The Missouri Lemon Law
New Motor Vehicle Warranties, Nonconformity (Lemon Law)
407.560. Definitions. — As used in sections 407.560 to 407.579, the following terms mean:
(1) “Collateral charges”, those additional charges to a consumer not directly attributable to a manufacturer’s suggested retail price label for the new motor vehicle. For the purposes of sections 407.560 to 407.579, “collateral charges” includes all sales tax, license fees, registration fees, title fees and motor vehicle inspections;
(2) “Comparable motor vehicle”, an identical or reasonably equivalent motor vehicle;
(3) “Consumer”, the purchaser, other than for the purposes of resale, of a new motor vehicle, primarily used for personal, family, or household purposes, and any person to whom such new motor vehicle is transferred for the same purposes during the duration of an express warranty applicable to such new motor vehicle, and any other person entitled by the terms of such warranty to enforce the obligations of the warranty;
(4) “Express warranty”, any written affirmation of the fact or promise made by a manufacturer to a consumer in connection with the sale of new motor vehicles which relates to the nature of the material or workmanship or will meet a specified level of performance over a specified period of time;
(5) “Manufacturer”, any person engaged in the manufacturing or assembling of new motor vehicles as a regular business;
(6) “New motor vehicle”, any motor vehicle being transferred for the first time from a manufacturer, distributor or new vehicle dealer, which has not been registered or titled in this state or any other state and which is offered for sale, barter or exchange by a dealer who is franchised to sell, barter or exchange that particular make of new motor vehicle. The term “new motor vehicle” shall include only those vehicles propelled by power other than muscular power, but the term shall not include vehicles used as a commercial motor vehicle, off-road vehicles, mopeds, motorcycles or recreational motor vehicles as defined in section 301.010, except for the chassis, engine, powertrain and component parts of recreational motor vehicles. The term “new motor vehicle” shall also include demonstrators or lease-purchase vehicles as long as a manufacturer’s warranty was issued as a condition of
407.563. Law applicable to breach of new motor vehicles warranties. — The provisions of sections 400.2-602 to 400.2-609 shall not apply to sales of new motor vehicles and such sales shall be governed by the provisions of sections 407.560 to 407.579.
407.565. Report of nonconformity required, when — repairs, duty of manufacturer or agent, when. — For the purposes of sections 407.560 to 407.579, if a new motor vehicle does not conform to all applicable express warranties, and the consumer reports the nonconformity to the manufacturer, or its agent, during the term of such express warranties, or during the period of one year following the date of original delivery of the new motor vehicle to the consumer, whichever period expires earlier, the manufacturer, or its agent, shall make such repairs as are necessary to conform the new vehicle to such express warranties, notwithstanding the fact that such repairs are made after the expiration of such term or such one-year period.
407.567. Replacement of motor vehicle or refund of purchase price, when — allowance deducted for consumer’s use — reimbursement, when, application for. — 1. If the manufacturer, through its authorized dealer or its agent, cannot conform the new motor vehicle to any applicable express warranty by repairing or correcting any default or condition which impairs the use, market value, or safety of the new motor vehicle to the consumer after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer shall, at its option, either replace the new motor vehicle with a comparable new vehicle acceptable to the consumer, or take title of the vehicle from the consumer and refund to the consumer the full purchase price, including all reasonably incurred collateral charges, less a reasonable allowance for the consumer’s use of the vehicle. The subtraction of a reasonable allowance for use shall apply when either a replacement or refund of the new motor vehicle occurs.
2. Refunds shall be made to the consumer and lienholder of record, if any, as their interests may appear.
3. (1) Upon taking the title to a vehicle under this section, the manufacturer may apply to the department of revenue for a reimbursement equal to any amounts refunded to a consumer for any sales tax, license fees, registration fees, and title fees paid by the consumer as a result of purchasing the vehicle. Upon the receipt of a written request for a refund, accompanied by satisfactory proof that such sales tax and fees on the vehicle were paid when or after the vehicle was purchased and that the manufacturer has refunded such sales tax and fees to the consumer, lienholder, or lessor of the vehicle, the department of revenue shall refund to the manufacturer an amount equal to the amounts refunded to a consumer for such sales tax and fees paid by the consumer as a result of purchasing the vehicle.
