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Besides being a financial burden, purchasing a lemon car can also be frustrating. So as to protect you from the manufacturer’s mistakes, the North Dakota attorney general is vigilant in enforcing the lemon law. If you purchase a lemon car, you can use the North Dakota lemon law to get compensation. Basically this law allows manufacturers a reasonable number of attempts to fix major defects before being ordered to refund or replace those defective vehicles.
Criteria and Rights under this law
New vehicles that are still under the manufacturer’s warranty and have been found to have a defect are the ones that are covered by the North Dakota lemon law. The defect in question must impair the vehicles safety, use or market value. This lemon law does not cover motorcycles, motor homes or used cars. Before taking any legal action, you must take your vehicle to the manufacturer or dealer for repair.
North Dakota Lemon Law Procedures
Before deciding to involve the courts and justice system, ensure that your car fits the definition of the state’s lemon law. Under North Dakota lemon law, you have a lemon on your hands when either of the following criteria has been met:
- The car still has the same defects even though the manufacturer has tried to fix at least 3 times, and the defect has not been repaired
- If the vehicle has been out of service for 30 business days or more
- The manufacturer or dealer has been notified of the problem within a period of 1 year of purchase or during the warranty.
NOTE: Remember to keep all records of your vehicle service orders, correspondences and receipts. This will help you if you decide to file a complaint against the manufacturer.
Dispute resolution and settlement
North Dakota lemon law requires you to go through the manufacturer’s arbitration system before taking any legal action against the manufacturer. Most vehicle manufacturers in North Dakota have an informal dispute settlement program. For more information on filing your complaint through this process, contact your manufacturer or simply refer to your owner’s manual. If through this process it is determined that you purchased a lemon, the manufacturer will be required to refund your purchase price plus all the costs incurred or replace your vehicle with a comparable one.
Taking a legal action
However, if the informal arbitration program fails to resolve the dispute in your favor, and you truly feel that you have purchased a lemon, you can hire a lemon law attorney to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer. Under North Dakota lemon law, you’re required to initiate legal action within a period of 6 months of either the expiration or 18 months of the original delivery of the vehicle to you. This lemon law demands that you either get a new vehicle of similar value, or a full refund of purchase price plus all other costs and fees incurred. If you have any question regarding North Dakota lemon law, you may contact the office of the Attorney General in North Dakota at (701) 328-3404. You can also contact an attorney experienced in lemon law matters.