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Hawaii Lemon Law Information.
Lemon Law Information In Hawaii
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introduction of lemon laws have now provided some protection to car
and truck buyers, who have found they have just purchased a vehicle
that is cursed with irreparable problems.
In most cases, these laws provide protection for NEW car
buyers, but, in some cases, they also protect buyers of used cars as well.
Below is information on the lemon laws in Hawaii . If, after
reading the lemon law protections in Hawaii , you think you may have a cause of
action, you can contact an attorney in Hawaii for further assistance. These
cases are usually accepted on a contingency bases, and will not cost you
anything until your case is settled, at which time, the attorney will collect
fees based on the award.
Return To State Lemon Law Index
Hawaii Lemon Law Statute:
�481I-1. Legislative intent.
The legislature recognizes that a motor vehicle is a major consumer purchase
and that a defective motor vehicle creates a hardship for the consumer. The
legislature further recognizes that a duly franchised motor vehicle dealer
is an authorized service agent of the manufacturer. It is the intent of the
legislature that a good faith motor vehicle warranty complaint by a consumer
be resolved by the manufacturer within a specified period of time. It is
further the intent of the legislature to provide statutory procedures
whereby a consumer may receive a replacement motor vehicle, or a full
refund, for a motor vehicle which is not brought into conformity with the
applicable express warranties, as provided in this chapter. Finally, it is
the intent of the legislature to ensure that consumers are made aware of
their rights under this chapter and are not refused the information,
documents, or service necessary to exercise their rights.
Nothing in this chapter shall in any way limit or expand the rights or
remedies which are otherwise available to a consumer under any other law. [L
1992, c 314, pt of �1]
When used in this section unless the context otherwise requires:
"Business day" means any day during which the service departments of
authorized dealers of the manufacturer of the motor vehicle are normally
open for business.
"Collateral charges" means those additional charges to a consumer wholly
incurred as a result of the acquisition of the motor vehicle. For the
purposes of this chapter, collateral charges include but are not limited to
finance and interest charges, manufacturer-installed or agent-installed
items, general excise tax, license and registration fees, title charges, and
similar government charges.
"Consumer" means the purchaser, other than for purposes of resale, or the
lessee of a motor vehicle, any person to whom the motor vehicle is
transferred during the duration of the express warranty applicable to the
motor vehicle, and any other person entitled to enforce the obligations of
the express warranty.
"Express warranty" means any written warranty issued by the manufacturer, or
any affirmation of fact or promise made by the manufacturer, excluding
statements made by the dealer, in connection with the sale or lease of a
motor vehicle to a consumer, which relates to the nature of the material or
workmanship and affirms or promises that the motor vehicle shall conform to
the affirmation, promise, or description or that the material or workmanship
is free of defects or will meet a specified level of performance.
"Incidental charges" means those reasonable costs incurred by the consumer,
including, but not limited to, towing charges and the costs of obtaining
alternative transportation which are directly caused by the nonconformity or
nonconformities which are the subject of the claim, but shall not include
loss of use, loss of income, or personal injury claims.
"Lemon law rights period" means the term of the manufacturer's express
warranty, the period ending two years after the date of the original
delivery of a motor vehicle to a consumer, or the first 24,000 miles of
operation, whichever occurs first.
"Lessee" means any consumer who leases a motor vehicle for one year or more
pursuant to a written lease agreement which provides that the lessee is
responsible for repairs to such motor vehicle, or any consumer who leases a
motor vehicle pursuant to a lease-purchase agreement.
"Motor vehicle" means a self-propelled vehicle primarily designed for the
transportation of persons or property over public streets and highways which
is used primarily for personal, family, or household purposes. For purposes
of this definition, a "motor vehicle" also includes a "demonstrator", which
means a vehicle assigned by a dealer for the purpose of demonstrating
qualities and characteristics common to vehicles of the same or similar
model or type, but does not include mopeds, motorcycles, or motor scooters,
as those terms are defined in chapter 286, or vehicles over 10,000 pounds,
gross vehicle weight rating. For purposes of this definition, a "motor
vehicle" also includes (1) an individually registered vehicle used for an
individual's business purposes and for personal, family, or household
purposes; and (2) a vehicle owned or leased by a sole proprietorship,
corporation or partnership which has purchased or leased no more than one
vehicle per year, used for household, individual, or personal use in
addition to business use.
"Nonconformity" means a defect, malfunction, or condition that fails to
conform to the motor vehicle's applicable express warranty and that
substantially impairs the use, market value, or safety of a motor vehicle,
but does not include a defect, malfunction, or condition that results from
an accident, abuse, neglect, modification, or alteration of the motor
vehicle by persons other than the manufacturer, its agent, distributor, or
"Purchase price" means the cash price appearing in the sales agreement or
contract and paid for the motor vehicle, including any net allowance for a
trade-in vehicle. Where the consumer is a second or subsequent purchaser and
the arbitration award is for a refund of the motor vehicle, "purchase price"
means the purchase price of the second or subsequent purchase not to exceed
the purchase price paid by the original purchaser.