(2) The manufacturer may, in lieu of applying to the department of revenue for a reimbursement under this subsection, direct the consumer to apply to the department of revenue for a refund of any sales tax, license fees, registration fees, and title fees paid by the consumer as a result of purchasing the vehicle. The manufacturer shall provide the consumer with the documentation required to prove that the consumer paid such sales tax and fees to the manufacturer. Upon the receipt of a written request by the consumer for a refund, accompanied by satisfactory proof that such sales tax and fees on the vehicle were paid when or after the vehicle was purchased, and a written statement from the manufacturer that such sales tax and fees were not refunded to the consumer, lienholder, or lessor of the vehicle, the department of revenue shall refund to the consumer an amount equal to the amounts for such sales tax and fees paid by the consumer as a result of purchasing the vehicle.
407.569. Affirmative defenses. — It shall be an affirmative defense to any claim under sections 407.560 to 407.579 that:
(1) An alleged nonconformity does not substantially impair the use, market value, or safety of the motor vehicle;
(2) A nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modifications or alterations of a motor vehicle;
(3) A claim by a consumer was not filed in good faith; or
(4) Any other affirmative defense allowed by law.
407.571. Presumptions of nonconformity — exception. — It shall be presumed that a reasonable number of attempts have been undertaken to conform a new motor vehicle to the applicable express warranties if within the terms, conditions, or limitations of the express warranty, or during the period of one year following the date of original delivery of the new motor vehicle to a consumer, whichever expires earlier, either:
(1) The same nonconformity has been subject to repair four or more times by the manufacturer, or its agents, and such nonconformity continues to exist; or
(2) The new vehicle is out of service by reason of repair of the nonconformity by the manufacturer, through its authorized dealer or its agents, for a cumulative total of thirty or more working days, exclusive of down time for routine maintenance as prescribed by the manufacturer, since delivery of the new vehicle to the consumer. The thirty-day period may be extended by a period of time during which repair services are not available to the consumer because of conditions beyond the control of the manufacturer or its agents.
407.573. Warranty extension, when — complaint remedies information to be furnished — notice to manufacturer required — manufacturer’s duties, time limitation. — 1. The terms, conditions, or limitations of the express warranty, or* the period of one year following the date of original delivery of the new motor vehicle to a consumer, whichever expires earlier, may be extended if the new motor vehicle warranty problem has been reported but has not been repaired by the manufacturer, or its agent, by the expiration of the applicable time period.
2. The manufacturer shall provide information for consumer complaint remedies with each new motor vehicle. It shall be the responsibility of the consumer, or his representative, prior to availing himself of the provisions of sections 407.560 to 407.579, to give written notification to the manufacturer of the need for the repair of the nonconformity, in order to allow the manufacturer an opportunity to cure the alleged defect. The manufacturer shall immediately notify the consumer of a reasonably accessible repair facility of a franchised new vehicle dealer to conform the new vehicle to the express warranty. After delivery of the new vehicle to an authorized repair facility by the consumer, the manufacturer shall have ten calendar days to conform the new motor vehicle to the express warranty. Upon notification from the consumer that the new vehicle has not been conformed to the express warranty, the manufacturer shall inform the consumer if an informal dispute settlement procedure has been established by the manufacturer in accordance with section 407.575. However, if prior notice by the manufacturer of an informal dispute settlement procedure has been given, no further notice is required.
3. Any action brought under sections 407.560 to 407.579 shall be commenced within six months following expiration of the terms, conditions, or limitations of the express warranty, or within eighteen months following the date of original delivery of the new motor vehicle to a consumer, whichever is earlier, or, in the event that a consumer resorts to an informal dispute settlement procedure as provided in sections 407.560 to 407.579, within ninety days following the final action of any panel established pursuant to such procedure.
407.575. Manufacturer with approved settlement procedure, consumer’s duty. — If a manufacturer has established an informal dispute settlement procedure which complies in all respects with the provisions of the code of Federal Regulations, 16 CFR 703, provisions of sections 407.560 to 407.579 concerning refunds or replacements shall not apply to any consumer who has not first resorted to such procedure.
