What Is The Lemon Law In Washington State?

What Is The Lemon Law In Washington State
The Washington State Motor Vehicle “Lemon Law” is designed to help new vehicle owners who have substantial continuing problems with warranty repairs. The law allows the owner to request an arbitration hearing through the Attorney General’s Office. There will be no charge for the arbitration process.

If you have a car, truck or motorcycle, go to our General Lemon Law section.

Automobile dealers and manufacturers will find program rules, specific duties and useful information about the arbitration process under Manufacturer and Dealer Services,

Is there a Lemon Law for used cars in Washington state?

The Lemon Law in the state of Washington covers ‘new’ or ‘used’ vehicles that were originally purchased or leased within the state and that were intended for use on public roads, including motorcycles.

What qualifies as a lemon car in Washington state?

What is a “Lemon”? – Your vehicle may qualify as a “lemon” if it has one or more significant defects that have been subject to a “reasonable number of attempts” to diagnose or repair the problem(s) covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. The law covers only defects that “substantially impair” the use, value, or safety of the motor vehicle.

How long do you have to return a used car in Washington state?

Changing the Terms of the Contract – After a deal is agreed upon and the contract signed, if you are contacted by the dealer saying they now need a larger down payment, a higher monthly payments, or a co-signor you are not required to accept these new terms.

  1. By law, the dealer has 4 working days from the time of purchase/lease (excluding weekends and holidays) to find financing and finalize the sale according to the terms of the contract.
  2. When the dealer fails to locate the financing specified in the contract in that time period, there is no binding contract and the dealer must offer to return your contract documents, down payment and trade-in vehicle before attempting to negotiate a new agreement with you.

If you have taken possession of the car, you must promptly return it when notified that the transaction cannot be completed within the 4 working-days period.

Can you return a car to the dealership in Washington?

Negotiations – While you will probably negotiate on the price of the car, you may also need to negotiate other aspects of the transaction, including financing terms and trade-in value. Optional additions to the purchase may also be negotiated. These can include service contracts, add-ons such as spoilers, vehicle protection options like protective paint coatings, and credit insurance.

While negotiating on the trade-in value of your vehicle, you must reveal to the dealer any “brand” which appears on the title, such as “rebuilt”, “salvage”, or “non-conformity”. If you don’t disclose the “branded” title, the dealer can come back to you when the “brand” is discovered and attempt to renegotiate the trade-in value.

It is important to remember you always have the right to walk away if you are not 100% satisfied with your deal or dealership. You must walk-away, however, before you sign any contracts. Once you sign the contracts, there is no law that allows you to cancel the contract for any reason within three-days of purchase.

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Can you return a used car if it has problems in Washington state?

Implied Warranty | Washington State Under state law, every used car sold by a dealer in Washington for a customer’s personal use has an “implied warranty of merchantability.” This means that the dealer promises the used car will be fit for ordinary driving purposes, reasonably safe, without major defects, and of the average quality of similar cars available for sale in the same price range.

  1. A car can only be sold without the implied warranty if the customer knowingly agreed to waive the warranty and was provided with a statement of the particular characteristics or parts of the car that aren’t covered.
  2. Absent the required disclosures and your customer’s explicit consent, an “as is” sticker in the window of a car or a signed waiver is not sufficient to waive the implied warranty.

The implied warranty can’t be waived under any circumstance if a written warranty is offered with the car or the customer purchases an extended service warranty from the dealer within 90 days of buying a used car. Whatever the status of warranty, dealers shouldn’t sell cars that, due to defective or missing safety equipment, aren’t legal to drive on public roads.

