2018 Hawaii Revised Statutes
TITLE 26. TRADE REGULATION AND PRACTICE
481I. Motor Vehicle Express Warranty Enforcement (Lemon Law)
481I-3 Motor vehicle: express warranties, return.

Universal Citation: HI Rev Stat § 481I-3 (2018)

§481I-3 Motor vehicle: express warranties, return. (a) If a motor vehicle does not conform to all applicable express warranties, and the consumer reports the nonconformity in writing to the manufacturer, its agent, distributor, or its authorized dealer during the term of the lemon law rights period, then the manufacturer, or, at its option, its agent, distributor, or its authorized dealer, shall make such repairs as are necessary to conform the vehicle to such express warranties, notwithstanding the fact that such repairs are made after the expiration of such term.

(b) If the manufacturer, its agents, distributors, or authorized dealers are unable to conform the motor vehicle to any applicable express warranty by repairing or correcting any defect or condition which substantially impairs the use, market value, or safety of the motor vehicle after a reasonable number of documented attempts, then the manufacturer shall provide the consumer with a replacement motor vehicle or accept return of the vehicle from the consumer and refund to the consumer the following: the full purchase price including but not limited to charges for undercoating, dealer preparation, transportation, installed options, and all collateral and incidental charges, and less a reasonable offset for the consumer's use of the motor vehicle.

If either a replacement motor vehicle or a refund is awarded, an "offset" may be made for damage to the vehicle not attributable to normal wear and tear, if unrelated to the nonconformity. If a replacement motor vehicle is awarded, a reasonable offset shall be made for the use of the motor vehicle and an additional offset may be made for loss to the fair market value of the vehicle resulting from damage beyond normal wear and tear, unless the damage resulted from the nonconformity. When the manufacturer supplies a replacement motor vehicle, the manufacturer shall be responsible for the general excise tax, and license and registration fees. Refunds made pursuant to this subsection shall be deemed to be refunds of the sales price and treated as such for purposes of section 237-3. Refunds shall be made to the consumer and lienholder, if any, as their interests may appear on the records of ownership. If applicable, refunds shall be made to the lessor and lessee pursuant to rules adopted by the department of commerce and consumer affairs.

(c) It shall be an affirmative defense to any claim under this section that a nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modifications or alterations of a motor vehicle by a consumer.

(d) It shall be presumed that a reasonable number of attempts have been undertaken to conform a motor vehicle to the applicable express warranties, if, during the lemon law rights period, any of the following occurs:

(1) The same nonconformity has been subject to examination or repair at least three times by the manufacturer, its agents, distributors, or authorized dealers, but such nonconformity continues to exist; or

(2) The nonconformity has been subject to examination or repair at least once by the manufacturer, its agents, distributors, or authorized dealers, but continues to be a nonconformity which is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury if the vehicle is driven; or

(3) The motor vehicle is out of service by reason of repair by the manufacturer, its agents, distributors, or authorized dealers for one or more nonconformities for a cumulative total of thirty or more business days during the lemon law rights period.

The term of the lemon law rights period and such thirty-day period shall be extended by any period of time during which repair services are not available to the consumer because of a war, invasion, strike, fire, flood or other natural disaster.

The presumptions provided in this subsection shall not apply unless the manufacturer has received a written report of the nonconformity from the consumer and has had a reasonable opportunity to repair the nonconformity alleged.

Upon a second notice of the nonconformity, or, if the motor vehicle has been out of service by reason of repair in excess of twenty business days, the dealer shall notify the manufacturer of the nonconformity.

(e) During the lemon law rights period, the manufacturer or its agent, distributor, or authorized dealer shall provide to the consumer, each time the consumer's vehicle is returned from being diagnosed or repaired under the warranty, a fully itemized, legible statement or repair order indicating any diagnosis made and all work performed on the vehicle, including, but not limited to, a general description of the problem reported by the consumer or an identification of the defect or condition, parts and labor supplied, the date and the odometer reading when the vehicle was submitted for repair, and the date when the vehicle was made available to the consumer. The consumer shall sign and receive a copy of the statement or repair order.

(f) Upon request from the consumer, the manufacturer, or at its option its agent, distributor, or authorized dealer, shall provide a copy of any report or computer reading regarding inspection, diagnosis, or test-drive of the consumer's motor vehicle, and shall provide a copy of any technical service bulletin related to the nonconformity issued by the manufacturer regarding the year and model of the consumer's motor vehicle as it pertains to any material, feature, component, or the performance thereof.

Upon receipt of a consumer's written report of a nonconformity to the manufacturer, the manufacturer or, at its option, its agent, distributor, or authorized dealer, shall inform the consumer of any technical service bulletin or report relating to the nonconformity, and shall advise the consumer of the consumer's right to obtain a copy of such report or technical service bulletin.

(g) The manufacturer, its agent, distributor, or authorized dealer, shall provide the consumer at the time of purchase of the motor vehicle a written notice setting forth the terms of a state certified arbitration program and a statement of the rights of the consumer under this section in plain language, the form of which has been previously reviewed and approved by the department of commerce and consumer affairs for substantial compliance with Title 16, Code of Federal Regulations, part 703, as may be modified by the requirements of this chapter. The written notice must specify the requirement that written notification to the manufacturer of the motor vehicle nonconformity is required before the consumer is eligible for a refund or replacement of the motor vehicle. The notice must also include the name and address to which the consumer must send such written notification. The provision of this statement is the direct responsibility of the dealer, as that term is defined in chapter 437.

(h) The consumer shall be required to notify the manufacturer of the nonconformity only if the consumer has received a written notice setting forth the terms of the state certified arbitration program and a statement of the rights of the consumer as set out in subsection (g).

(i) Where the state certified arbitration program is invoked by the consumer of a motor vehicle under express warranties, a decision resolving the dispute shall be rendered within forty-five days after the procedure is invoked. However, the failure of an arbitrator to render a decision within forty-five days because of unforeseen circumstances shall not void any subsequent decision.

Any decision rendered resolving the dispute shall provide appropriate remedies including, but not limited to, the following:

(1) Provision of a replacement motor vehicle; or

(2) Acceptance of the motor vehicle from the consumer, refund of the full purchase price, and all collateral and incidental charges.

The decision shall specify a date for performance and completion of all awarded remedies.

(j) Any action brought under this section must be initiated within one year following expiration of the lemon law rights period.

(k) No vehicle transferred to a dealer or manufacturer by a buyer or a lessee under this chapter or by judgment, settlement, or arbitration award in this State or in another state may be sold, leased, or auctioned by any person unless:

(1) The nature of the defect experienced by the original buyer or lessee is clearly and conspicuously disclosed on a separate document that must be signed by the manufacturer and the purchaser and must be in ten-point, capitalized type, in substantially the following form:

"IMPORTANT: THIS VEHICLE WAS RETURNED TO THE MANUFACTURER BECAUSE A DEFECT(S) COVERED BY THE MANUFACTURER'S EXPRESS WARRANTY WAS NOT REPAIRED WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME AS PROVIDED BY LAW.";

(2) The defect is corrected; and

(3) The manufacturer warrants to the new buyer or lessee, in writing, that if the defect reappears within one year or 12,000 miles after the date of resale, whichever occurs first, it will be corrected at no expense to the consumer.

(l) A violation of subsection (k) shall constitute prima facie evidence of an unfair or deceptive act or practice under chapter 480. [L 1992, c 314, pt of §1; am L 1993, c 58, §1; am L 1998, c 197, §§3 to 5; am L 2000, c 44, §2]

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