Kentucky law protects consumers from receiving a lemon when buying a new car. Our “lemon law” provides that a car manufacturer must pay damages to consumers when the manufacturer cannot repair a “nonconformity” after a “reasonable number of attempts.”
What is a “nonconformity”? It is a failure to conform with an “express warranty” in a way that “substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of the motor vehicle.” What is a “reasonable number of attempts”? Frustratingly, four attempts to correct the nonconformity or 30 total calendar days in the shop are “presumed” to be a “reasonable number of attempts,” though fewer attempts and fewer calendar days in the shop can still qualify. Further, these four attempts or 30 calendar days must occur within the first 12,000 miles or 12 months of your ownership.
Finally, what steps must the manufacturer take to correct the nonconformity? If you notify the manufacturer in writing, it must provide you with a cost-free arbitration to settle your dispute. If the manufacturer fails to offer you that arbitration in response to your written demand, you may file a lawsuit and receive any of the following, based on the evidence in your case: the purchase price of the vehicle (less a reasonable allowance for the time the vehicle was in use and not out of service); reimbursement of your finance charges; reimbursement of your fees, including license, registration, and sales tax; and any other actual damages caused by the lemon.
If you have purchased a new car in the last year that you think qualifies as a “lemon,” please call or e-mail us to see if we can help.