The State of Utah Protects Consumers with its “Lemon Law.”
Many people have heard the term “lemon laws,” but most people do not realize exactly when these laws may apply, or how they might protect the average consumer in the State of Utah. Utah’s “lemon law” can be found in Utah Annotated Code, Section 13-20-1. This state law kicks in to protect consumers who have purchased an unfit vehicle. Essentially, what the law dictates is that there are certain circumstances under which the state will force a car dealer to either replace the car with another, or as an alternative, offer a cash refund.
This law lists several elements that must be established in order for a vehicle to qualify as a “lemon” and thereby trigger the statute and force a refund. A car must meet every single one of these criteria in order to legally qualify as a “lemon.” If any one of the elements is not met in a given situation, that car will not be deemed a “lemon” and the law will not protect that consumer.
The first and most obvious criterion is that the vehicle must be new. Lemon laws do not apply at all to used vehicles. Because it is a Utah law, the car must have been purchased in the State of Utah. The new car must have been sold with an accompanying warranty. Those are all threshold issues, what really makes a car a “lemon” is either A) the vehicle has been back to the manufacturer four different times to have the same defect resolved, or B) the vehicle has been out of commission a total of thirty days or more. If either of those conditions is met by a new vehicle within either the warranty period, or the first year, whichever is sooner, then the car is a “lemon.”
If you or someone you know has had this degree of difficulty with a new car in the State of Utah, go through the dispute resolution process available through your vehicle manufacturer. If the issue is not resolved, you can file a complaint with the Division of Consumer Protection and force the hand of the dealership that sold you such a terrible car. Understanding laws aimed towards protecting consumers can be a great benefit to you and your family.