"Reasonable offset" for use means the number of miles attributable to a
consumer up to the date of the third repair attempt of the same
nonconformity which is the subject of the claim, the date of the first
repair attempt of a nonconformity that is likely to cause death or serious
bodily injury, or the date of the thirtieth cumulative business day when the
vehicle is out of service by reason of repair of one or more
nonconformities, whichever occurs first. The reasonable offset for use shall
be equal to one per cent of the purchase price for every thousand miles of
"Replacement motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle which is identical or
reasonably equivalent to the motor vehicle to be replaced, as the motor
vehicle to be replaced existed at the time of original acquisition,
including any service contract, undercoating, rustproofing, and factory or
dealer installed options.
"Settlement" means an agreement for repurchase or replacement of a motor
vehicle entered into between a manufacturer and a consumer that occurs after
a dispute is submitted to an informal dispute resolution procedure or
arbitration program or after a dispute is approved for arbitration under
section 481I-4. "Settlement" does not include an agreement for a motor
vehicle to be repurchased pursuant to a guaranteed repurchase or
satisfaction program advertised by the manufacturer in which the vehicle was
not alleged or found to have a nonconformity as defined in this section.
"Substantially impairs" means to render the motor vehicle unfit, unreliable,
or unsafe for warranted or normal use, or to significantly diminish the
value of the motor vehicle. [L 1992, c 314, pt of �1; am L 1998, c 197, ��1,
2; am L 2000, c 44, �1]
�481i-3. Motor vehicle: express warranties,
(a) If a motor vehicle does not conform to all applicable express
warranties, and the consumer reports the nonconformity in writing to the
manufacturer, its agent, distributor, or its authorized dealer during the
term of the lemon law rights period, then the manufacturer, or, at its
option, its agent, distributor, 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
(b) If the manufacturer, its agents, distributors, 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, market value, or safety of the motor vehicle after a reasonable
number of documented attempts, then the manufacturer shall provide the
consumer with a replacement motor vehicle or accept return of the vehicle
from the consumer and refund to the consumer the following: the full
purchase price including but not limited to charges for undercoating, dealer
preparation, transportation, installed options, and all collateral and
incidental charges, and less a reasonable offset for the consumer's use of
the motor vehicle.
If either a replacement motor vehicle or a refund is awarded, an "offset"
may be made for damage to the vehicle not attributable to normal wear and
tear, if unrelated to the nonconformity. If a replacement motor vehicle is
awarded, a reasonable offset shall be made for the use of the motor vehicle
and an additional offset may be made for loss to the fair market value of
the vehicle resulting from damage beyond normal wear and tear, unless the
damage resulted from the nonconformity. When the manufacturer supplies a
replacement motor vehicle, the manufacturer shall be responsible for the
general excise tax, and license and registration fees. Refunds made pursuant
to this subsection shall be deemed to be refunds of the sales price and
treated as such for purposes of section 237-3. Refunds shall be made to the
consumer and lienholder, if any, as their interests may appear on the
records of ownership. If applicable, refunds shall be made to the lessor and
lessee pursuant to rules adopted by the department of commerce and consumer
(c) It shall be an affirmative defense to any claim under this section that
a nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized
modifications or alterations of a motor vehicle by a consumer.
(d) It shall be presumed that a reasonable number of attempts have been
undertaken to conform a motor vehicle to the applicable express warranties,
if, during the lemon law rights period, any of the following occurs:
(1) The same nonconformity has been subject to examination or repair at
least three times by the manufacturer, its agents, distributors, or
authorized dealers, but such nonconformity continues to exist; or
(2) The nonconformity has been subject to examination or repair at least
once by the manufacturer, its agents, distributors, or authorized dealers,
but continues to be a nonconformity which is likely to cause death or
serious bodily injury if the vehicle is driven; or
(3) The motor vehicle is out of service by reason of repair by the
manufacturer, its agents, distributors, or authorized dealers for one or
more nonconformities for a cumulative total of thirty or more business days
during the lemon law rights period.
The term of the lemon law rights period and such thirty-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, strike, fire, flood or
other natural disaster.
The presumptions provided in this subsection shall not apply unless the
manufacturer has received a written report of the nonconformity from the
consumer and has had a reasonable opportunity to repair the nonconformity
Upon a second notice of the nonconformity, or, if the motor vehicle has been
out of service by reason of repair in excess of twenty business days, the
dealer shall notify the manufacturer of the nonconformity.
