SECTION 56-28-10. Definitions.
As used in this chapter:
(1) "Consumer" means the purchaser or lessor, other than for
purposes of resale, of a motor vehicle normally used for personal,
family, or household purposes and subject to the manufacturer's
express warranty, and any other person entitled by the warranty to
enforce the obligations of the warranty.
(2) "Manufacturer" means any person, resident, or nonresident, who
manufactures or assembles or imports or distributes new motor vehicles
which are to be sold in the State.
(3) "Manufacturer's express warranty" or "warranty" means the
written warranty, so labeled, of the manufacturer of a new motor
vehicle, including any terms or conditions precedent to the
enforcement of obligations under that warranty.
(4) "Motor vehicle" means a private passenger motor vehicle, as
classified by Section 56-3-630, but excluding the living portion of
recreational vehicles and off-road vehicles, which is sold and
registered in this State.
(5) A "new motor vehicle" means a private passenger motor vehicle
which has been sold to a new motor vehicle dealer by a manufacturer
and which has not been used for other than demonstration purposes and
on which the original title has not been issued from the new motor
(6) "Nonconformity" means a defect or condition that substantially
impairs the use, value, or safety of a motor vehicle, but does not
include a defect or condition that results from an accident,
modification, or alteration of the motor vehicle by persons other than
the manufacturer or its authorized service agent.
SECTION 56-28-20. Manufacturers to provide annual written
summaries of certain motor vehicles; forms; records to be made
Every manufacturer, in a format and a form that must be mailed
annually to each manufacturer approved by the Administrator of the
Department of Consumer Affairs, shall provide a written summary of all
motor vehicles repurchased or replaced under this chapter no less than
once each calendar year. In addition, every manufacturer shall make
available any paperwork, reports, or other information regarding
vehicles subject to this chapter upon request by the administrator.
Failure to supply either the written summaries of repurchased vehicles
or respond to reasonable requests for information by the administrator
subjects the manufacturer to an administrative penalty not to exceed
one thousand dollars for each violation which the administrator in his
discretion may impose.
SECTION 56-28-30. Nonconformity with express warranties;
notice required; repairs required.
If a new motor vehicle does not conform to all applicable express
warranties within the first twelve months of purchase or the first
twelve thousand miles of operation, whichever occurs first, and the
consumer reports the nonconformity to the manufacturer or its agent
during the term of the express warranties, the manufacturer, or its
agent, shall make those repairs as are necessary to conform the
vehicle to the express warranties at no cost to the consumer,
notwithstanding the fact that the repairs are made after the
expiration of the term.
SECTION 56-28-40. Replacement of motor vehicle; refund of
If, within the term specified in Section 56-28-30, the
manufacturer, through its agents or authorized dealer, is 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 to the
consumer after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer shall
replace the motor vehicle with a comparable motor vehicle, or at its
option, accept return of the vehicle from the consumer and refund to
the consumer the full purchase price as delivered including applicable
finance charges, sales taxes, license fees, registration fees, and any
other similar governmental charges, less a reasonable allowance for
the consumer's use of the vehicle. Refunds must be made to the
consumer and lienholder, if any, as their interest may appear on the
record of ownership kept by the Division of Motor Vehicles. A
reasonable allowance for use must be that amount directly attributable
to use by the consumer before his first report of the nonconformity to
the manufacturer, agent, or dealer, and must be calculated by
multiplying the full purchase price of the vehicle by a fraction
having as its denominator one hundred twenty thousand and having as
its numerator the number of miles that the vehicle traveled before the
first report of nonconformity. The consumer is not entitled to a
refund or replacement if:
(1) the nonconformity does not substantially impair the motor
vehicle's use, market value, or safety;
(2) the nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect, or
modification or alteration of the motor vehicle by the consumer.
SECTION 56-28-50. Presumption of attempts to conform;
information to be provided to consumers; obligations of manufacturer;
costs and attorney's fees; notice requirements.
(A) It is presumed that a reasonable number of attempts have been
undertaken to conform a motor vehicle to the applicable express
(1) the same nonconformity has been subject to repair three or more
times by the manufacturer, or its agent, within the express warranty
term, but the nonconformity continues to exist; or
(2) the vehicle is out of service by reason of repair for a
cumulative total of thirty or more calendar days during the express
warranty. The term of an express warranty, and the twenty-day period
must 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.