  • Washington consumers have a right to trust that any purchased vehicle will be reasonably safe, efficient and comfortable.
  • If a customer has major problems with the vehicle, then the dealer may be obligated to meet the customer’s request for repairs or repayment of the purchase price.
  • Courts have ruled that the implied warranty is legally waived only if both of the following conditions are met:
  1. The consumer explicitly negotiates and agrees to the fact that the car does not have an implied warranty, and
  2. The dealer gives the consumer a statement of the particular characteristics or parts of the car which are not being warranted.
  • A general discussion of vehicle size, style, model, color, power, extra equipment and price is not a specific discussion or explicit negotiation of a waiver of the implied warranty of merchantability.
  • The use of an “As Is” sticker does not circumvent the Implied Warranty of Merchantability rules.
  • A signed, pre-printed form may not be evidence of explicit negotiation.
  • A clause waiving the warranty in a preprinted sales agreement is not evidence of explicit negotiation.
  • The burden is on the dealer to prove evidence of an effective disclaimer or waiver of a warranty.
  • If a customer buys an extended service warranty contract within 90 days of buying the used car, the implied warranty of merchantability cannot be waived under any circumstances – even if previously negotiated.
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Used cars also have another implied warranty under state law, called Warranty of Fitness for a Particular Purpose. This provides that when the seller knows the vehicle is going to be used for a particular purpose, such as racing or towing a trailer, and the buyer is relying on the seller’s expertise to provide a suitable vehicle, a warranty is created that the item will actually be fit for that purpose.

Can I return a car that is faulty?

If you buy a new or used car from a dealer and have problems with it, you have some statutory rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, The Act states the car must be “of a satisfactory quality”, “fit for purpose” and “as described”. (For a used car, “satisfactory quality” takes into account the car’s age and mileage.) You have a right to reject something faulty and you’re entitled to a full refund within 30 days of purchase in most cases.

  1. After 30 days, you lose the short-term right to reject the goods.
  2. You’ll also have fewer rights, such as only being able to ask for a repair or replacement, or a partial refund.
  3. In fact, you’re legally allowed to return it up to six years after you bought it (in Scotland, it’s five years after you first realised there was a problem).

But it gets more difficult to prove a fault and not normal wear and tear is the cause of any problem. Just because you didn’t buy your car new, doesn’t mean you don’t have rights if something goes wrong. You might still have a legal right to compensation.

when and where you bought it what the exact problem is whether you knew there was a problem when you bought it. This might be a repair, an amount of money to cover the cost of a repair, or a full or partial refund of the money you spent.

Citizens Advice have a tool that tells you what your consumer rights are. All you need is the date you bought your car and whether it was a private sale or bought through a trade seller. The vehicle should be of satisfactory quality, fit for its purpose and as described.

With hire purchase, it’s the finance provider, rather than the dealer, who’s legally responsible if there are problems with the car. If you paid all or part of the cost of your car by credit card, the card company and the trader might be jointly responsible for compensating you under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

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Your purchase won’t be covered by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. But you might be able to claim a refund from your debit card provider through a voluntary scheme known as ‘chargeback’. Visa, MasterCard, Maestro and American Express are among the companies signed up to chargeback.

Depending on the card you used, you’ll probably need to make your claim within 120 days of noticing the problem. Chargeback claims can take some time to process because the card company has to get the money refunded before they can pass it on to you. Buying privately is one of the riskiest ways of buying a car.

If something goes wrong with it you don’t have as much legal protection as you would if you’d bought the car from a dealer. The car must match the seller’s description, be roadworthy and the seller must have the legal right to sell it to you. In other words, the car must work, meet the legal requirements for being driven on public roads, and be owned by the seller.

  • But you’re responsible for ensuring the car is “of satisfactory quality” and “fit for purpose” before you buy it.
  • Watch out for any unscrupulous sellers pretending to be private owners so they can offload faulty or stolen cars.
  • With online auctions, your legal rights depend on whether the seller is a private individual or a car dealer.

If the seller is a private individual, the car only needs to be as described – so it’s a case of ‘buyer beware’. Your legal rights are the same as if you were buying from them in person (see ‘Problems with used cars bought privately’ above). If the seller is a dealer, you’ll be protected by the Sale of Goods Act if you find the car isn’t of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose or as described.

How do I file a complaint against a car dealership in Washington state?

If you have any questions, call (360) 664-6475. Send your complaint and related documents by fax, email, or mail. Include the following: A detailed explanation of your complaint; this should include dates, other parties involved, and a summary of any efforts you have already made to resolve the problem.

Is there a cooling off period in Washington state?

Business Opportunities – Business opportunities or enterprises that enable you to start a business through the purchase or leasing of equipment or training are governed by the state’s Business Opportunity Fraud Act ( RCW 19.110 ). The law allows buyers to cancel within seven business days of signing a contract.