407.577. Court action by consumer, costs, expenses, attorney’s fees, how paid. — 1. If a consumer undertakes a court action after complying with the provisions of sections 407.560 to 407.579 and finally prevails in that action, he shall be allowed by the court to recover as part of the judgment a sum equal to the aggregate amount of costs and expenses, including attorney’s fees based on actual time expended, determined by the court to have been reasonably incurred by the plaintiff for or in connection with the commencement and prosecution of such action.
2. If any claim by a consumer under sections 407.560 to 407.579 is found by a court to have been filed in bad faith, or solely for the purpose of harassment, or in the absence of a substantial justifiable issue of either law or fact raised by the consumer, or for which the final recovery is not at least ten percent greater than any settlement offer made by the manufacturer prior to the commencement of the court action, then the consumer shall be liable for all costs and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred by the manufacturer, or its agent, as a direct result of the bad faith claim.
407.579. Consumer’s right to other remedies — law to apply, when. — 1. Except as provided in subdivision (1) of section 407.560, nothing in sections 407.560 to 407.579 shall in any way limit the rights or remedies which are otherwise available to a consumer at law or in equity.
2. Sections 407.560 to 407.579 shall apply to any new motor vehicle sold after January 1, 1985
The Federal Lemon Law
The Magnuson Moss Warranty Act
15 U.S.C. § 2301. Definitions.
15 U.S.C. § 2302. Rules governing contents of warranties.
15 U.S.C. § 2303. Designation of written warranties.
15 U.S.C. § 2304. Federal minimum standards for warranties.
15 U.S.C. § 2305. Full and limited warranting of a consumer product.
15 U.S.C. § 2306. Service contracts; rules for full, clear and conspicuous disclosure of terms and conditions; addition to or in lieu of written warranty.
15 U.S.C. § 2307. Designation of representatives by warrantor to perform duties under written or implied warranty.
15 U.S.C. § 2308. Implied warranties.
15 U.S.C. § 2309. Procedures applicable to promulgation of rules by Commission.
15 U.S.C. § 2310. Remedies in consumer disputes.
15 U.S.C. § 2311. Applicability to other laws.
15 U.S.C. § 2312. Effective dates.
15 U.S.C. § 2301. Definitions
For the purposes of this chapter:
(1) The term “consumer product” means any tangible personal property which is distributed in commerce and which is normally used for personal, family, or household purposes (including any such property intended to be attached to or installed in any real property without regard to whether it is so attached or installed).
(2) The term “Commission” means the Federal Trade Commission.
(3) The term “consumer” means a buyer (other than for purposes of resale) of any consumer product, any person to whom such product is transferred during the duration of an implied or written warranty (or service contract) applicable to the product, and any other person who is entitled by the terms of such warranty (or service contract) or under applicable State law to enforce against the warrantor (or service contractor) the obligations of the warranty (or service contract).
(4) The term “supplier” means any person engaged in the business of making a consumer product directly or indirectly available to consumers.
(5) The term “warrantor” means any supplier or other person who gives or offers to give a written warranty or who is or may be obligated under an implied warranty.
(6) The term “written warranty” means—
(A) any written affirmation of fact or written promise made in connection with the sale of a consumer product by a supplier to a buyer which relates to the nature of the material or workmanship and affirms or promises that such material or workmanship is defect free or will meet a specified level of performance over a specified period of time, or
(B) any undertaking in writing in connection with the sale by a supplier of a consumer product to refund, repair, replace, or take other remedial action with respect to such product in the event that such product fails to meet the specifications set forth in the undertaking,
which written affirmation, promise, or undertaking becomes part of the basis of the bargain between a supplier and a buyer for purposes other than resale of such product.
(7) The term “implied warranty” means an implied warranty arising under State law (as modified by sections 2308 and 2304(a) of this title) in connection with the sale by a supplier of a consumer product.
(8) The term “service contract” means a contract in writing to perform, over a fixed period of time or for a specified duration, services relating to the maintenance or repair (or both) of a consumer product.
(9) The term “reasonable and necessary maintenance” consists of those operations (A) which the consumer reasonably can be expected to perform or have performed and (B) which are necessary to keep any consumer product performing its intended function and operating at a reasonable level of performance.
