Buying a new car can be a fun process with test driving different options and finding the vehicle that’s perfect for you and your family. But sometimes you take your new car home and it turns out to be lemon. A lemon is a car that no matter what you do to it, still has the same old repair problems.
Fortunately, states, including Kansas, have enacted lemon laws to address this problem. Lemon laws spell out what types of vehicles and what types of problems with them are legally considered to be lemons. Most lemon laws only address new cars; this is also true in Kansas. Generally, only personal, not commercial-sized (over 12,000 lbs.) vehicles are covered, which is also true in Kansas. Then, the lemon laws spell out the procedure to get the problem addressed and what options are available if the problem is unfixable, such as a refund or replacement of the vehicle.
For more on the lemon laws in Kansas, see the following table.
|Code Sections||Kansas Statutes Section 50-645: Motor Vehicle Warranties, Consumer Rights & Remedies, Enforcement by Attorney General and 50-646: Other Remedies|
|Definition of Defects||A defect that would make a new car be considered a lemon is a non-conformity to any applicable warranties that significantly impairs the use or value of the motor vehicle.|
|State Agency||The state agency that handles complaints about lemon cars is the Kansas Attorney General’s Office. You can file a complaint with the office online or call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-432-2310 for more information.|
|Time Limit for Manufacturer Repair||You have to inform the manufacturer of the need for repair within one year from date of original delivery of vehicle to consumer or the term of any warranties, whichever is earlier.|
|Remedies||A manufacturer has a duty to repair or buy back a non-conforming vehicle after a “reasonable” number of attempts. Reasonable attempts to fix will be presumed if:
The manufacturer must replace the lemon with a comparable vehicle under warranty or accept return and refund full purchase price including all collateral charges, less a reasonable allowance for the consumer's use (when the vehicle was, in fact, working).
The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) may also provide legal remedies depending on the circumstances.
|Informal Dispute Settlement||The manufacturer may have set up an informal dispute settlement procedure that you should try to participate in it because if you don’t at least first try it, then the replacement or refund remedies may not apply.|
If you’ve bought a lemon and nothing you’ve tried with the Attorney General’s Office or the manufacturer’s informal dispute settlement process is working, it could be time to bring in a lawyer. An experienced Kansas lemon law attorney can tell you about your legal options and help you achieve a better outcome.
Note: State laws are updated constantly, so please confer with a lawyer or conduct your own legal research to verify these consumer laws.
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