Nebraska Lemon Law Statutes
Chapter 60, Sections 2701 - 2709
Chapter 60, Sections 2701 - 2709
HEADING Chapter 60. Motor Vehicles.DOCUMENT: 60-2702
CATCHLINE Terms, defined.
LAW 60-2701. As used in sections 60-2701 to 60-2709,unless the context otherwise requires:
- Consumer shall mean the purchaser, other than for purposes of resale, of a motor vehicle normally used for personal, family, household, or business purposes, any person to whom such motor vehicle is transferred for the same purposes during the duration of an express warranty applicable to such motor vehicle, and any other person entitled by the terms of such warranty to enforce the obligations of the warranty;
- Motor vehicle shall mean a new motor vehicle as defined in section 60-1401.02 which is sold in this state, excluding self-propelled mobile homes as defined in section 60-301; and
- Manufacturer's express warranty shall mean the written warranty, so labeled, of the manufacturer of a new motor vehicle.
HEADING Chapter 60. Motor Vehicles.DOCUMENT: 60-2703
CATCHLINE Motor vehicle not conforming to express warranties; duty to repair.
LAW 60-2702. If a motor vehicle does not conform to all applicable express warranties, and the consumer reports the nonconformity to the manufacturer, its agent, or its authorized dealer during the term of such express warranties or during the period of one year following the date of original delivery of the motor vehicle to a consumer, whichever is the earlier date, the manufacturer, its agent, or its authorized dealer shall make such repairs as are necessary to conform the vehicle to such express warranties, notwithstanding the fact that such repairs are made after the expiration of such term or such one-year period.
HEADING Chapter 60. Motor Vehicles.DOCUMENT: 60-2704
CATCHLINE Manufacturer's duty to replace vehicle or refund price; when; affirmative defense.
LAW 60-2703. If the manufacturer, its agents, or authorized dealers are unable to conform the motor vehicle to any applicable express warranty by repairing or correcting any defect or condition which substantially impairs the use and market value 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 accept return of the vehicle from the consumer and refund to the consumer the full purchase price including all sales taxes, license fees, and registration fees and any similar governmental charges, less a reasonable allowance for the consumer's use of the vehicle. Refunds shall be made to the consumer and lienholder, if any, as their interests may appear. A reasonable allowance for use shall be that amount directly attributable to use by the consumer and any previous owner prior to his or her first report of the nonconformity to the manufacturer, agent, or dealer and during any subsequent period when the vehicle is not out of service by reason of repair. It shall be an affirmative defense to any claim under sections 60-2701 to 60-2709
- that an alleged nonconformity does not substantially impair such use and market value or
- that a nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modifications or alterations of a motor vehicle by a consumer.
HEADING Chapter 60. Motor Vehicles.DOCUMENT: 60-2705
CATCHLINE Attempts to conform motor vehicle to warranties; presumption; term of warranty; how computed.
LAW 60-2704. It shall be presumed that a reasonable number of attempts have been undertaken to conform a motor vehicle to the applicable express warranties, if
- the same nonconformity has been subject to repair four or more times by the manufacturer, its agents, or authorized dealers within the express warranty term or during the period of one year following the date of original delivery of the motor vehicle to a consumer, whichever is the earlier date, but such nonconformity continues to exist or
- the vehicle is out of service by reason of repair for a cumulative total of forty or more days during such term or during such period, whichever is the earlier date. The term of an express warranty, such one-year period, and such forty-day period shall be extended by any period of time during which repair services are not available to the consumer because of a war, invasion, or strike, or fire, flood, or other natural disaster. In no event shall the presumption provided in this section apply against a manufacturer unless the manufacturer has received prior written direct notification by certified mail from or on behalf of the consumer and an opportunity to cure the defect alleged.
HEADING Chapter 60. Motor Vehicles.DOCUMENT: 60-2706
CATCHLINE Dispute settlement procedure; effect; director; duties.
LAW 60-2705. The Director of Motor Vehicles shall adopt standards for an informal dispute settlement procedure which substantially comply with the provisions of 16 C.F.R. part 703, in existence as of February 22, 1983. If a manufacturer has established or participates in a dispute settlement procedure certified by the Director of Motor Vehicles within the guidelines of such standards, the provisions of section 60-2703 concerning refunds or replacement shall not apply to any consumer who has not first resorted to such a procedure.
HEADING Chapter 60. Motor Vehicles.DOCUMENT: 60-2707
CATCHLINE Statute of limitations.
LAW 60-2706. Any action brought under sections 60-2701 to 60-2709 shall be commenced within
- one year following the expiration of the express warranty term or
- two years following the date of original delivery of the motor vehicle to a consumer, whichever is the earlier date.
HEADING Chapter 60. Motor Vehicles.DOCUMENT: 60-2708
CATCHLINE Attorney's fees; when allowed.
LAW 60-2707. In any action brought under sections 60-2701 to 60-2709 the court shall award reasonable attorney's fees to the prevailing party if the prevailing party is the consumer.
HEADING Chapter 60. Motor Vehicles.DOCUMENT: 60-2709
CATCHLINE Sections, how construed.
LAW 60-2708. Nothing in sections 60-2701 to 60-2709 shall in any way limit the rights or remedies which are otherwise available to a consumer under any other law.
HEADING Chapter 60. Motor Vehicles.
CATCHLINE Applicability of sections.
