2012 Florida Statutes
Nonconformity of motor vehicles.
Nonconformity of motor vehicles.
681.104 Nonconformity of motor vehicles.—
(1)(a) After three attempts have been made to repair the same nonconformity, the consumer shall give written notification, by registered or express mail to the manufacturer, of the need to repair the nonconformity to allow the manufacturer a final attempt to cure the nonconformity. The manufacturer shall have 10 days, commencing upon receipt of such notification, to respond and give the consumer the opportunity to have the motor vehicle repaired at a reasonably accessible repair facility within a reasonable time after the consumer’s receipt of the response. The manufacturer shall have 10 days, except in the case of a recreational vehicle, in which event the manufacturer shall have 45 days, commencing upon the delivery of the motor vehicle to the designated repair facility by the consumer, to conform the motor vehicle to the warranty. If the manufacturer fails to respond to the consumer and give the consumer the opportunity to have the motor vehicle repaired at a reasonably accessible repair facility or perform the repairs within the time periods prescribed in this subsection, the requirement that the manufacturer be given a final attempt to cure the nonconformity does not apply.
(b) If the motor vehicle is out of service by reason of repair of one or more nonconformities by the manufacturer or its authorized service agent for a cumulative total of 15 or more days, exclusive of downtime for routine maintenance prescribed by the owner’s manual, the consumer shall so notify the manufacturer in writing by registered or express mail to give the manufacturer or its authorized service agent an opportunity to inspect or repair the vehicle.
(2)(a) If the manufacturer, or its authorized service agent, cannot conform the motor vehicle to the warranty by repairing or correcting any nonconformity after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer, within 40 days, shall repurchase the motor vehicle and refund the full purchase price to the consumer, less a reasonable offset for use, or, in consideration of its receipt of payment from the consumer of a reasonable offset for use, replace the motor vehicle with a replacement motor vehicle acceptable to the consumer. The refund or replacement must include all reasonably incurred collateral and incidental charges. However, the consumer has an unconditional right to choose a refund rather than a replacement motor vehicle. Upon receipt of such refund or replacement, the consumer, lienholder, or lessor shall furnish to the manufacturer clear title to and possession of the motor vehicle.
(b) Refunds shall be made to the consumer and lienholder of record, if any, as their interests may appear. If applicable, refunds shall be made to the lessor and lessee as follows: The lessee shall receive the lessee cost and the lessor shall receive the lease price less the lessee cost. A penalty for early lease termination may not be assessed against a lessee who receives a replacement motor vehicle or refund under this chapter. The Department of Revenue shall refund to the manufacturer any sales tax which the manufacturer refunded to the consumer, lienholder, or lessor under this section, if the manufacturer provides to the department a written request for a refund and evidence that the sales tax was paid when the vehicle was purchased and that the manufacturer refunded the sales tax to the consumer, lienholder, or lessor.
(3) It is presumed that a reasonable number of attempts have been undertaken to conform a motor vehicle to the warranty if, during the Lemon Law rights period, either:
(a) The same nonconformity has been subject to repair at least three times by the manufacturer or its authorized service agent, plus a final attempt by the manufacturer to repair the motor vehicle if undertaken as provided for in paragraph (1)(a), and such nonconformity continues to exist; or
(b) The motor vehicle has been out of service by reason of repair of one or more nonconformities by the manufacturer, or its authorized service agent, for a cumulative total of 30 or more days, 60 or more days in the case of a recreational vehicle, exclusive of downtime for routine maintenance prescribed by the owner’s manual. The manufacturer or its authorized service agent must have had at least one opportunity to inspect or repair the vehicle following receipt of the notification as provided in paragraph (1)(b). The 30-day period, or 60-day period in the case of a recreational vehicle, may 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.
(4) It is an affirmative defense to any claim under this chapter that:
(a) The alleged nonconformity does not substantially impair the use, value, or safety of the motor vehicle;
(b) The nonconformity is the result of an accident, abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modifications or alterations of the motor vehicle by persons other than the manufacturer or its authorized service agent; or
(c) The claim by the consumer was not filed in good faith.
Any other affirmative defense allowed by law may be raised against the claim.
History.—s. 5, ch. 83-69; s. 3, ch. 84-55; s. 41, ch. 85-62; s. 4, ch. 85-240; s. 2, ch. 86-229; ss. 4, 19, ch. 88-95; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 4, ch. 92-88; s. 4, ch. 97-245.