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Washington Lemon Laws

General Overview of Washington Lemon Laws

The term "lemon" is commonly used to describe a new automobile with a recurring problem or defect that the dealer is unable to fix. A state's lemon laws, therefore, are designed to hold manufacturers and dealers accountable for lemons, requiring replacement or a full refund within a specified amount of time. Washington's lemon laws allow customers to receive a refund or replacement within two years or 24,000 miles after delivery.

What is a Lemon According to Washington Law?

State lemon laws are very similar, since they all typically define "lemon" as a new automobile that fails to conform to the terms of the warranty, despite multiple attempts at fixing the problem within the eligibility period. This may be the written (express) warranty or the implied warranty that requires a certain level of performance.

Washington defines nonconformity as "a defect, serious safety defect, or condition that substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of a new motor vehicle." The statute excludes defects resulting from "abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modification" of the vehicle.

The basics of Washington lemon laws are detailed in the box below. See FindLaw's Lemon Law section to learn more.

Code Section 19.118.005, et seq.
Title of Act Not specified
Definition of Defects Nonconformity to the Warranty which significantly affects the use, value, or safety of the vehicle
Time Limit for Manufacturer Repair Term of the warranty period (period ending 2 years after date of original delivery or first 24,000 miles, whichever is first) or period of coverage of applicable manufacturer's written warranty, whichever is less
Remedies Consumer's option: replace with identical or reasonably equivalent vehicle including any service contract, undercoating, rustproofing, and factory or dealer installed options. Manufacturer responsible for sales tax, license and registration fees. Compensation for reasonable offset for use to be paid by consumer to manufacturer; or repurchase vehicle, manufacturer shall refund to consumer the purchase price, all collateral charges and incidental costs, less a reasonable offset for use

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Washington lemon law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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