Louisiana Lemon Law
When does a Vehicle Qualify?
4 unsuccessful repair attempts of the defect or the vehicle is out of service for 90 calendar days within the shorter of 1 year from purchase, or the warranty period.
Required actions and Timeline:
The owner must report to the manufacturer or dealer.
Note: State has certified guidelines for arbitration. Law specifically applies to leased vehicles.
For a look at the strengths or weaknesses of Louisiana’s lemon law, see the Center for Auto Safety Letter to Louisiana Attorney General on Lemon Law Rank & Effectiveness.
More Helpful Information:
Links to external attorney sites do not constitute an endorsement or legal advice by the Center for Auto Safety.
Louisiana Lemon Law Statute
Louisiana Revised Statutes Annotated 51:1941 to 51:1948
Â§ 1941. Definitions.
The following definitions apply when used in this Chapter:
(1) “Collateral costs” means sales tax, license fees, and registration fees and any similar governmental charges.
(2) “Consumer” means:
(a) The purchaser, other than for purposes of resale, of a new motor vehicle normally used for personal, family, or household purposes and subject to a manufacturer’s express warranty;
(b) A person, other than for purposes of resale, to whom a motor vehicle is transferred during the duration of an express warranty applicable to the motor vehicle;
(c) A person to whom a motor vehicle is leased; and
(d) Any other person entitled to enforce the warranty.
(3) “Dealer” means a person authorized by the manufacturer and actively engaged in the business of buying, selling, or exchanging new automobiles, new personal watercraft, new all-terrain vehicles, or new motor homes at retail and who has an established place of business.
(4) “Manufacturer” means any person, firm, association, corporation, or trust, resident or nonresident, who manufactures or assembles new and unused motor vehicles.
(5) “Manufacturer’s express warranty” and “warranty” mean the written warranty of the manufacturer of a new motor vehicle of its condition and fitness for use, including any terms or conditions precedent to the enforcement of an obligation under that warranty.
(6) “Motor vehicle” means a passenger motor vehicle or a passenger and commercial motor vehicle as defined in R.S. 32:1252(13), sold in this state on or after September 1, 1984. “Motor vehicle” shall include a personal watercraft as defined in R.S. 34:855.2 and an all-terrain vehicle as defined in R.S. 32:771(1), sold in this state or still under warranty on or after August 15, 1999, which is used exclusively for personal and not commercial purposes. “Motor vehicle” shall include the chassis and drive train of a motor home as defined in R.S. 32:1252(12), sold in this state or still under warranty on or after August 15, 1999, which is used exclusively for personal and not commercial purposes. For the purposes of this Chapter, the following motor vehicles are excluded:
(a) Motor vehicles, except for motor homes, 10,000 GVW or above.
(b) Motor vehicles used exclusively for commercial purposes.
(7) “Nonconformity” means any specific or generic defect or malfunction, or any defect or condition which substantially impairs the use and/or market value of a motor vehicle.
Â§ 1942. Manufacturer’s duty to repair; nonconformity
If a new motor vehicle does not conform to an applicable express warranty, and the consumer reports the nonconformity to the manufacturer or any of its authorized motor vehicle dealers and makes the motor vehicle available for repair before the expiration of the warranty or during a period of one year following the date of the original delivery of the motor vehicle to a consumer, whichever is the earlier date, the manufacturer, its agent, or its authorized dealer shall make such repairs as are necessary to conform the vehicle to such warranty, notwithstanding the fact that such repairs are made after the expiration of such terms or such one-year period.
Â§ 1943. Express warranties; time limit to conform
- (1) It shall be presumed that a reasonable number of attempts have been undertaken to conform a motor vehicle to the applicable express warranties if the vehicle is out of service by reason of repair for a cumulative total of ninety or more calendar days or the same nonconformity has been subject to repair four or more times by the manufacturer, its agent, or its authorized dealer within the warranty term or during a period of one year following the date of the original delivery of the motor vehicle to the consumer, whichever is the earlier date.
(2) (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of Paragraph (1) of this Subsection, in the case of a motor home, the consumer shall provide written notification to the manufacturer of any of the following:
(i) The need to repair the nonconformity.
(ii) Evidence of a cumulative total of at least ninety days of the motor home being out of service.
(iii) Evidence that the same nonconformity has been subject to repair four or more times by the its agent, or its authorized dealer within the warranty term or during a period of one year following the date of the original delivery of the motor vehicle to the consumer, whichever is the earlier date.
(b) Upon such notification, the manufacturer shall have a final attempt to repair the vehicle. The manufacturer shall have five business days upon receipt of such notification to respond to the consumer as to where the motor home may be delivered for repair. The repair facility shall be one which is authorized by the manufacturer to perform the necessary warranty work.
(c) once delivered, the repair facility shall have ten business days within which to conform the vehicle to the applicable warranty. The time periods provided for in this Paragraph may only be extended if the consumer authorizes such extension in writing.
(2) If a manufacturer fails to respond to the consumer or to perform the repairs within the time periods described in Paragraphs (1) and (2) of this Subsection, such manufacturer shall be deemed to have waived his rights to a final attempt to cure the nonconformity.
- The term of an express warranty shall be extended by any period of time during which repair services are not available to the consumer because of war, invasion, strike, fire, flood, or natural disaster.
- The provisions in Subsection A of this Section shall be suspended for any period of time during which repair services cannot be performed by the manufacturer, its agents, or authorized dealer because of war, invasion, strike, fire, flood, or natural disaster.
