New Hampshire Lemon Law Statutes...
New Hampshire Lemon Laws and the federal Lemon Law (the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act) provide for compensation to New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire 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
New Hampshire State Statutes
Revised Statutes Annotated, 357-D:1 to 357-D:12
legislature finds and declares that manufacturers,
distributors and importers of new motor vehicles should be
obligated to provide speedy and less costly resolution of
automobile warranty problems. Manufacturers should be
required to provide in as expeditious a manner as possible a
refund of the consumer's purchase price, payments to a
lessor and lessee, or a replacement vehicle that is
acceptable to the consumer whenever the manufacturer is
unable to make the vehicle conform with its applicable
warranty. New motor vehicle dealers and used motor vehicle
dealers cannot be sued under this chapter.
"Board" means the New Hampshire new motor vehicle
"Business day" means any day during which the
service departments of authorized dealers of the
manufacturer of the motor vehicle are normally open for
"Consumer" means the purchaser, other than for
purposes of resale of a new motor vehicle; the lessee of a
new motor vehicle, other than for the purpose of sublease;
any person to whom such motor vehicle is transferred during
the duration of an express warranty applicable to the motor
vehicle; or any other person entitled by the terms of the
warranty to enforce the obligations of the warranty.
"Consumer" shall not include any governmental
"Distributor" means any person who sells or
distributes new or used motor vehicles to motor vehicle
dealers or who maintains distributor representatives within
"Early termination costs" means expenses and
obligations incurred by a motor vehicle lessee as a result
of an early termination of a written lease agreement and
surrender of a motor vehicle to a manufacturer, including
penalties for prepayment of finance arrangements.
"Factory branch" means any branch office
maintained by a manufacturer for the purpose of selling,
leasing, or offering for sale or lease, vehicles to a
distributor or new motor vehicle dealer or for directing or
supervising, in whole or in part, factory distributor
"Lease" or "leased" means a written
agreement with a lessee which shall be for the use of a
motor vehicle for consideration for a term of 2 or more
"Lessee" means any consumer who leases a motor
vehicle pursuant to a written lease agreement for a term of
2 or more years.
"Manufacturer" means any person, resident or
nonresident, who manufactures or assembles new motor
vehicles, or imports for distribution through distributors
of motor vehicles or any partnership, firm, association,
joint venture, corporation or trust, resident or
nonresident, which is controlled by a manufacturer. The term
"manufacturer" includes distributors and factory
"Motor vehicle" means:
A motor vehicle, as defined in RSA 259:60, of the private
passenger or station wagon type with a gross weight not
exceeding 9,000 pounds that is purchased or leased by a
Any other 4-wheel motor vehicle with a gross weight not
exceeding 9,000 pounds, except tractors, off highway
recreational vehicles, and mopeds; or
"Motor vehicle dealer" means any person engaged in
the business of selling, offering to sell, leasing,
soliciting or advertising the sale of new or used motor
vehicles or possessing motor vehicles for the purpose of
resale either on his own account or on behalf of another,
either as his primary business or incidental thereto.
However, "motor vehicle dealer" shall not include:
Receivers, trustees, administrators, executors, guardians,
or other persons appointed by or acting under judgment,
decree or order of any court; or
Public officers while performing their duties as such
"Motor vehicle lessor" means a person who holds
title to a motor vehicle leased to a lessee under written
lease agreement for a term of 2 or more years, or who holds
the lessor's rights under such an agreement.
"New motor vehicle" means a passenger motor
vehicle which is still under the manufacturer's express
"Nonconformity" means a defect or condition that
substantially impairs the use, value or safety of a motor
vehicle, but does not include a defect or condition that
results from an accident, abuse, neglect, modification, or
alteration of the motor vehicle by persons other than the
manufacturer or its authorized service agent.
"Warranty" includes express warranties as defined
in the Uniform Commercial Code, RSA 382-A, plus any written
warranty of the manufacturer.
Enforcement of Warranties.
Every new motor vehicle sold in this state shall conform to
all applicable warranties.
It shall be the manufacturer's obligation under this chapter
to insure that all new motor vehicles sold or leased in this
state conform with the manufacturer's express warranties.
The manufacturer may delegate responsibility to its agents
or authorized dealers provided, however, in the event the
manufacturer delegates its responsibility under this chapter
to its agents or authorized dealers, it shall compensate the
dealer for all work performed by the dealer in satisfaction
of the manufacturer's responsibility under this chapter.