(10) The term “remedy” means whichever of the following actions the warrantor elects:
(B) replacement, or
except that the warrantor may not elect refund unless (i) the warrantor is unable to provide replacement and repair is not commercially practicable or cannot be timely made, or (ii) the consumer is willing to accept such refund.
(11) The term “replacement” means furnishing a new consumer product which is identical or reasonably equivalent to the warranted consumer product.
(12) The term “refund” means refunding the actual purchase price (less reasonable depreciation based on actual use where permitted by rules of the Commission).
(13) The term “distributed in commerce” means sold in commerce, introduced or delivered for introduction into commerce, or held for sale or distribution after introduction into commerce.
(14) The term “commerce” means trade, traffic, commerce, or transportation—
(A) between a place in a State and any place outside thereof, or
(B) which affects trade, traffic, commerce, or transportation described in subparagraph (A).
(15) The term “State” means a State, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, the Canal Zone, or American Samoa. The term “State law” includes a law of the United States applicable only to the District of Columbia or only to a territory or possession of the United States; and the term “Federal law” excludes any State law.
References in Text
For definition of Canal Zone, referred to in par. (15), see section 3602(b) of Title 22, Foreign Relations and Intercourse.
Short Title of 2015 Amendment
Pub. L. 114–51, §1, Sept. 24, 2015, 129 Stat. 494, provided that: “This Act [amending section 2302 of this title and enacting provisions set out as notes under section 2302 of this title] may be cited as the ‘E-Warranty Act of 2015’.”
Pub. L. 93–637, §1, Jan. 4, 1975, 88 Stat. 2183, provided: “That this act [enacting this chapter and sections 57a to 57c of this title, amending sections 45, 46, 49, 50, 52, 56, and 58 of this title, and enacting provisions set out as notes under sections 45, 56, 57a, and 57b of this title] may be cited as the ‘Magnuson-Moss Warranty—Federal Trade Commission Improvement Act’.”
15 U.S.C. § 2302. Rules governing contents of warranties
(a) Full and conspicuous disclosure of terms and conditions; additional requirements for contents
In order to improve the adequacy of information available to consumers, prevent deception, and improve competition in the marketing of consumer products, any warrantor warranting a consumer product to a consumer by means of a written warranty shall, to the extent required by rules of the Commission, fully and conspicuously disclose in simple and readily understood language the terms and conditions of such warranty. Such rules may require inclusion in the written warranty of any of the following items among others:
(1) The clear identification of the names and addresses of the warrantors.
(2) The identity of the party or parties to whom the warranty is extended.
(3) The products or parts covered.
(4) A statement of what the warrantor will do in the event of a defect, malfunction, or failure to conform with such written warranty—at whose expense—and for what period of time.
(5) A statement of what the consumer must do and expenses he must bear.
(6) Exceptions and exclusions from the terms of the warranty.
(7) The step-by-step procedure which the consumer should take in order to obtain performance of any obligation under the warranty, including the identification of any person or class of persons authorized to perform the obligations set forth in the warranty.
(8) Information respecting the availability of any informal dispute settlement procedure offered by the warrantor and a recital, where the warranty so provides, that the purchaser may be required to resort to such procedure before pursuing any legal remedies in the courts.
(9) A brief, general description of the legal remedies available to the consumer.
(10) The time at which the warrantor will perform any obligations under the warranty.
(11) The period of time within which, after notice of a defect, malfunction, or failure to conform with the warranty, the warrantor will perform any obligations under the warranty.
(12) The characteristics or properties of the products, or parts thereof, that are not covered by the warranty.
(13) The elements of the warranty in words or phrases which would not mislead a reasonable, average consumer as to the nature or scope of the warranty.
(b) Availability of terms to consumer; manner and form for presentation and display of information; duration; extension of period for written warranty or service contract; electronic display of terms of warranty
(1)(A) The Commission shall prescribe rules requiring that the terms of any written warranty on a consumer product be made available to the consumer (or prospective consumer) prior to the sale of the product to him.
(B) The Commission may prescribe rules for determining the manner and form in which information with respect to any written warranty of a consumer product shall be clearly and conspicuously presented or displayed so as not to mislead the reasonable, average consumer, when such information is contained in advertising, labeling, point-of-sale material, or other representations in writing.
