OR DAYS OUT OF SERVICE
|Vehicles sold in the state and registered for a gross weight of 12,000 lbs. or less.
||4 repair attempts or 10 repair attempts for different defects - 30 calendar days out of service.
||Warranty period or 1 year, whichever occurs first.
Kansas Lemon Law Statute
Kansas Attorney General Lemon Law Brochure
Lemon Law Applies to Leased Vehicles as Well
September 16, 2003 - Dear Attorney General Kline:
I just leased a brand new car, but it's been in the shop three times in three months! I don't think I should have to pay for a car that doesn't work and never has. Can I use the Kansas Lemon Law to return this car to the dealership?
Dear Kansas Consumer:
Most of us are dependent upon our automobiles for conducting our daily lives. Purchasing or leasing a new automobile is a major expense, and the need for constant repairs and attention is more than just a minor frustration.
Occasionally, some new cars do not provide what lessees have a legal right to expect. To address this problem, the Kansas Legislature passed the Lemon Law and expanded it in 1996 to include leased vehicles. So it's possible you may be able to claim protection under the law if your car meets the following criteria:
The law presumes that if, in the first year of ownership, the same substantial problem occurs more than four times, or the vehicle has been to the shop more than nine times to address substantial problems, or if your vehicle has been out of commission for a total of 30 days by reason of repair, then you likely have a certifiable lemon.
- The vehicle you seek to return must be under the weight limit of 12,001 pounds, or six tons. Most cars and trucks are well below this limit.
- You must be the original lessee, not a second or third owner. The Lemon Law can unwind the lease only if the vehicle was brand new.
- The vehicle must reach "lemon" status within a year of the day you took delivery.
- The vehicle must suffer from a series of problems that "substantially impair the use and value of the motor vehicle." Examples of problems that would cross this threshold include stalling in traffic, failing to stay in alignment, overheating, and anything that amounts to a safety concern or that renders the vehicle inoperable.
In the case of extreme problems where no amount of repair is likely to remedy the problem (for example, if the entire frame of the car shatters), the vehicle may qualify under the statute as a lemon, even if it has not been in the repair shop multiple times.
Once you believe your vehicle is a candidate for certifiable lemon status, you must contact the manufacturer of your vehicle. Most manufacturers attempt to resolve the issue through an informal dispute settlement board that, if it complies with certain requirements of federal law, you must use first. Your owner's manual may tell you if your manufacturer has such procedures in place.
If you have any problems getting your lemon replaced or returned, you should either contact a private attorney or consider filing a complaint through the Attorney General's Office. Complaint forms are available from our website at www.ksag.com or by calling (800) 432-2310.
Here is the bottom line: Kansas law mandates that once a vehicle is found to be a true lemon, then the vehicle's manufacturer must either replace the car with a comparable one under warranty or take the vehicle back, giving a refund minus a reasonable allowance for your use of the vehicle.
Attorney General Phill Kline offers this public service to help you avoid becoming a victim of consumer fraud. Although some of the details have been changes, the cases appearing in this column are based on actual complaints. For further information or to file a complaint, please write Attorney General Phill Kline, Consumer Protection Division, 120 SW 10th Ave., 2nd Floor, Topeka, KS 66612, or call the toll-free Consumer Hotline, (800) 432-2310.