under that warranty.
(5) "Automobile" means any
passenger motor vehicle, except motorcycles, which is leased or bought in
Delaware or registered by the Division of Motor Vehicles in the Department of
Public Safety except the living facilities of motor homes.
(6) "Nonconformity" means a
defect or condition which substantially impairs the use, value or safety of an
(7) "Lien" means a security
interest in an automobile.
(8) "lien holder" means a
person with a security interest in an automobile pursuant to a lien.
5002 Duty to repair nonconforming automobiles.
If a new automobile does not conform to the
manufacturer's express warranty, and the consumer reports the nonconformity to
the manufacturer or its agent or dealer during the term of the warranty or
during the period of 1 year following the date of original delivery of an
automobile to the consumer, whichever is earlier, the manufacturer shall make,
or arrange with its dealer or agent to make, within a reasonable period of time,
all repairs necessary to conform the new automobile to the warranty,
notwithstanding that the repairs or corrections are made after the expiration of
the term of the warranty or the 1-year period.
5003 Remedies upon failure to repair.
(a) If the manufacturer, its agent or
its authorized dealer does not conform the automobile to any applicable
express warranty by repairing or correcting any nonconformity after a
reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer shall either replace the
automobile with a comparable new automobile acceptable to the consumer or
repurchase the automobile from the consumer and refund to the consumer the
full purchase, including all credits and allowances for any trade-in vehicle;
provided, however, that the consumer shall have the unqualified right to
decline a replacement automobile and to demand instead a repurchase.
(b) In instances in which an automobile
is replaced by a manufacturer under this section, said manufacturer shall
accept return of the automobile and reimburse the consumer for any incidental
costs, including dealer preparation fees, fees for transfer of registration,
sales taxes or other charges or fees incurred by the consumer as a result of
such replacement. In instances in which an automobile which was financed by
the manufacturer or its subsidiary or agent is replaced under this section,
said manufacturer, subsidiary or agent shall not require the consumer to enter
into any refinancing agreement for a replacement automobile which would create
any financial obligations upon such consumer beyond those created by the
original financing agreement.
(c) In instances in which a refund is
tendered under this section, the manufacturer shall accept return of the
automobile from the consumer and shall reimburse the consumer for related
purchase costs, including sales taxes, registration fees and dealer
preparation fees, less:
(1) A reasonable allowance for the
consumer's use of the automobile, not to exceed the full purchase price of
the automobile multiplied by a fraction which consists of the number of
miles driven before the consumer first reported the nonconformity to the
manufacturer, its agent or dealer divided by 100,000 miles; and
(2) A reasonable allowance for damage
not attributable to normal wear and tear, but not to include damage
resulting from a nonconformity.
(d) Refunds shall be made to the
consumer, and lien holder, if any, as their interests may appear.
(e) No authorized dealer shall be held
liable by the manufacturer for any refunds or automobile replacements in the
absence of evidence indicating that dealership repairs have been carried out
in a manner inconsistent with the manufacturer's instructions.
(a) It shall be presumed that a
reasonable number of attempts have been undertaken to conform a new automobile
to the manufacturer's express warranty if, within the warranty term or during
the period of 1 year following the date of original delivery of the motor
vehicle to a consumer, whichever is the earlier date:
(1) Substantially the same
nonconformity has been subject to repair or correction 4 or more times by
the manufacturer, its agents or its dealers and the nonconformity continues
to exist; or
(2) The automobile is out of service
by reason of repair or correction of a nonconformity by the manufacturer,
its agents or its dealers for a cumulative total of more than 30 calendar
days since the original delivery of the motor vehicle to the consumer. This
30-day limit shall commence with the first day on which the consumer
presents the automobile to the manufacturer, its agent or dealer for service
of the nonconformity and a written document describing the nonconformity is
prepared by the manufacturer, its agent or dealer. The 30-day limit shall be
extended only if repairs cannot be performed due to conditions beyond the
control of the manufacturer, its agents or its dealers, including war,
invasion, strike, fire, flood or other natural disaster.