(2) Nothing in this chapter (other than paragraph (3) of this subsection) shall be deemed to authorize the Commission to prescribe the duration of written warranties given or to require that a consumer product or any of its components be warranted.
(3) The Commission may prescribe rules for extending the period of time a written warranty or service contract is in effect to correspond with any period of time in excess of a reasonable period (not less than 10 days) during which the consumer is deprived of the use of such consumer product by reason of failure of the product to conform with the written warranty or by reason of the failure of the warrantor (or service contractor) to carry out such warranty (or service contract) within the period specified in the warranty (or service contract).
(4)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the rules prescribed under this subsection shall allow for the satisfaction of all requirements concerning the availability of terms of a written warranty on a consumer product under this subsection by—
(i) making available such terms in an accessible digital format on the Internet website of the manufacturer of the consumer product in a clear and conspicuous manner; and
(ii) providing to the consumer (or prospective consumer) information with respect to how to obtain and review such terms by indicating on the product or product packaging or in the product manual—
(I) the Internet website of the manufacturer where such terms can be obtained and reviewed; and
(II) the phone number of the manufacturer, the postal mailing address of the manufacturer, or another reasonable non-Internet based means of contacting the manufacturer to obtain and review such terms.
(B) With respect to any requirement that the terms of any written warranty for a consumer product be made available to the consumer (or prospective consumer) prior to sale of the product, in a case in which a consumer product is offered for sale in a retail location, by catalog, or through door-to-door sales, subparagraph (A) shall only apply if the seller makes available, through electronic or other means, at the location of the sale to the consumer purchasing the consumer product the terms of the warranty for the consumer product before the purchase.
(c) Prohibition on conditions for written or implied warranty; waiver by Commission
No warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumer’s using, in connection with such product, any article or service (other than article or service provided without charge under the terms of the warranty) which is identified by brand, trade, or corporate name; except that the prohibition of this subsection may be waived by the Commission if—
(1) the warrantor satisfies the Commission that the warranted product will function properly only if the article or service so identified is used in connection with the warranted product, and
(2) the Commission finds that such a waiver is in the public interest.
The Commission shall identify in the Federal Register, and permit public comment on, all applications for waiver of the prohibition of this subsection, and shall publish in the Federal Register its disposition of any such application, including the reasons therefor.
(d) Incorporation by reference of detailed substantive warranty provisions
The Commission may by rule devise detailed substantive warranty provisions which warrantors may incorporate by reference in their warranties.
(e) Applicability to consumer products costing more than $5
The provisions of this section apply only to warranties which pertain to consumer products actually costing the consumer more than $5.
2015—Subsec. (b)(4). Pub. L. 114–51 added par. (4).
Pub. L. 114–51, §2, Sept. 24, 2015, 129 Stat. 494, provided that: “Congress makes the following findings:
“(1) Many manufacturers and consumers prefer to have the option to provide or receive warranty information online.
“(2) Modernizing warranty notification rules is necessary to allow the United States to continue to compete globally in manufacturing, trade, and the development of consumer products connected to the Internet.
“(3) Allowing an electronic warranty option would expand consumer access to relevant consumer information in an environmentally friendly way, and would provide additional flexibility to manufacturers to meet their labeling and warranty requirements.”
Revision of Rules
“(1) In general.—Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act [Sept. 24, 2015], the Federal Trade Commission shall revise the rules prescribed under such section [meaning section 102(b) of Pub. L. 93–637, which is classified to subsec. (b) of this section] to comply with the requirements of paragraph (4) of such section, as added by subsection (a) of this section [amending this section].
“(2) Authority to waive requirement for oral presentation.—In revising rules under paragraph (1), the Federal Trade Commission may waive the requirement of section 109(a) of such Act (15 U.S.C. 2309(a)) to give interested persons an opportunity for oral presentation if the Commission determines that giving interested persons such opportunity would interfere with the ability of the Commission to revise rules under paragraph (1) in a timely manner.”