If a new motor vehicle does not conform to all applicable
express warranties and the consumer reports the
nonconformity to the manufacturer, its agent or authorized
dealer during the term of the warranty, the manufacturer
shall cause whatever repairs are necessary to conform the
vehicle to the warranties, notwithstanding the fact that the
repairs are made after the expiration of a warranty term.
A manufacturer, its agent or authorized dealer shall not
refuse to provide a consumer with a written repair order and
shall provide to the consumer, each time the consumer's
vehicle is brought in for examination or repair of a defect,
a written summary of the complaint and a fully itemized
statement indicating all work performed on the vehicle
including, but not limited to, examination of the vehicle,
parts, and labor.
If, after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer,
its agent or authorized dealer or its delegate is unable to
conform the motor vehicle to any express warranty by
repairing or correcting any defect or condition covered by
the warranty which substantially impairs the use, market
value, or safety of the motor vehicle to the consumer, the
manufacturer shall, at the option of the consumer within 30
days of the effective date of the board's order, replace the
motor vehicle with a new motor vehicle from the same
manufacturer, if available, of comparable worth to the same
make and model with all options and accessories with
appropriate adjustments being allowed for any model year
differences or shall accept return of the vehicle from the
consumer and refund to the consumer the full purchase price
or to the lessee, in the case of leased vehicles, as
provided in paragraph IX. In those instances in which a
refund is tendered, the manufacturer shall refund to the
consumer the full purchase price as indicated in the
purchase contract and all credits and allowances for any
trade-in or down payment, license fees, finance charges,
credit charges, registration fees, and any similar charges
and incidental and consequential damages or, in the case of
leased vehicles, as provided in paragraph IX. Refunds shall
be made to the consumer and lien holder, if any, as their
interests may appear, or to the motor vehicle lessor and
lessee as provided in paragraph IX. A reasonable allowance
for use shall be that amount directly attributable to use by
the consumer prior to the first repair attempt and shall be
calculated by multiplying the full purchase price of the
vehicle by a fraction having as its denominator 100,000, or
for a motorcycle with an engine size of 250 cubic
centimeters or smaller 20,000, or for a motorcycle with an
engine size greater than 250 cubic centimeters 40,000, and
having as its numerator the number of miles that the vehicle
traveled prior to the first attempt at repairing the
It shall be an affirmative defense to any claim under this
chapter that an alleged nonconformity does not substantially
impair the use, market value, or safety or that the
nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect, or
unauthorized modifications or alterations of a motor vehicle
by a consumer.
It shall be presumed that a reasonable number of attempts
have been undertaken to conform a motor vehicle to the
applicable warranties if:
The same nonconformity as identified in any written
examination or repair order has been subject to repair at
least 3 times by the manufacturer, its agent, or authorized
dealer within the express warranty term and the same
nonconformity continues to exist; or
The vehicle is out of service by reason of repair of one or
more nonconformities, defects, or conditions for a
cumulative total of 30 or more business days during the term
of the express warranty. The term of any warranty and the
30-day period shall be extended by any period of time during
which repair services were not available to the consumer
because of war, invasion, strike, fire, flood, or other
natural disaster. If an extension of time is necessitated
due to these conditions, the manufacturer shall provide for
the free use of a vehicle to the consumer whose vehicle is
out of service. A vehicle shall not be deemed out of service
if it is available to the consumer for a major part of the
In order for an attempt at repair to qualify for the
presumptions of this section, the attempt at repair shall be
evidenced by a written examination or repair order issued by
the manufacturer, its agent, or its authorized dealer. The
presumptions of this section shall only apply to 3 attempts
at repair evidenced by written examination or repair orders
undertaken by the same agent or authorized dealer, unless
the consumer shows good cause for taking the vehicle to a
different agent or authorized dealer.
In cases in which a refund is tendered by a manufacturer for
a leased motor vehicle under paragraph V, the refund and
rights of the motor vehicle lessor, lessee, and manufacturer
shall be in accordance with the following:
The manufacturer shall provide to the lessee the aggregate
deposit and rental payments previously paid to the motor
vehicle lessor by the lessee, and incidental and
consequential damages, if applicable, minus a reasonable
allowance for use. The aggregate deposit shall include, but
not be limited to, all cash payments and trade-in allowances
tendered by the lessee to the motor vehicle lessor under the
lease agreement. The reasonable allowance for use shall be
calculated by multiplying the aggregate deposit and rental
payments made by the lessee on the motor vehicle by a
fraction having as its denominator 100,000 or for a
motorcycle 20,000, and having as its numerator the number of
miles that the vehicle traveled prior to the first attempt
to repair the vehicle.
