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Idaho Lemon Law for Cars

  • Imagine you have just bought a car, and a few days later, the engine light comes on. That's bad...right?

    When you buy a car, you expect it to work fine. When it has one or more defects that decrease its value or operation, that's called a Lemon car.

    (Pucker-up butter cup- because this ain’t no lemon drop martini. We’re talkin’ a dud or junk vehicle).

    Specific state laws exist to protect consumers from unwanted issues related to a damaged vehicle.

    The Idaho Lemon Law states that the defects must be fixed by the dealer or the manufacturer within a specific time. But, cars must satisfy some conditions. Wait, what conditions? Let’s dive into that.

  • What Is the Idaho Lemon Law?

  • All new vehicles come with a warranty. This warranty is proof the dealer has agreed to repair the non-conformities before the warranty expiration date.

    Non-conformities is a legal term for 'defects'. When the dealer fails or refuses to fix the flaws, this state law helps the buyers.

    Idaho Lemon Law was created to shield automobile owners from struggles related to the poor performance of their cars, motorcycles, pickup trucks, or recreational vehicles. It applies to cars that are subject to the manufacturer's warranty.

    This law covers the car’s defects that are not caused by abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modifications. (Yeah, be careful, this gets lots of folks in trouble)

    It covers the automobiles for the first two years after the delivery or 24000 miles, whichever comes first. The following are the other conditions that cars must satisfy to qualify for the Idaho Lemon Law:

    • Must be licensed or bought in Idaho
    • Must be purchased and used for personal purposes
    • Must not exceed 12000lbs
  • As per this law, the vehicle owners can file a suit anytime within the first three years of the purchase. Thus, the dealer or manufacturer gets up to 3 years to make the repair attempts. Idaho Lemon Law has some terms for this 'Repair Attempts' made by the dealership.

    • A similar defect is subjected to be fixed four or more times by the dealer. The Idaho lemon law applies when the dealer has made at least one attempt to repair the defect. But, it still exists.
    • The car is out of service for 30 or more business days because of the fault.
    • When the motor has steering or brake defects that may cause a critical injury or death. The dealer has tried to repair it at least once. Yet, the flaw exists.
  • For machines that fulfill these conditions, buyers are eligible for a replacement with equal (or lesser-priced) unit.

    They can also ask for the full buying price and collateral charges refund. These charges include taxes, registration fees, towing and rental vehicle expenses, etc.

  • Lemon Law Definition

    Lemon Law protects consumers from defective merchandise or consumer goods. It is legally used to hold the seller to live up to their warranties. These items are duds, failures, flops, or rejects, we commonly call them lemons.

    Now the definition of Lemon Law is difficult BECAUSE, the laws vary in every state. But they consider:

    • Nature of the problem
    • Number of days unavailable (for same issue)
    • Number of repair attempts made
  • When such products or cars are not fully repaired (depending), the buyer must get a refund or replacement.

    This law is enacted by every US state and the federal government to save consumers from defective goods. It usually refers to some type of motor vehicle. Consumer rights vary by state.

    In Idaho, HOWEVER, lemon law only applies to the sale and purchase of New Vehicles. UNLESS the motor vehicle is still under warranty.

  • Buyer Beware In Latin

    In simple terms, "buyer beware" is similar to "sold as is." Buyer beware in latin is Caveat emptor. It means the consumer assumes the consequences of buying the goods.

    The Caveat emptor principle warns that the seller has no responsibility if a product turns out to be faulty after the purchase.

    Basically, the buyer is responsible for doing the necessary checks before the purchase. When the buyer fails to do so, he/she is not entitled to any actions for defects. Such situations usually occur due to misinformation.

    Usually, the seller has more product info than the buyer. Thus, the buyer assumes the risks of possible defects in the bought goods.

    When the product lacks the warranty, it's the buyer’s job to check everything. But, it doesn't allow the seller to provide false info about the product.

    Let's see an example of this:

    Chris bought a recreational vehicle (rv) from the dealer. Before buying, Chris asked about the condition of the camper. The seller told him that the headlights were a bit faulty, But now, those are fixed.

    The seller also warned Chris that this defect had occurred from time to time in the past. Chris skipped the inspection of the headlights and bought the RV.

    After a couple of months, the headlights stopped working and caused bigger problems. Chris asked the seller to recover the damages. But the seller refused.

    Chris dragged the seller to the court. But, the judge stated that Chris is not entitled to any recovery as the Caveat emptor principle is applied: “let the buyer beware”.

    Download the FREE Idaho Bill of Sale

    Protect yourself from trying to being sued!

    This PDF is a standard vehicle bill of sale, perfect for a private party sale, HOWEVER, it has a Huge Bonus because it states:

    "I am selling the vehicle in AS IS condition, no warranties implied or expressed."

