Read the New Motor Vehicle
Warranty Act (Utah Lemon Law Statute) Utah Code §§ 13-20-1, et seq., available HERE and the New Motor Vehicle Warranties Act Rule, part of the Utah Administrative Rules/Code
by searching for R152-20 HERE. Be sure to keep detailed
notes and records of any potential vehicle problem and any contact with anyone relating to the defective vehicle.
The Utah State Department of Commerce also has helpful information and a link to the statute: Utah Consumer Protection Division Lemon Law Info. Remember a covered motor vehicle must have
a defect or condition which substantially impairs the use, market value, or safety of the motor vehicle after a reasonable
number of attempts to repair it.
you think your vehicle and the type of vehicle defect(s) meet the criteria of the statute, then gather all repair orders and
other documentation to establish the number and kind of repair attempts and the days the vehicle has been out of service to
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a defects database website you can search for all kinds of helpful
information on a given vehicle: NHTSA Defects Search. Keep in mind that you can also file a Complaint
on a vehicle with NHTSA. Just don't expect them to take action on your Complaint unless there are many Complaints for the
exact same defect. Each Complaint helps build a record, however.
If you don't have four or more repair
orders specifically showing attempts to repair the vehicle for the exact same defect, consider trying to get a few more repair
attempts (ensuring the repair orders specifically identify the defect at issue), unless the vehicle has been in the shop for
repair 30 days or more.
that to be successful under this Act, the defect or nonconformity can't be "the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized
modifications or alterations of a motor vehicle by a consumer."
Once you have followed each of the preceding
steps, it is time to open your owner's manual and find out how to comply with the manufacturer's Informal Dispute Resolution
Procedure (pursue a written dispute through its Customer Service Department). At the same time, you will want to file an administrative
complaint with the Utah Consumer Protection Division. The link for information and the form to do this is located HERE. Make sure to attach copies of all records
supporting your claims to both the manufacturer and the State.
You will also want to keep an exact copy of your
complaints to the manufacturer and State.
While you will certainly want to consider any offers
made by the manufacturer or any other suggested settlement by the Consumer Protection Division, you are not required to accept
any such offer. You may want to consult an attorney with regards to any such offer to place it in perspective of the litigation
alternative. Do not be surprised if the State requires you to either go through the Better Business Bureau for mediation or
through an Informal Dispute Resolution Procedure established by the manufacturer. Neither of these processes should
be binding upon you.
Keep in mind that manufacturers have no real interest in buying back your defective vehicle
in Utah since
they will have to report it as a "buyback." See the Utah Motor Vehicle Buyback Disclosure Act, Utah Code 41-3-406, et seq.
If you choose to pursue
litigation rather than accept any offer made by the manufacturer, then you need to be mindful that Utah Code 13-20-6(1) states, in pertinent part
that, ". . . An action may be commenced by a consumer only after the claim has been investigated and evaluated by the
division." For this reason, this office requests prospective clients to get a letter from the Consumer Protection Division
indicating that you have complied with this requirement before this office will normally consider filing suit on your behalf
under this Act.
Once you have complied
with all of the previous steps for a covered vehicle under the Act but are not satisfied with any offers made, you should
contact this office for our help (if you have not already done so).
An initial consultation will be scheduled
where you can bring in all of your supporting documentation and meet with Jon H. Rogers for a small fee. The more thorough
and organized you can be for this meeting, the better your chances that this office will consider representing you on your
Keep in mind that Utah Code 13-20-6(2) states that, "This chapter does not limit the rights or remedies which are otherwise
available to a consumer under any other law." This means that in some instances, this office may assert additional claims
or recommend proceeding against the manufacturer on claims other than under the Utah New Motor Vehicle Warranty Act (Utah's Lemon Law). These other claims can sometimes
be used for a consumer product which does not fall within Utah's Lemon Law. This requires a case by case assessment to determine if there are grounds
for any such additional or alternative claims.