The manufacturer shall provide to the motor vehicle lessor
the aggregate of the following:
The lessor's actual purchase cost, less payments made by the
The freight cost, if applicable;
The cost for dealer or manufacturer-installed accessories,
Any fee paid to another to obtain the lease;
An amount equal to 5 percent of the lessor's actual purchase
cost as prescribed in subparagraph IX(b)(1). The amount in
this subparagraph shall be instead of any early termination
The lessee's lease agreement with the motor vehicle lessor
and all contractual obligations shall be terminated upon a
decision of the board in favor of the lessee. The lessee
shall not be liable for any further costs or charges to the
manufacturer or motor vehicle lessor under the lease
The motor vehicle lessor shall release the motor vehicle
title to the manufacturer upon the payment by the
manufacturer under the provisions of this section.
The board shall give notice to the motor vehicle lessor of
the lessee's filing of a request for arbitration under this
chapter and shall notify the motor vehicle lessor of the
date, time and place scheduled for a hearing before the
board. The motor vehicle lessor shall provide testimony and
evidence necessary to the arbitration proceedings. Any
decision of the board shall be binding upon the motor
Procedure to Obtain Refund or Replacement.
After the third attempt at repair or correction of the
nonconformity, defect or condition, or after the vehicle is
out of service by reason of repair of one or more
nonconformities, defects or conditions for a cumulative
total of 30 or more business days as provided in this
chapter, the consumer shall notify the manufacturer along
with a clear and conspicuous disclosure notice of the rights
of the consumer under this chapter at the time the new motor
vehicle is delivered, of the nonconformity, defect or
condition and the consumer's election to proceed under this
chapter. The forms shall be made available by the
manufacturer to the New Hampshire new motor vehicle
arbitration board, and any other public or nonprofit
agencies that shall request them. Forms and notices shall be
in a form prescribed by rule of the department of justice
and shall not include window stickers. The consumer shall,
in the notice, elect whether to use the dispute settlement
mechanism or the arbitration provisions established by the
manufacturer or to proceed under the New Hampshire new motor
vehicle arbitration board as established under this chapter.
The consumer's election of whether to proceed before the
board or the manufacturer's dispute settlement mechanism
shall preclude his recourse to the method not selected.
A consumer shall not pursue a remedy under this chapter if
he has discontinued financing or lease payments, if the
payments have been discontinued due to the manufacturer's
breach of obligation under this chapter or due to a breach
of the manufacturer's warranties.
A consumer who elects to proceed before the board shall pay
a filing fee of $50 and the manufacturer shall pay a filing
fee of $250. Such fees shall be retained by the department
of safety and used to defray costs associated with the work
of the board, including per diem costs of board members and
any other administrative expenses.
Arbitration of the consumer's complaint, either through the
manufacturer's dispute settlement mechanism or the board,
shall be held within 40 days of receipt by the manufacturer
or the board and the manufacturer of the consumer's notice
electing the remedy of arbitration unless the consumer or
the manufacturer has good cause for an extension of time,
not to exceed an additional 30-day period. If the extension
of time is requested by the manufacturer, the manufacturer
shall provide free use of a vehicle to the consumer if the
consumer's vehicle is out of service. In the event the
consumer elects to proceed in accordance with the
manufacturer's dispute settlement mechanism and the
arbitration of the dispute is not held within 40 days of the
manufacturer's receipt of the consumer's notice and the
manufacturer is not able to establish good cause for the
delay, the consumer shall be entitled to receive the relief
requested under this chapter.
Within the 40-day period set forth in paragraph IV, the
manufacturer shall have one final opportunity to correct and
repair the defect which the consumer claims entitles him to
a refund or replacement vehicle. If the consumer is
satisfied with the corrective work done by the manufacturer
or his delegate, the arbitration proceedings shall be
terminated without prejudice to the consumer's right to
request that arbitration be recommended as provided in RSA
357-D:11, I(b) if the repair proves unsatisfactory.
The manufacturer shall refund the reasonable allowance
provided for in RSA 357-D:3, V or IX, or make the
replacement required by the board within 30 days of a
decision of the board or within 15 days of final
New Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board Established.