    So no matter if your selling a car, boat, utv, trailer, or any motor vehicle on Craigslist or Nickelsaver, use this Idaho odometer disclosure statement IMPROVED from the DMV.

    bill of sale Idaho

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    Does Lemon Law Apply To Used Cars Or RV's?

    Idaho Lemon Law doesn’t apply to used cars or used RV’s. It applies to NEW vehicles. But, if the used vehicle is bought within the two years or 24,000 miles from the start of warranty, used car Lemon Law applies.

    For motorhomes or RVs, state and federal acts can provide a remedy that keeps you from losing your investment. But, again, state codes vary. There are no standard requirements on the state level.

    Most local governments require up to 3 failed attempts to fix the car defects. But, the time frame varies.

  • Laws On Buying A Used Vehicle From Private Seller

    No one wants to buy a defective car. When we buy from a car lot, like Boise used cars, it’s good condition is assured by the dealer. We hope it’s worth the money. But, what if your used automobile broke down after a few days of purchase!!?

    Let’s check what can be done in this case.

    Dealers in Idaho can sell the used auto “as is.” So, when your vehicle fails to perform as promised, the dealer is not responsible. Because there is no warranty.

    Many dealers use the “as-is” laws to protect themselves. But, to counter this, lawmakers have come up with rules to protect you, the used auto consumer rights.

    Although Idaho dealers are allowed to sell the motor as is, they must comply with the used car disclosure laws. These laws govern the following:

    • Warranty disclosures
    • Financial disclosures
    • Odometer disclosures
    • False advertising
    • Credit laws
    • Express warranties
  • Consumer Protection Act Idaho

    Idaho’s Consumer Protection Act allows buyers to seek legal remedies through private lawsuits. This act aims to protect both buyers and businesses against unfair methods of competition and deceptive acts.

    It practices in the conduct of trade or commerce. It is created to provide efficient and economical procedures to secure such protection.

    NOTE: You can read more info about this straight from the Idaho Consumer Protection Act.

    Idaho Code 48-603

    We have seen how car dealers can go out of the way (falsely) to make sales. They often exaggerate the product benefits to get people to buy.

    When companies use dirty tricks to deceive consumers through outright lies, they may run afoul of Idaho Code 48-603.

    Idaho has prohibited the following deceptive trade practices:

    1. Selling of used items as new
    2. Misrepresenting the facts
    3. Car odometer tampering
    4. False advertising

    Idaho's deceptive trade practices statute includes some more trades that can be treated as violations. For more info, take a look at Idaho Code 48-603.

    Idaho Used Car Return Law

    Idaho Lemon Law required the dealers and manufacturers to fix the defects in the cars with the warranties.

    But used cars are not covered under this law unless they are bought within the first two years or 24000 miles of the warranty start.

    Idaho Code, Title 48, Chapter 9, includes all the Idaho Lemon Law rights. It addresses the dealer’s duties and consumer rights. 

    Yes, you can sue a used car dealer, but...

    You better have clear evidence they intended to decieve you. You must be able to prove they broke the law.

    Under the gem state’s rules, it’s the dealer’s responsibility to fix the defects in the eligible vehicle. In case of a failure, the buyers have the right to file a lawsuit.

  • No dealer wants to admit that they sold a bad car. If your retailer is difficult to deal with, or refuses to decide that a defective vehicle is a lemon, an experienced lemon law attorney is needed to ensure that your rights are protected.

  • Works Cited

    Nowicki, Philip R. "State Lemon Law Coverage Terms: Dissecting the Differences." Loy. Consumer L. Rev. 11 (1998): 39. https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/lyclr11&div=8&id=&page=
    Talesh, Shauhin A. "How dispute resolution system design matters: An organizational analysis of dispute resolution structures and consumer lemon laws." Law & Society Review 46.3 (2012): 463-496. https://www.law.uci.edu/faculty/full-time/talesh/Talesh_46LSR_463.pdf
    Vogel, Joan. "Squeezing Consumers: Lemon Laws, Consumer Warranties, and Proposal for Reform." Ariz. St. LJ (1985): 589. https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/arzjl1985&div=25&id=&page=
    Weber, Mark. "Buyer Beware: One Newark and the Market For Lemons." Economics 84.3 (2014): 488-500. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mark_Weber11/publication/276411870_Buyer_Beware_One_Newark_and_the_Market_For_Lemons/links/555947d208ae6fd2d826fac0.pdf Uranga, Jean R. "Idaho and Oregon Consumer Protection Acts: Administrative Powers of the Attorneys General." Willamette LJ 13 (1976): 455. https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/willr13&div=29&id=&page=
    Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc, Published: 2004, STANDARDS OF THE IDAHO LEMON LAW https://www.bbb.org/us/Storage/16/Documents/BBBAutoLine/ID-LLsummary.pdf

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