2018 Rhode Island General Laws
Title 31 - Motor and Other vehicles
Chapter 31-5.2 Consumer Enforcement of Motor Vehicle Warranties
Section 31-5.2-3 Replacement of nonconforming vehicle.
§ 31-5.2-3. Replacement of nonconforming vehicle.
(a)(1) If the manufacturer, its agent, or its authorized dealer or lessor does not conform the motor vehicle to any applicable express or implied warranty by curing any nonconformity after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer shall accept return of the vehicle from the consumer or lessee and, at the consumer's or lessee's option, refund the full contract price or lease price of the vehicle including all credits and allowances for any trade-in vehicle, less a reasonable allowance for use, or replace it with a comparable new motor vehicle in good working order.
(2) A manufacturer replacing a motor vehicle shall have thirty (30) calendar days from the date of return of the motor vehicle under the provisions of this chapter to deliver a comparable motor vehicle. If, within that thirty (30) days, no comparable motor vehicle has been delivered, the manufacturer shall refund the full contract price or lease price less a reasonable allowance for use.
(3)(i) In instances in which a vehicle is replaced by a manufacturer under the provisions of this chapter, the manufacturer shall reimburse the consumer or lessee for any fees for the transfer of registration or any sales tax incurred by the consumer or lessee as a result of that replacement.
(ii) In instances in which a vehicle which was financed by the manufacturer or its subsidiary or agent is replaced under the provisions of this chapter, the manufacturer, subsidiary, or agent shall not require the consumer or lessee to enter into any refinancing agreement with an interest rate or other financial terms which are less favorable to the consumer or lessee than those stated in the original financing agreement.
(iii) In instances in which a refund is tendered under the provisions of this chapter, the manufacturer shall also reimburse the consumer or lessee for incidental costs including sales tax, registration fee, finance charges, and any cost of nonremovable options added by an authorized dealer or lessor.
(iv) Whenever a vehicle is replaced or refunded under the provisions of this chapter, in instances in which towing services and rental vehicles of comparable year and size were not made available at no cost to the consumer or lessee, the manufacturer shall also reimburse the consumer or lessee for towing and reasonable rental costs that were a direct result of vehicle nonconformity.
(4) Refunds shall be made to the consumer or lessee and to the lienholder, if any, as their interests may appear.
(5) A reasonable allowance for use shall be obtained by multiplying the total contract price or lessee cost of the vehicle by a fraction having as its denominator one hundred thousand (100,000) and having as its numerator the number of miles that the vehicle traveled prior to the consumer's first report of the nonconformity to the manufacturer, its agent, or its dealer or lessor plus the number of miles that it traveled during any subsequent period when the vehicle was not out of service by reason of repair.
(6) A consumer or lessee shall have the option of retaining the use of any vehicle returned under the provisions of this chapter until such time as the consumer or lessee has been tendered a full refund or replacement vehicle acceptable to the consumer or lessee. The use of any vehicle retained by a consumer or lessee after its return to a manufacturer under the provisions of this chapter shall, in instances in which a refund is tendered, be reflected in the above-mentioned reasonable allowance for use.
(b) If applicable, refunds shall be made to the lessor and lessee as their interests may appear on the records of ownership as follows: the lessee shall receive the lessee cost and the lessor shall receive the lease price less the aggregate deposit and rental payments previously paid to the lessor for the leased vehicle. If it is determined that the lessee is entitled to a refund pursuant to this chapter, the consumer's lease agreement with the lessor shall be terminated upon payment of the refund and no penalty for early termination shall be assessed.
History of Section.
(P.L. 1984, ch. 353, § 1; P.L. 1984, ch. 361, § 1; P.L. 1990, ch. 237, § 1; P.L. 1995, ch. 236, § 1.)