Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 59.1. Trade and Commerce
Chapter 17.3. Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act
7/19/2018

§ 59.1-207.13. Nonconformity of motor vehicles.

A. If the manufacturer, its agents or authorized dealers do not conform the motor vehicle to any applicable warranty by repairing or correcting any defect or condition, including those that do not affect the driveability of the vehicle, which significantly impairs the use, market value, or safety of the motor vehicle to the consumer after a reasonable number of attempts during the lemon law rights period, the manufacturer shall:

1. Replace the motor vehicle with a comparable motor vehicle acceptable to the consumer, or

2. Accept return of the motor vehicle and refund to the consumer, lessor, and any lienholder as their interest may appear the full contract price, including all collateral charges, incidental damages, less a reasonable allowance for the consumer's use of the vehicle up to the date of the first notice of nonconformity that is given to the manufacturer, its agents or authorized dealer. Refunds or replacements shall be made to the consumer, lessor or lienholder, if any, as their interests may appear. The consumer shall have the unconditional right to choose a refund rather than a replacement vehicle and to drive the motor vehicle until he receives either the replacement vehicle or the refund. The subtraction of a reasonable allowance for use shall apply to either a replacement or refund of the motor vehicle. Mileage, expenses, and reasonable loss of use necessitated by attempts to conform such motor vehicle to the express warranty may be recovered by the consumer.

A1. In the case of a replacement of or refund for a leased vehicle, in addition to any other damages provided in this chapter, the motor vehicle shall be returned to the manufacturer and the consumer's written lease shall be terminated by the lessor without penalty to the consumer. The lessor shall transfer title to the manufacturer as necessary to effectuate the consumer's rights pursuant to this chapter, whether the consumer chooses vehicle replacement or a refund.

B. It shall be presumed that a reasonable number of attempts have been undertaken to conform a motor vehicle to any warranty and that the motor vehicle is significantly impaired if during the period of eighteen months following the date of original delivery of the motor vehicle to the consumer either:

1. The same nonconformity has been subject to repair three or more times by the manufacturer, its agents or its authorized dealers and the same nonconformity continues to exist;

2. The nonconformity is a serious safety defect and has been subject to repair one or more times by the manufacturer, its agent or its authorized dealer and the same nonconformity continues to exist; or

3. The motor vehicle is out of service due to repair for a cumulative total of thirty calendar days, unless such repairs could not be performed because of conditions beyond the control of the manufacturer, its agents or authorized dealers, including war, invasion, strike, fire, flood or other natural disasters.

C. The lemon law rights period shall be extended if the manufacturer has been notified but the nonconformity has not been effectively repaired by the manufacturer, or its agent, by the expiration of the lemon law rights period.

D. The manufacturer shall clearly and conspicuously disclose to the consumer, in the warranty or owner's manual, that written notification of the nonconformity to the manufacturer is required before the consumer may be eligible for a refund or replacement of the vehicle under this chapter. The manufacturer shall include with the warranty or owner's manual the name and address to which the consumer shall send such written notification.

E. It shall be the responsibility of the consumer, or his representative, prior to availing himself of the provisions of this section, to notify the manufacturer of the need for the correction or repair of the nonconformity, unless the manufacturer has been notified as defined in § 59.1-207.11. If the manufacturer or factory representative has not been notified of the conditions set forth in subsection B of this section and any of the conditions set forth in subsection B of this section already exists, the manufacturer shall be given an additional opportunity, not to exceed fifteen days, to correct or repair the nonconformity. If notification shall be mailed to an authorized dealer, the authorized dealer shall upon receipt forward such notification to the manufacturer.

F. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit or impair the rights and remedies of a consumer under any other law.

G. It is an affirmative defense to any claim under this chapter that:

1. An alleged nonconformity does not significantly impair the use, market value, or safety of the motor vehicle; or

2. A nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect or unauthorized modification or alteration of a motor vehicle by a consumer.

1984, c. 773; 1987, c. 607; 1988, c. 603; 1990, c. 772; 1998, c. 671.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.