LAW 60-2709. Sections 60-2701 to 60-2709 shall apply to motor vehicles beginning with the manufacturer's 1984 model year.
The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act
The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is a Federal Law that protects the buyer of any product which costs more than $25 and comes with an express written warranty. This law applies to any product that you buy that does not perform as it should.
The Magnuson-Moss statute gives consumers considerable rights in dealing with manufacturers of lemon cars. A car buyer is guaranteed that certain minimum requirements of warranties must be met, and provides for disclosure of warranties before purchase.
Regarding "lemon cars", this law greatly affects the rights of car buyers. For any product which has a written warranty if any part of the product, or the product itself is considered defective, the warrantor must permit the buyer the choice of either a refund or replacement of the product.
Law firms have argued successfully to juries that the lemon manufacturers should be given three attempts to fix the defect. Continued attempts to repair beyond the initial three should not be allowed. This is called the "three strikes and you're out" principle.
A consumer may pursue legal action in any court of general jurisdiction in the United States to enforce his rights under the Magnuson-Moss Law. Attorney's fees based on actual time spent will be covered if the consumer does prevail.
Due to this particular condition, there is quite a bit of financial pressure on the manufacturer to settle consumers disputes before going to court, as this would keep their expenses down.The narrative information on Magnusson-Moss, UCC and lemon laws on these pages is provided by T. Michael Flinn, attorney.
Uniform Commercial Code Summary
The Uniform Commercial Code or UCC has been enacted in all 50 states and some of the territories of the United States. It is the primary source of law in all contracts dealing with the sale of products. The TARR refers to Tender, Acceptance, Rejection, Revocation and applies to different aspects of the consumer's "relationship" with the purchased goods.
TENDER -The tender provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code contained in Section2-601 provide that the buyer is entitled to reject any goods that fail in any respect to conform to the contract. Unfortunately, new cars are often technically complex and their innermost workings are beyond the understanding of the average new car buyer. The buyer, therefore, does not know whether the goods are then conforming.ACCEPTANCE -The new car buyer accepts the goods believing and expecting that the manufacturer will repair any problem he has with the goods under the warranty.REJECTION -The new car buyer may discover a problem with the vehicle within the first few miles of his purchase. This would allow the new car buyer to reject the goods. If the new car buyer discovers a defect in the car within a reasonable time to inspect the vehicle, he may reject the vehicle. This period is not defined. On the one hand, the buyer must be given a reasonable time to inspect and that reasonable time to inspect will be held as an acceptance of the vehicle. The Courts will decide this reasonable time to inspect based on the knowledge and experience of the buyer, the difficulty in discovering the defect, and the opportunity to discover the defect.The following is an example of a case of rejection: Mr. Zabriskie purchase a new 1966 Chevrolet Biscayne. After picking up the car on Friday evening, while en route to his home 2.5 miles away, and within 7/10ths of a mile from the dealership, the car stalled and stalled again within 15 feet. Thereafter, the car would only drive in low gear. The buyer rejected the vehicle and stopped payment on his check. The dealer contended that the buyer could not reject the car because he had driven it around the the block and that was his reasonable opportunity to inspect. The New Jersey Court said;
To the layman, the complicated mechanisms of today's automobile are a complete mystery.To have the automobile inspected by someone with sufficient expertise to disassemble the vehicle in order the discover latent defects before the contract is signed, is assuredly impossible and highly impractical. Consequently, the first few miles of driving become even more significant to the excited new car buyer. This is the buyer's first reasonable opportunity to enjoy his new vehicle to see if it conforms to what it was represented to be and whether he is getting what he bargained for. How long the buyer may drive the new car under the guise of inspection of new goods is not an issue in the present case because 7/10th of a mile is clearly within the ambit of a reasonable opportunity to inspect. Zabriskie Chevrolet, Inc.v. Smith, 240 A. 2d 195(1968)
It is suggested that Courts will tend to excuse use by consumers if possible.
REVOCATION -What happens when the consumer has used the new car for a lengthy period of time? This is the typical lemon car case. The UCC provides that a buyer may revoke his acceptance of goods whose non-conformity substantially impairs the value of the goods to him when he has accepted the goods without discovery of a non-conformity because it was difficult to discover or if he was assured that non-conformities would be repaired. Of course, the average new car buyer does not learn of the nonconformity until hundreds of thousands of miles later. And because quality is job one, and manufacturers are competing on the basis of their warranties, the consumer always is assured that any noncomformities he does discover will be remedied.What is a noncomformity substantially impairing the value of the vehicle?
- A noncomformity may include a number of relatively minor defects whose cumulative total adds up to a substantial impairment. This is the "Shake Faith" Doctrine first stated in the Zabrisikie case. "For a majority of people the purchase of a new car is a major investment, rationalized by the peace of mind that flows from its dependability and safety. Once their faith is shaken, the vehicle loses not only its real value in their eyes, but becomes an instrument whose integrity is substantially impaired and whose operation is fraught with apprehension".
- A substantial noncomformity may include a failure or refusal to repair the goods under the warranty. In Durfee V. Rod Baxter Imports, the Minnesota Court held that the Saab owner that was plagued by a series of of annoying minor defects and stalling, which were never repaired after a number of attempts, could revoke, "if repairs are not successfully undertaken within a reasonable time", the consumer may elect to revoke.
- Substantial Non Conformity and Lemon Laws often define what may be considered a substantial impairment. These definitions have been successfully used to flesh out the substantial impairment in the UCC.