There is created a New Hampshire new motor vehicle
arbitration board consisting of 5 members and 3 alternate
members to be appointed by the governor and council. Terms
of members shall be for 3 years. Board members may be
appointed for no more than 2 terms. One member and one
alternate of the board shall be new car dealers in New
Hampshire, one member and one alternate shall be persons
knowledgeable in automobile mechanics, and 3 members and one
alternate shall be persons who represent consumers and have
no direct involvement in the design, manufacture,
distributions, sales or service of motor vehicles or their
parts. Three members of the board shall constitute a quorum.
Members shall be paid $50 per diem plus mileage.
The board shall be administratively attached to the
department of safety under RSA 21-G:10.
The board shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, to
implement the provisions of this chapter.
The board shall hold a hearing within 40 days of receipt of
a complaint, unless an extension of time has been granted by
the board under RSA 357-D:4, IV, and shall render a decision
within 30 days of the conclusion of a hearing. The board
shall have the authority to issue only damages as are
provided by this chapter.
Appeal From Board's Decision.
The decision of the board shall be final and shall not be
modified or vacated unless, on appeal to the superior court,
a party to the arbitration proceeding proves, by clear and
convincing evidence, that:
The award was procured by corruption, fraud or other undue
There was evident partiality by the board or corruption or
misconduct by the board prejudicing the rights of any party.
The board exceeded its powers.
The board refused to postpone a hearing after being shown
sufficient cause to do so, refused to hear evidence material
to the controversy, or otherwise conducted the hearing
contrary to the rules adopted by the board so as to
prejudice substantially the rights of a party.
A party to the arbitration proceeding shall not pursue an
appeal until a final decision has been rendered by the
board. Any appeal shall be filed with the superior court
within 30 days of the date of the written board decision.
Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices.
of the manufacturer or distributor to comply with a decision
of the board shall constitute an unfair or deceptive act or
practice under RSA 358-A:2.
in this chapter imposes any liability on a franchised motor
vehicle dealer or creates a cause of action by a consumer
against a dealer, except for written express warranties made
by the dealer apart from the manufacturer's warranties. A
dealer shall not be made a party defendant in any action
involving or relating to this chapter, except as provided in
this section. The manufacturer shall not charge back or
require reimbursement by the dealer for any costs,
including, but not limited to, any refunds or vehicle
replacements, incurred by the manufacturer arising from this
Notification to Consumers.
with the model year following July 1, 1992, the manufacturer
of every motor vehicle sold in this state shall provide a
clear and conspicuous written notice of the consumer's
rights under this chapter as provided under RSA 357-D:4 at
the time of the delivery of every such new motor vehicle in
this state. The manufacturer shall provide the consumer with
a self-addressed notice in a form developed in accordance
with rules adopted by the department of justice under RSA
541-A and sufficient to notify the manufacturer of the
consumer's election to proceed under this chapter. The
manufacturer shall not delegate this responsibility to its
authorized dealers. The manufacturer of every new motor
vehicle sold in this state shall also provide a clear and
conspicuous notice that informs consumers of their rights
under this chapter.
Costs and Attorney's Fees.
any action by a consumer against the manufacturer or
distributor of a motor vehicle based upon the alleged breach
of an express warranty made in connection with the sale or
lease of such motor vehicle, the court, in its discretion,
may award to the plaintiff costs and reasonable attorney's
fees. If the court determines that the action was brought
with no substantial justification, it may award costs and
reasonable attorney's fees to the defendant.
Limitations on Actions.
Any proceeding initiated under the provisions of this
chapter shall be commenced within one year following the
The expiration of the express warranty term; or
The manufacturer's final repair attempt of the
nonconformity, as provided in RSA 357-D:4, V which gave rise
to the consumer's request that the vehicle be replaced or
the money refunded.
Nothing in this chapter shall in any way limit the rights or
remedies which are otherwise available to a consumer under
any other provision of law.
Sale of Defective Motor Vehicles.
For purposes of this section "a serious safety
defect" means a life-threatening malfunction or
nonconformity that impedes the consumer's ability to control
or operate the motor vehicle for ordinary use or reasonable
intended purposes or creates a risk of fire or explosion.
Any manufacturer or its agent or authorized dealer is
prohibited from reselling in New Hampshire any vehicle
determined or adjudicated by the board as having a serious