The Truth About Colorado Lemon Law

Colorado Lemon Law

One of the most frustrating things that can happen to a new vehicle buyer is for their car purchase to end up being a dud. Cars that don’t run like they should are commonly known as lemons. In Colorado, there are laws that help protect unsuspecting buyers when purchasing these types of vehicles. Colorado lemon law lays out specific terms and conditions that help determine if the car is a lemon and, if so, what the buyer has the right to do about it.

How Does Colorado Lemon Law Protect Buyers?

The Lemon law is very specific in the state of Colorado and only covers self-propelled cars, vans, and pick-up trucks. Motor homes and motorcycles are not covered by the law. The vehicle must qualify as “new” for the Lemon law to apply.

There is also a specification about what types of defects qualify a car as a lemon. The qualifying problem must cause a substantial impairment that affects the vehicle’s resale value and ability to operate safely. Cosmetic issues and annoying sounds would not qualify as impairing factors that designate the vehicle as a lemon.

There are two different ways that a buyer can use as a metric before officially pursuing restitution. Reasonable attempts (at least four) to repair the vehicle must be made, or the car must be out of service for at least 30 days. According to state law, whichever of these applies first is the standard that a buyer can use as a basis to file a lemon law claim.

Buyers should keep in mind that most new vehicle purchases include a warranty of some sort. Warranties are essentially an agreement that the manufacturer will cover certain conditions, particularly if the car is somehow defective. However, it is important for a new car buyer to carefully read the warranty to understand what will be covered in that event. It does not always mean that the manufacturer will replace the vehicle. Part of the reason that lemon laws exist is they provide the new car buyer with protection that warranties don’t always cover or honor.

The Claim Process 

There is also a certain process that the claimant has to follow for the state to recognize the claim. A certified letter that alerts the manufacturer of the defect must be sent before initiating a lemon law claim. In fact, new car buyers might look at this initial step as a prerequisite of the claim process. It gives the manufacturer a chance to correct the issue before the purchaser has to pursue another legal avenue such as a lemon law claim.

If this is ineffective, the buyer should then reach out to the consumer division of the Colorado Attorney General’s office to begin the claims process. The Better Business Bureau also has an auto line for consumers to contact before filing a suit against the manufacturer or seller.

In many cases, the buyer may be offer some type of settlement as a remedy to the claim. If the buyer does not accept the terms of the settlement, they will have the right to file a lawsuit with the state. However, it is vital to follow the process first. Going through the initial steps will create a stronger basis for a future lawsuit, if it gets to that point.

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