15 U.S.C. § 2303. Designation of written warranties
(a) Full (statement of duration) or limited warranty
Any warrantor warranting a consumer product by means of a written warranty shall clearly and conspicuously designate such warranty in the following manner, unless exempted from doing so by the Commission pursuant to subsection (c) of this section:
(1) If the written warranty meets the Federal minimum standards for warranty set forth in section 2304 of this title, then it shall be conspicuously designated a “full (statement of duration) warranty”.
(2) If the written warranty does not meet the Federal minimum standards for warranty set forth in section 2304 of this title, then it shall be conspicuously designated a “limited warranty”.
(b) Applicability of requirements, standards, etc., to representations or statements of customer satisfaction
This section and sections 2302 and 2304 of this title shall not apply to statements or representations which are similar to expressions of general policy concerning customer satisfaction and which are not subject to any specific limitations.
(c) Exemptions by Commission
In addition to exercising the authority pertaining to disclosure granted in section 2302 of this title, the Commission may by rule determine when a written warranty does not have to be designated either “full (statement of duration)” or “limited” in accordance with this section.
(d) Applicability to consumer products costing more than $10 and not designated as full warranties
The provisions of subsections (a) and (c) of this section apply only to warranties which pertain to consumer products actually costing the consumer more than $10 and which are not designated “full (statement of duration) warranties”.
(Pub. L. 93–637, title I, §103, Jan. 4, 1975, 88 Stat. 2187.)
15 U.S.C. § 2304. Federal minimum standards for warranties
(a) Remedies under written warranty; duration of implied warranty; exclusion or limitation on consequential damages for breach of written or implied warranty; election of refund or replacement
In order for a warrantor warranting a consumer product by means of a written warranty to meet the Federal minimum standards for warranty—
(1) such warrantor must as a minimum remedy such consumer product within a reasonable time and without charge, in the case of a defect, malfunction, or failure to conform with such written warranty;
(2) notwithstanding section 2308(b) of this title, such warrantor may not impose any limitation on the duration of any implied warranty on the product;
(3) such warrantor may not exclude or limit consequential damages for breach of any written or implied warranty on such product, unless such exclusion or limitation conspicuously appears on the face of the warranty; and
(4) if the product (or a component part thereof) contains a defect or malfunction after a reasonable number of attempts by the warrantor to remedy defects or malfunctions in such product, such warrantor must permit the consumer to elect either a refund for, or replacement without charge of, such product or part (as the case may be). The Commission may by rule specify for purposes of this paragraph, what constitutes a reasonable number of attempts to remedy particular kinds of defects or malfunctions under different circumstances. If the warrantor replaces a component part of a consumer product, such replacement shall include installing the part in the product without charge.
(b) Duties and conditions imposed on consumer by warrantor
(1) In fulfilling the duties under subsection (a) respecting a written warranty, the warrantor shall not impose any duty other than notification upon any consumer as a condition of securing remedy of any consumer product which malfunctions, is defective, or does not conform to the written warranty, unless the warrantor has demonstrated in a rulemaking proceeding, or can demonstrate in an administrative or judicial enforcement proceeding (including private enforcement), or in an informal dispute settlement proceeding, that such a duty is reasonable.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a warrantor may require, as a condition to replacement of, or refund for, any consumer product under subsection (a), that such consumer product shall be made available to the warrantor free and clear of liens and other encumbrances, except as otherwise provided by rule or order of the Commission in cases in which such a requirement would not be practicable.
(3) The Commission may, by rule define in detail the duties set forth in subsection (a) of this section and the applicability of such duties to warrantors of different categories of consumer products with “full (statement of duration)” warranties.
(4) The duties under subsection (a) extend from the warrantor to each person who is a consumer with respect to the consumer product.
(c) Waiver of standards
The performance of the duties under subsection (a) shall not be required of the warrantor if he can show that the defect, malfunction, or failure of any warranted consumer product to conform with a written warranty, was caused by damage (not resulting from defect or malfunction) while in the possession of the consumer, or unreasonable use (including failure to provide reasonable and necessary maintenance).
(d) Remedy without charge
For purposes of this section and of section 2302(c) of this title, the term “without charge” means that the warrantor may not assess the consumer for any costs the warrantor or his representatives incur in connection with the required remedy of a warranted consumer p