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The Colorado Lemon Law protects consumers who purchase or lease new motor vehicles that turn out to be defective. The law requires the manufacturer to repair hazards or defects that substantially impair the use, safety, or value of the vehicle. The law allows the manufacturer to have a reasonable number of attempts to remedy the issue. If the manufacturer is unable to repair the vehicle within a reasonable number of attempts, the consumer may be eligible for a refund or replacement vehicle.
How to Move Forward With a Lemon Law Claim in Colorado
To take advantage of the Colorado Lemon Law, consumers must follow the steps outlined in their vehicle’s warranty. They must first report the problem to the manufacturer and give the manufacturer a reasonable opportunity to repair the vehicle. If the manufacturer is unable to repair the vehicle after a reasonable number of attempts, it should qualify as a “lemon.”
The definition of a “reasonable number of attempts” is typically determined by the type and severity of the defect. For serious defects, such as those that affect the vehicle’s safety, only one repair attempt may be considered reasonable. For less serious defects, multiple repair attempts may be acceptable. Colorado law generally finds that four or more attempts at repairing the vehicle constitute a “reasonable” number of attempts.
Additionally, Lemon Laws apply if the vehicle has been in for repairs for more than 30 days total (for the same repair). This does not have to be 30 consecutive days.
Before filing a lawsuit in Colorado under the Lemon Laws, the vehicle owner must send a written notice of the defect to the manufacturer by certified mail. They must also go through the manufacturer’s dispute resolution process if one exists. After this notice has been filed, the manufacturer is allowed to have one more chance to repair the vehicle. If the vehicle is found to be a lemon, the manufacturer must either refund the purchase price of the vehicle, including all collateral costs or replace the vehicle with a similar one.
What Vehicles do Lemon Laws Apply to in Colorado?
The Colorado Lemon Law applies to new motor vehicles that were purchased or leased in the state of Colorado. It applies to vehicles with a manufacturer’s warranty, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, and recreational vehicles. The law does not cover used vehicles, vehicles with after-market warranties, or commercial vehicles.
If a consumer believes that they have a “lemon” vehicle, it is important to act quickly. The Lemon Law has a statute of limitations, meaning that there is a time limit for filing a complaint. In Colorado, consumers must file their complaint during the warranty period or within one year after the warranty is expired.
In addition to the Lemon Law, there may be other laws that protect consumers who have purchased defective vehicles. For example, the Federal Trade Commission’s Used Car Rule requires dealers to post a Buyer’s Guide in every used car they offer for sale that discloses whether the vehicle comes with a warranty and what percentage of the repair costs the dealer will pay.
Consumers who believe they have a “lemon” vehicle are encouraged to contact the Colorado Attorney General’s Office for assistance. The Attorney General’s Office can provide information on the Lemon Law, help consumers understand their rights, and assist in filing a complaint. Consumers may also want to seek the advice of a private attorney who specializes in consumer protection law.
The Colorado Lemon Law provides important protections for consumers who purchase or lease new motor vehicles that turn out to be defective. By following the steps outlined in their vehicle’s warranty and contacting the Attorney General’s Office, if necessary, consumers can ensure that they are able to take advantage of the Lemon Law and obtain a refund or replacement vehicle if their vehicle is found to be a “lemon.”