(e) During the lemon law rights period, the manufacturer or its agent,
distributor, or authorized dealer shall provide to the consumer, each time
the consumer's vehicle is returned from being diagnosed or repaired under
the warranty, a fully itemized, legible statement or repair order indicating
any diagnosis made and all work performed on the vehicle, including, but not
limited to, a general description of the problem reported by the consumer or
an identification of the defect or condition, parts and labor supplied, the
date and the odometer reading when the vehicle was submitted for repair, and
the date when the vehicle was made available to the consumer. The consumer
shall sign and receive a copy of the statement or repair order.
(f) Upon request from the consumer, the manufacturer, or at its option its
agent, distributor, or authorized dealer, shall provide a copy of any report
or computer reading regarding inspection, diagnosis, or test-drive of the
consumer's motor vehicle, and shall provide a copy of any technical service
bulletin related to the nonconformity issued by the manufacturer regarding
the year and model of the consumer's motor vehicle as it pertains to any
material, feature, component, or the performance thereof.
Upon receipt of a consumer's written report of a nonconformity to the
manufacturer, the manufacturer or, at its option, its agent, distributor, or
authorized dealer, shall inform the consumer of any technical service
bulletin or report relating to the nonconformity, and shall advise the
consumer of the consumer's right to obtain a copy of such report or
technical service bulletin.
(g) The manufacturer, its agent, distributor, or authorized dealer, shall
provide the consumer at the time of purchase of the motor vehicle a written
notice setting forth the terms of a state certified arbitration program and
a statement of the rights of the consumer under this section in plain
language, the form of which has been previously reviewed and approved by the
department of commerce and consumer affairs for substantial compliance with
title 16, Code of Federal Regulations, part 703, as may be modified by the
requirements of this chapter. The written notice must specify the
requirement that written notification to the manufacturer of the motor
vehicle nonconformity is required before the consumer is eligible for a
refund or replacement of the motor vehicle. The notice must also include the
name and address to which the consumer must send such written notification.
The provision of this statement is the direct responsibility of the dealer,
as that term is defined in chapter 437.
(h) The consumer shall be required to notify the manufacturer of the
nonconformity only if the consumer has received a written notice setting
forth the terms of the state certified arbitration program and a statement
of the rights of the consumer as set out in subsection (g).
(i) Where the state certified arbitration program is invoked by the consumer
of a motor vehicle under express warranties, a decision resolving the
dispute shall be rendered within forty-five days after the procedure is
invoked. However, the failure of an arbitrator to render a decision within
forty- five days because of unforeseen circumstances shall not void any
Any decision rendered resolving the dispute shall provide appropriate
remedies including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) Provision of a replacement motor vehicle; or
(2) Acceptance of the motor vehicle from the consumer, refund of the full
purchase price, and all collateral and incidental charges.
The decision shall specify a date for performance and completion of all
(j) Any action brought under this section must be initiated within one year
following expiration of the lemon law rights period.
(k) No vehicle transferred to a dealer or manufacturer by a buyer or a
lessee under this chapter or by judgment, settlement, or arbitration award
in this State or in another state may be sold, leased, or auctioned by any
(1) The nature of the defect experienced by the original buyer or lessee is
clearly and conspicuously disclosed on a separate document that must be
signed by the manufacturer and the purchaser and must be in ten-point,
capitalized type, in substantially the following form:
"IMPORTANT: THIS VEHICLE WAS RETURNED TO THE MANUFACTURER BECAUSE A
DEFECT(S) COVERED BY THE MANUFACTURER'S EXPRESS WARRANTY WAS NOT REPAIRED
WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME AS PROVIDED BY LAW.";
(2) The defect is corrected; and
(3) The manufacturer warrants to the new buyer or lessee, in writing, that
if the defect reappears within one year or 12,000 miles after the date of
resale, whichever occurs first, it will be corrected at no expense to the
(l) A violation of subsection (k) shall constitute prima facie evidence of
an unfair or deceptive act or practice under chapter 480. [L 1992, c 314, pt
of �1; am L 1993, c 58, �1; am L 1998, c 197, ��3 to 5; am L 2000, c 44, �2]
�481i-4. Arbitration mechanism.
(a) The department of commerce and consumer affairs shall establish and
monitor a state certified arbitration program which is in substantial
compliance with title 16, Code of Federal Regulations, part 703, as may be
modified by this section, and shall adopt appropriate rules governing its
(b) The director of commerce and consumer affairs may contract with an
independent arbitration organization for annual term appointments to screen,
hear, and resolve consumer complaints which have been initiated pursuant to
The following criteria shall be considered in evaluating the suitability of
independent arbitration mechanisms: capability, objectivity, experience,
nonaffiliation with manufacturers of or dealers in new motor vehicles,
reliability, financial stability, and fee structure.