Â§ 1944. Motor vehicle replacement or refund
A. If a nonconformity in a motor home has not been repaired within the time periods provided for in R.S. 32:1943(A)(2), or if after four or more attempts within the express warranty term or during a period of one year following the date of the original delivery to the consumer of a motor vehicle which is not a motor home, whichever is the earlier, the nonconformity has not been repaired or if the vehicle is out of service by reason of repair for a cumulative total of ninety or more calendar days during the warranty period, the manufacturer shall:
(1) Replace the motor vehicle with a comparable new motor vehicle, or, at its option,
(2) Accept return of the motor vehicle and refund the full purchase price plus any amounts paid by the consumer at the point of sale, and all collateral costs less a reasonable allowance for use to the consumer, or any holder of a perfected security interest in the motor vehicle, as their interest may appear, if the transaction was a sale.
- If the transaction is a lease, the provisions of Paragraph (1) of Subsection A of this Section are applicable or the manufacturer may, if the lessor is willing, accept return of the motor vehicle and reimburse the lessee for all reasonable expenditures in connection with the lease, and further satisfy all conditions of the lease in connection with early termination and related charges. The lessee shall be liable for a reasonable allowance for use of the vehicle prior to the return thereof.
- A reasonable allowance for use shall be that amount directly attributable to use by the consumer prior to his first notice of nonconformity to the manufacturer, agent, or dealer and during any subsequent period when the vehicle is not out of service by reason of repair.
- If a manufacturer has established an informal dispute settlement procedure which substantially complies with the provisions of Title 16, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 703, as from time to time amended, the provisions of Subsections A, B and C of this Section concerning refunds or replacement shall not apply to any consumer who has not first resorted to such procedure.
- The consumer shall have no more than three years from the date he purchased the motor vehicle or until one year from the end of the warranty period, whichever is longer, in which to file suit against the manufacturer to force compliance with the provisions of this Section.
Â§ 1945. Transfer of title; time limitation
At the time of receiving the comparable new motor vehicle or refund under R.S. 51:1944, the consumer, or lessor, where applicable, shall surrender the motor vehicle subject to the nonconformity to the manufacturer together with the certificate of title with all endorsements necessary to transfer title to the manufacturer. The manufacturer shall provide the consumer, or lessor, where applicable, with a comparable new motor vehicle or refund within thirty days after an offer to transfer title in compliance with this Section by the consumer, or lessor, where applicable, or within thirty days after a decision by the informal dispute settlement procedure established by the manufacturer to award a refund or replacement.
Â§ 1945.1. Mandatory disclosure of nonconformity to warranty by sellers
A. (1) Upon the sale or transfer of title by a manufacturer, its agent, or any dealer of any second-hand motor vehicle, previously returned to a manufacturer for nonconformity to its warranty pursuant to the requirements of this Chapter, the manufacturer shall execute and deliver to the buyer an instrument in writing in a form prescribed by the commissioner setting forth the following information in ten point, all capital type:
“IMPORTANT: THIS VEHICLE WAS RETURNED TO THE MANUFACTURER OR DEALER BECAUSE IT DID NOT CONFORM TO ITS WARRANTY AND THE DEFECT OR CONDITION WAS NOT FIXED WITHIN THE TIME PROVIDED BY LOUISIANA LAW.”
Such notice that a vehicle was returned to the manufacturer because it did not conform to its warranty shall also be conspicuously printed on the motor vehicle’s certificate of title.
- The failure of a dealer to deliver to the buyer the instrument required by this Section shall constitute a violation of this Chapter and shall be punishable by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars for each violation.
Â§ 1946. Other remedies
Nothing in this Chapter shall in any way limit the rights or remedies which are otherwise available to a consumer under any other law.
Â§ 1947. Attorney fees
If the motor vehicle does not conform to applicable express warranties after the consumer has complied with the requirements of this Chapter, the consumer shall be entitled to reasonable attorney fees actually incurred if a judgment is rendered in part or whole in his favor.
Â§ 1948. Manufacturer’s duty to provide reimbursement for temporary replacement vehicle; penalties
A. Whenever a motor vehicle which is covered by a manufacturer’s express warranty is tendered by a consumer to the dealer from whom it was purchased or exchanged for the repair of any defect, malfunction, or nonconformity to which the warranty is applicable and at least one of the following conditions exists, the manufacturer shall provide directly to the consumer for the duration of the repair period a rental vehicle reimbursement of up to twenty dollars per day:
(1) The repair period exceeds ten work days, including the day on which the motor vehicle is tendered to the dealer for repair.
(2) The defect, malfunction, or nonconformity is the same for which the motor vehicle has been tendered to the dealer for repair on two previous occasions.
- The provisions of this Section regarding a manufacturer’s duty shall extend only for the period of the length of the manufacturer’s express warranty or for two years, whichever period of time occurs first.
- For violations of the provisions of Subsection A, the consumer shall be entitled to recover from the manufacturer for damages incurred and reasonable attorney fees actually incurred; however, in no event shall the amount of damages awarded be less than two hundred dollars. The provisions of this Section will become effective as to cars sold after January 1, 1987, and will not be in effect in case of war, work stoppages, and natural disasters beyond the control of the manufacturer that would prevent the timely repair or parts delivery to a dealer.
- This Section shall not apply to personal watercraft or all-terrain vehicles tendered to a manufacturer for repair.
- This Section shall not apply to motor homes tendered to a manufacturer for repair.