The bill makes other changes that bring WI law more in line with other states:
- Clarifying Out of Service. Under existing law, a vehicle is considered a lemon if within one year of delivery the vehicle is subject to repair at least four times for the same problem or if the vehicle is out of service for 30 days or more due to nonconformities with the warranty. The bill clarifies that “out of service” means that the vehicle is unable to be used for its intended purpose.
- Providing Comparable New Vehicle. The bill provides a more reasonable time period to provide a comparable vehicle – 120 days for commercial vehicles and 45 days for others. In addition, the bill requires the manufacturer exercise due diligence in locating and providing a comparable new vehicle within the applicable time period. However, if no comparable new vehicle exists, or is otherwise unavailable for delivery within the applicable period, the manufacturer must provide a refund within that timeframe.
- Changing Election. If the consumer makes a change in his or her choice of refund or new comparable vehicle, the applicable time period to deliver the refund or vehicle is reset.
- Providing Needed Information. The bill requires a consumer requesting a refund to provide the manufacturer needed information on a form approved by the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles. The manufacturer must provide the refund 10 days after receiving the information or 30 days from the refund request, whichever is later.
- Allowing Negotiated Settlements. As an alternative to a refund or comparable new vehicle, the bill allows for negotiated settlements.
- Establishing a Statute of Limitation. A vehicle can only be a lemon under the law as a result of problems arising while under the term of the warranty or within a year after first delivery, whichever is sooner. Thus, waiting six years to file a claim, as is currently allowed, is an unnecessary delay. The bill’s 24-month statute of limitations is consistent with other states where the limitation periods range from 12 to 24 months.
Read the full text of the bill at https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2013/related/proposals/ab200.
See related story on MB-USA settlement HERE.