(B) The manufacturer must provide information regarding consumer
complaint remedies with each new motor vehicle. It is the
responsibility of the consumer, or his representative, before availing
himself of the provisions of this chapter, to give written
notification to the manufacturer of the need for the repair of the
nonconformity, in order to allow the manufacturer a final opportunity
to cure the alleged defect if the manufacturer has clearly and
prominently informed the consumer of the requirement of written
notification to the manufacturer at the time of sale. The
manufacturer, within ten business days, must notify the consumer of a
reasonably accessible repair facility of a franchised new vehicle
dealer to conform the new vehicle to the express warranty. After
delivery of the new vehicle to an authorized repair facility by the
consumer, the manufacturer must attempt immediately to repair the
vehicle within a period not to exceed ten business days in order to
conform the new motor vehicle to the express warranty. If the
manufacturer is unable to repair properly the vehicle within the final
ten-business-day period, the manufacturer must replace the vehicle
with an identical or reasonably equivalent vehicle or refund the
purchase price subject to the provisions of Section 56-28-40.
(C) Upon notification from the consumer that the new vehicle has
not been conformed to the express warranty, the manufacturer shall
inform the consumer if an informal dispute settlement procedure has
been established by the manufacturer as enumerated in Section
56-28-60. However, if prior notice by the manufacturer of an informal
dispute settlement procedure has been given, no further notice is
(D) Any consumer who finally prevails in any action brought under
this chapter, may be allowed by the court to recover as part of the
judgment a sum equal to the aggregate amount of cost and expenses
(including attorney's fees based on actual time expended) and other
such costs which are directly attributable to the nonconformity of the
motor vehicle determined by the court to have been reasonably incurred
by the plaintiff for or in connection with the commencement and
prosecution of such action, unless the court in its discretion
determines that such an award of attorney's fees would be
(E) All written notifications required by this section shall be
sent by registered, certified, or express mail.
SECTION 56-28-60. Informal dispute settlement procedures.
If a manufacturer has established an informal dispute settlement
procedure which substantially complies with Title 16 of the Code of
Federal Regulations, Part 703, or if the manufacturer participates in
a consumer-industry appeals, arbitration, or mediation panel or board,
whose decisions are binding on the manufacturer, the provisions of
Section 56-28-40 concerning refunds or replacement do not apply to any
consumer who has not first resorted to those procedures or to the
alternate procedure provided in Section 56-28-90.
SECTION 56-28-70. Limitation of actions.
Any action brought under this chapter must be commenced within
three years following the date of original delivery of the motor
vehicle to the consumer.
SECTION 56-28-80. Construction of chapter; reimbursement
from dealer prohibited; exception.
Nothing in this chapter may be construed as imposing any liability
on a motor vehicle dealer or creating a cause of action by a consumer
against a motor vehicle dealer under Section 56-28-40. The
manufacturer shall not charge back or require reimbursement by the
dealer for any costs, including, but not limited to, any refunds or
vehicle replacements incurred by the manufacturer arising out of this
chapter in the absence of evidence that the related repairs had been
carried out by the dealer in a manner substantially inconsistent with
the manufacturer's published instructions.
SECTION 56-28-90. State arbitration board may be
The Administrator of the Department of Consumer Affairs may
establish by regulation a state arbitration board consisting of five
members appointed by him to serve at his pleasure. The board shall
review matters involving manufacturers that have not created an
informal dispute settlement procedure that substantially complies with
Title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 703. The cost of the
arbitration board must be borne by the manufacturer of the vehicle
purchased or leased by the consumer.
SECTION 56-28-100. Repurchased vehicles not to be resold;
Any vehicle required to be repurchased by a manufacturer under this
chapter or any other provision of law relating to motor vehicle
warranties may not be resold, reassigned, or retransferred, either at
wholesale or retail in this State, unless:
(1) The manufacturer notifies the Administrator of the Department
of Consumer Affairs within thirty calendar days, in writing, of the
vehicle identification number of that motor vehicle, the reason that
the vehicle was repurchased, and provides a statement that all
necessary repairs and adjustments have been made and that the vehicle
meets acceptable operating standards.
(2) The manufacturer provides a written warranty to the subsequent
retail purchaser of the vehicle covering the vehicle for twelve months
or twelve thousand miles. The warranty must expressly include any
component related to the manufacturer's decision to repurchase the
(3) The manufacturer shall disclose to any dealer or other
wholesale purchaser of the fact that the vehicle was required to be
repurchased under this chapter or another provision of law relating to
motor vehicle warranties.
SECTION 56-28-110. Notification to subsequent purchasers;
penalties for failure to notify.
Every subsequent purchaser must be notified by the seller of the
fact that the vehicle was required to be repurchased under the terms
of this chapter or another provision of law relating to motor vehicle
warranties. Failure to notify properly any purchaser of the
requirements of this section subjects the seller to an administrative
penalty to be imposed by the administrator up to a maximum of five
hundred dollars for each vehicle.