The Rhode Island Lemon Law is a consumer protection law enacted
to provide recourse after having purchased a defective vehicle.
The Rhode Island Lemon Law is similar to lemon laws in other states,
though there are some notable differences as well that the consumer
As with other lemon laws, it is required that automobile manufacturers
repurchase or replace a vehicle that has not been properly repaired
within a "reasonable number of attempts". In Rhode Island,
this reasonable number is four attempts (within 1 year or 15,000
miles) or if the car has been out of service waiting repair for
a cumulative total of 30 or more calendar days during the warranty
period, in which time the auto dealer either has to issue a full
refund or has to deliver a comparable vehicle.
The Rhode Island Lemon Law gives relief to those who either buy
or lease a vehicle that has a gross weight of 10,000 pounds or less.
The Rhode Island Lemon Law covers cars, trucks, motorcycles and
most vans. It does not cover, however, motorized camper. In the
case of municipalities the Rhode Island Lemon Law does take fire
department motorized vehicles into account and one needs to read
the full text to understand what is and what is not covered.
The Rhode Island Lemon Law covers any kinds of defects that impair
the value, use or safety of the vehicle to the consumer. The defects
do not have affect the drivability of the car but could be problems
such as defective paint, heating system or excessive noise. There
is also a Rhode Island Lemon
Law for used cars one needs to know about.
It is important to read the warranty book that came with
the new or leased vehicle carefully. The warranty will tell you
what is covered and for how long. When you bought or leased your
vehicle from the dealer, you probably signed a lot of paperwork.
It is important to read your copies of this paperwork very carefully
to find out if the manufacturer wants you to waive your rights to
a trial by jury in the case of problems and settle through arbitration
instead. Arbitration is usually not in the best interest of the
consumer in Lemon Law cases, so make sure you know what your rights
are before you buy or lease.
Once you have purchased or leased a new vehicle that needs to be
taken in for repairs, it is important that you start keeping records
at this point, in case they are needed later. When taking your vehicle
in to an authorized dealer for repairs, keep a detailed list of
what needs to be repaired for yourself along with the dealer. Get
repair orders for your vehicle and make sure they state all repairs
and how long your vehicle was in the shop including dates and mileage.
The Rhode Island Lemon Law requires the consumer to keep records
of repair and days that the vehicle has been out of operation. This
is extremely important. Without written records, you will not have
a claim. Keep copies of all correspondence with the dealership.
The best defense in a lemon law case is accurate facts and information
in the form of records.
In regard to arbitration it may come in two forms. First,
the auto dealer or manufacturer may outline an informal dispute
settlement procedure with the contract you sign while buying
or leasing a vehicle. Second, the Rhode Island Attorney General
may provide an independent arbitration procedure for the parties
engaged in the settlement of disputes.
If, during this process, you're still not satisfied with
the repairs or resolution of your case, seek out a Rhode
Island Lemon Law attorney. Rhode Island Lemon Law lawyers
usually offer a free consultation for such cases. Remember,
that you can recover damages and attorney fees from the manufacturer
if the manufacturer is found by the court to have unreasonably
refused to resolve the case. So, this is something they will
most likely want to avoid.
The Rhode Island Lemon Law has been enacted to protect you,
the consumer. Remember, in Rhode Island, you do have recourse.
You don't have to try and make lemonade out of your lemon.
Contacting a lawyer versed in the Lemon Law would be a good
first step on the road to consumer satisfaction.
Most lemon law lawyers offer free consultations, so why not take
advantage of this service while you're already feeling taken advantage
of? It may help your situation more than you can imagine and it
may motivate the other party to take you seriously.