(c) If a consumer agrees to participate in and be bound by the operation and
decision of the state certified arbitration program, then all parties shall
also participate in, and be bound by, the operation and decision of the
state certified arbitration program. The prevailing party of an arbitration
decision made pursuant to this section may be allowed reasonable attorney's
(d) The submission of any dispute to arbitration in which the consumer
elects nonbinding arbitration shall not limit the right of any party to a
subsequent trial de novo upon written demand made upon the opposing party to
the arbitration within thirty calendar days after service of the arbitration
award, and the award shall not be admissible as evidence at that trial. If
the party demanding a trial de novo does not improve its position as a
result of the trial by at least twenty-five per cent, then the court shall
order that all of the reasonable costs of trial, consultation, and
attorney's fees be paid for by the party making the demand.
If neither party to a nonbinding arbitration demands a trial de novo within
thirty days after service of the arbitration award, the arbitrator's
decision shall become binding on both parties upon the expiration of the
(e) Funding of the state certified arbitration program shall be provided
through an initial filing fee of $200 to be paid by the manufacturer and $50
to be paid by the consumer upon initiating a case for arbitration under this
section. Every final decision in favor of the consumer issued by the
independent arbitration mechanism shall include within its relief the return
of the $50 filing fee to the consumer. The director of commerce and consumer
affairs may establish a trust fund for the purpose of administering fees and
costs associated with the state certified arbitration program.
(f) The failure of a manufacturer to timely comply with a binding decision
of a state certified arbitration program shall be prima facie evidence of an
unfair or deceptive act or practice under chapter 480 unless the
manufacturer can prove that it attempted in "good faith" to comply, or that
the failure was beyond the manufacturer's control, the result of a written
agreement with the consumer, or based on an appeal filed under chapter 658A.
[L 1992, c 314, pt of �1; am L 1996, c 185, �1; am L 2001, c 265, �4]
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Strong Car Sales In The Horizon
Posted May 26, 2013
Forecasters say that May U.S. auto sales are expected to rebound from an
April slowdown, easing concerns of another spring swoon, and automotive
lenders are providing car loan programs to those with bad credit histories,
that just a short time ago would have been declined.
The light vehicle seasonally adjusted annual selling rate for this month
will be 15.2 million, both LMC Automotive/J.D. Power and Associates and
TrueCar.com predicted today. The April sales rate, or SAAR, was 14.9
million, ending five straight
months above the 15 million mark.
That April dip was worrisome because the previous three years had strong
first quarters followed by weak springs, said Jeff Schuster, LMC forecasting
"This is the time of year when the automotive industry holds its collective
breath [but] the current pace suggests full steam ahead for the second half
of 2013," Schuster said in a statement today. "Economic and market headwinds
have been minimized while demand continues to build momentum."
Both companies expect overall May volume to exceed 1.4 million units, which
would be up 9% from a year earlier. April's sales rate fell despite a 9%
increase in unit sales.
In addition, LMC/Power forecasts a retail sales rate of 12.5 million,
compared with 11.5 million a last year.
Wells Fargo analyst Richard Kwas forecast a May SAAR of 15.1 to 15.2 million
but noted upside potential "given the spiffs set for Memorial Day weekend."
Kelley Blue Book, meanwhile, said a holiday boost would lift monthly sales
by 6 percent, for a SAAR of 15 million.
Analysts also found other encouraging sales trends.
TrueCar's Jesse Toprak said industrywide incentives are falling.
"Stability in the industry is now the norm, which is a positive for
automakers as it results in the ability to optimize production levels [and
improve] profitability," he said.
Strong sales of full-sized pickups will again drive the market as the
housing industry continues to rebound -- and that is helping keep industry
average transaction prices at record levels, said John Humphrey, Power
senior vice president. He also cited low-interest loans, longer car loans
and strong used-vehicle values. And, once again, car loan providers are
eager to assist those with a bad credit history, or no credit history at
"While industry new-vehicle transaction prices have risen by 19 percent the
past six years, the average monthly payment for new-car buyers and lessees
has increased only 3 percent," he said. "Consumers can purchase new vehicles
with improved fuel economy, safety and technology at an affordable monthly
Vehicle Review: 2012 Hyundai Elantra
a crummy choice, then a dark horse alternative, and now one of the sales
leaders, the Hyundai Elantra is quite the success story. After 2011's
complete redesign, the Elantra had shed its frumpy, anonymous styling and
gained fluid curves and a
coupe-like roof line. The 2012 Hyundai Elantra
looks good, and that counts for a lot in a segment not normally known for
Thankfully, there's substance to go along with the 2012 Elantra's new sheet
metal. Its 1.8-liter engine delivers commendable power for its class, as
well as thrifty fuel economy. The latter improves even further for 2012,
thanks to a new system known as Active Eco. When the driver selects this
mode, the Elantra's automatic transmission shift points and throttle
response are adjusted to increase fuel economy by up to 7 percent. The
downside, though, is more sluggish performance when the mode is
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