Recalls & Defects

Q. WHAT IS THE NH NEW MOTOR VEHICLE ARBITRATION LAW?

A. The NH New Motor Vehicle Arbitration program (RSA 357-D) is commonly referred to as the NH "Lemon Law." The purpose of the law is to provide a consumer with an efficient and informal process with which to resolve new motor vehicle warranty problems. The New Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board (MVAB) is administratively attached to the DMV and consists of consumer representatives, a new car dealer, and an automotive expert. The jurisdiction of the MVAB is to determine whether a new motor vehicle or off-highway recreational vehicle (OHRV) has a defect that substantially impairs its use, market value, or safety.

Q. WHAT VEHICLES ARE COVERED UNDER THE LEMON LAW?

A. Passenger vehicles, motorcycles, off-highway recreational vehicles or light trucks with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 9,000 pounds or less which are purchased or leased (at least two years) in NH are eligible. Mopeds, tractors, government vehicles and vehicles with a GVW in excess of 9,000 pounds are not eligible.

Q. WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO FILE A COMPLAINT UNDER THE LEMON LAW?

A. The vehicle must have been subject to at least 3 repair attempts by the manufacturer, its agent or authorized dealer, for the same defect, nonconformity or condition within the express warranty term, and the same nonconformity continues to exist.
The vehicle must have been out of service for repair of one or more non conformities, defects or conditions for a cumulative total of 30 or more business days during the term of the express warranty. Documentation, such as invoices or repair orders, must be provided to verify the claim.

Any leasing or financing payments on the vehicle must not have been discontinued

If the manufacturer’s dispute settlement program has been selected, a complaint cannot be filed under the NH "Lemon Law" program. (RSA 357-D:4,I)

Q. WHAT IF MY WARRANTY HAS EXPIRED?

A. You can qualify if the 3 repair attempts and/or 30 business days out of service occurred prior to the expiration of the manufacturer’s express warranty period, and you file within a year of the expiration. (RSA 357-D:11)

Q. ARE USED VEHICLES COVERED UNDER THE LEMON LAW?

A. Yes, if the defect and the 3 repair attempts and/or 30 business days out of service occurred within the manufacturer's express warranty period.

Q. WHAT DOES "OUT OF SERVICE"MEAN?

A. "Out of Service" means the vehicle is at the dealership for repair and unavailable for your use for a major part of the business day. "Business day" means any day that the Service Department of the dealership is open for business.

Q. MY VEHICLE HAS MORE THAN ONE DEFECT AND HAS HAD 3 REPAIR ATTEMPTS ON EACH DEFECT, BUT IT HAS NOT BEEN OUT OF SERVICE FOR 30 BUSINESS DAYS. HOW CAN I FILE?

A. Each defect that has been subject to 3 repair attempts and which still exists, may be filed on the same Demand for Arbitration form. (CPMVA-2)

Q. MUST THE DEALER GIVE ME A REPAIR ORDER IF THE REPAIR IS COVERED UNDER THE MANUFACTURER’S WARRANTY?

A. Yes. You are entitled to receive a written repair order each time you bring your vehicle in for examination or repair. (RSA 357-D:3,IV) It should contain a written summary of the complaint and a fully itemized statement indicating all work performed on the vehicle including, but not limited to, examination of the vehicle, parts, and labor. Repair orders should be kept together in a safe place.

Q. WHO IS THE CLAIM BEING FILED AGAINST?

A. The manufacturer; the dealer is not a party to the action.

Q. MUST I NOTIFY THE DEALER BEFORE I FILE A CLAIM?

A. No.

Q. MUST I NOTIFY THE MANUFACTURER BEFORE I FILE A CLAIM?

A. No. However, once you file the Demand for Arbitration and supporting documentation, an exact duplicate must be sent to the manufacturer.

Q. IS THERE A FEE FOR FILING A CLAIM?

A. Yes, a $50.00 non-refundable filing fee.

Q. HOW LONG DOES THE PROCESS TAKE?

A. You are entitled to a hearing within 40 days of acceptance of the completed Demand for Arbitration. The MVAB has 30 days from the date of the hearing to render a written decision. If you win, the manufacturer has 30 days from the date of the written decision to comply with or appeal the MVAB's order.

Q. IF MY VEHICLE IS FOUND TO HAVE A SUBSTANTIAL IMPAIRMENT, WHAT IS THE REMEDY?

A. A replacement vehicle or a refund, which you select on Section 3 of the Demand for Arbitration. (CPMVA-2)

Q. DO I NEED TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY?

A. No. However, you may, at your own cost, be represented by an attorney or by any citizen of good character.

Q. DOES THE MANUFACTURER GET ANOTHER CHANCE TO REPAIR THE VEHICLE AFTER I FILE FOR ARBITRATION?

A. Yes, however the repair must be performed prior to the hearing.

Q. CAN I REFUSE THE MANUFACTURER’S REQUEST FOR A FINAL REPAIR ATTEMPT?

A. No.

Q. HOW CAN I FILE A CLAIM?

A. Complete the DEMAND FOR ARBITRATION (CPMVA-2) the SUMMARY OF REPAIR HISTORY. The forms may also be obtained from the MVAB Office.

Q. WHO CAN I CONTACT IF I HAVE FURTHER QUESTIONS REGARDING THE LEMON LAW?

A. DOS

DMV
New Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board
23 Hazen Drive
Concord NH 03305
(603) 271-6383

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