(b) The presumption provided in this
section shall not apply against a manufacturer unless the manufacturer has
received prior direct written notification from or on behalf of the consumer
and has had an opportunity to repair or correct the nonconformity; provided,
however, that if the manufacturer does not directly attempt or arrange with
its dealer or agent to repair or correct the nonconformity, the manufacturer
may not defend a claim by a consumer under this chapter on the ground that the
agent or dealer failed to properly repair or correct the nonconformity or that
the repairs or corrections made by the agent or dealer caused or contributed
to the nonconformity.
5005 Costs and attorney's fees in breach of
In any court action brought under this chapter by
a consumer against the manufacturer of an automobile, or the manufacturer's
agent or authorized dealer, based upon the alleged breach of an express warranty
made in connection with the sale of such automobile, the court, in its
discretion, may award to the plaintiff his costs and reasonable attorney's fees
or, if the court determines that the action is brought in bad faith or is
frivolous in nature, may award reasonable attorney's fees to the defendant.
5006 Affirmative defense to claim.
It shall be an affirmative defense to a claim
under this chapter that the alleged nonconformity does not substantially impair
the use, value or safety of the new automobile or that the nonconformity is the
result of abuse or neglect or of unauthorized modifications or alterations of
the new automobile by anyone other than the manufacturer, its agent or dealer.
5007 Informal dispute settlement procedure.
(a) If a manufacturer has established an
informal settlement procedure that has a certificate of approval by the
Division of Consumer Protection, the remedies provided by this chapter shall
not be available to any consumer who has not first resorted to such
procedure.In the event a manufacturer's informal dispute settlement procedure
does not have a certificate of approval from the Division of Consumer
Protection, a consumer may immediately and directly seek the remedies provided
by this chapter.
(b) The Division of Consumer Protection
shall annually evaluate the operation of informal dispute settlement
procedures established by manufacturers and shall issue an annual certificate
of approval to those manufacturers whose procedures comply with Title 16, Code
of Federal Regulations, Part 703 and with subsections (c), (d) and (e) of this
section. The Division of Consumer Protection shall suspend the certification
of, or decertify, any informal dispute settlement which no longer complies
with said provisions.
(c) Any manufacturer who has established
an informal settlement procedure shall file with the Division of Consumer
Protection a copy of each decision of the informal dispute settlement
procedure within 30 days after the decision is rendered.
(d) In order to obtain the certification
of the Division of Consumer Protection, a manufacturer's informal dispute
settlement procedure shall not convene any informal dispute settlement hearing
or meeting outside the State and shall refrain from any practices which:
(1) Delay a decision in any dispute
beyond 65 days after the date on which the consumer initially resorts to the
informal dispute settlement procedure by written notification that a dispute
(2) Delay performance of remedies
awarded in a settlement beyond 30 days after receipt of notice of the
consumer's acceptance of the decision; provided, however, that such time
limits shall not include periods of time when the consumer or the consumer's
car is unavailable for the remedies specified in the settlement; or
(3) Require the consumer to make the
automobile available more than once for inspection by a manufacturer's
representative or more than once for repair of the same nonconformity; or
(4) Fail to consider in decisions any
remedies provided by this chapter, such remedies to include:
a. Repair, replacement and refund;
b. Reimbursement for related
purchase costs; or
(5) Require the consumer to take any
action or assume any obligation not specifically authorized under the
provisions of Title 16, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 703.
(e) A manufacturer desiring annual
certification of an informal dispute settlement procedure shall make
application to the Division of Consumer Protection on forms developed by, and
shall provide such information as required by, the Division of Consumer
5008 Remedies cumulative.
Nothing in this chapter shall in any way limit
the rights or remedies available to a consumer under Subtitle I of this title.
In addition to any remedies the consumer may have
at law or in equity, a violation of this chapter shall be an unlawful practice
as defined in 2513 of this title. The Division of Consumer Protection shall
promulgate rules and regulations in order to implement the purposes of this