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Washington Lemon Law

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Title 19 Chapter 118
Motor Vehicle Warranties

Washington Lemon Law RCW 19.118.005 Legislative intent.

The legislature recognizes that a new motor vehicle is a major consumer purchase and that a defective motor vehicle is likely to create hardship for, or may cause injury to, the consumer. The legislature further recognizes that good cooperation and communication between a manufacturer and a new motor vehicle dealer will considerably increase the likelihood that a new motor vehicle will be repaired within a reasonable number of attempts. It is the intent of the legislature to ensure that the consumer is made aware of his or her rights under this chapter and is not refused information, documents, or service that would otherwise obstruct the exercise of his or her rights.

In enacting these comprehensive measures, it is the intent of the legislature to create the proper blend of private and public remedies necessary to enforce this chapter, such that a manufacturer will be sufficiently induced to take necessary steps to improve quality control at the time of production or provide better warranty service for the new motor vehicles that it sells in this state.

Washington Lemon Law RCW 19.118.010 Motor vehicle manufacturers.

Express warranties; Service and repair facilities.

Every manufacturer of motor vehicles sold in this state and for which the manufacturer has made an express warranty shall maintain in this state sufficient service and repair facilities reasonably close to all areas in which its motor vehicles are sold to carry out the terms of the warranties or designate and authorize in this state as service and repair facilities independent repair or service facilities reasonably close to all areas in which its motor vehicles are sold to carry out the terms of the warranties. As a means of complying with this section, a manufacturer may enter into warranty service contracts with independent service and repair facilities.

Washington Lemon Law RCW 19.118.021 Definitions.

Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.

(1) "Board" means new motor vehicle arbitration board.
(2) "Collateral charges" means any sales or lease related charges including but not limited to sales tax, use tax, arbitration service fees, unused license fees, unused registration fees, unused title fees, finance charges, prepayment penalties, credit disability and credit life insurance costs not otherwise refundable, any other insurance costs prorated for time out of service, transportation charges, dealer preparation charges, or any other charges for service contracts, undercoating, rust proofing, or factory or dealer installed options.
(3) "Condition" means a general problem that results from a defect or malfunction of one or more parts, or their improper installation by the manufacturer, its agents, or the new motor vehicle dealer.
(4) "Consumer" means any person who has entered into an agreement or contract for the transfer, lease, or purchase of a new motor vehicle, other than for purposes of resale or sublease, during the duration of the warranty period defined under this section.
(5) "Court" means the superior court in the county where the consumer resides, except if the consumer does not reside in this state, then the superior court in the county where an arbitration hearing or determination was conducted or made pursuant to this chapter.
(6) "Incidental costs" means any reasonable expenses incurred by the consumer in connection with the repair of the new motor vehicle, including any towing charges and the costs of obtaining alternative transportation.
(7) "Manufacturer" means any person engaged in the business of constructing or assembling new motor vehicles or engaged in the business of importing new motor vehicles into the United States for the purpose of selling or distributing new motor vehicles to new motor vehicle dealers. "Manufacturer" does not include any person engaged in the business of set-up of motorcycles as an agent of a new motor vehicle dealer if the person does not otherwise construct or assemble motorcycles.
(8) "Motorcycle" means any motorcycle as defined in RCW 46.04.330 which has an engine displacement of at least seven hundred fifty cubic centimeters.
(9) "Motor home" means a vehicular unit designed to provide temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, or travel use, built on or permanently attached to a self-propelled motor vehicle chassis or on a chassis cab or van that is an integral part of the completed vehicle.
(10) "Motor home manufacturer" means the first stage manufacturer, the component manufacturer, and the final stage manufacturer.
(a) "First stage manufacturer" means a person who manufactures incomplete new motor vehicles such as chassis, chassis cabs, or vans, that are directly warranted by the first stage manufacturer to the consumer, and are completed by a final stage manufacturer into a motor home.
(b) "Component manufacturer" means a person who manufactures components used in the manufacture or assembly of a chassis, chassis cab, or van that is completed into a motor home and whose components are directly warranted by the component manufacturer to the consumer.
(c) "Final stage manufacturer" means a person who assembles, installs, or permanently affixes a body, cab, or equipment to an incomplete new motor vehicle such as a chassis, chassis cab, or van provided by a first stage manufacturer, to complete the vehicle into a motor home.
(11) "New motor vehicle" means any new self-propelled vehicle, including a new motorcycle, primarily designed for the transportation of persons or property over the public highways that was originally purchased or leased at retail from a new motor vehicle dealer or leasing company in this state, and that was initially registered in this state or for which a temporary motor vehicle license was issued pursuant to RCW 46.16.460, but does not include vehicles purchased or leased by a business as part of a fleet of ten or more vehicles at one time or under a single purchase or lease agreement. If the motor vehicle is a motor home, this chapter shall apply to the self-propelled vehicle and chassis, but does not include those portions of the vehicle designated, used, or maintained primarily as a mobile dwelling, office, or commercial space. The term "new motor vehicle" does not include trucks with nineteen thousand pounds or more gross vehicle weight rating. The term "new motor vehicle" includes a demonstrator or lease-purchase vehicle as long as a manufacturer's warranty was issued as a condition of sale.
(12) "New motor vehicle dealer" means a person who holds a dealer agreement with a manufacturer for the sale of new motor vehicles, who is engaged in the business of purchasing, selling, servicing, exchanging, or dealing in new motor vehicles, and who is licensed or required to be licensed as a vehicle dealer by the state of Washington.
(13) "Nonconformity" means a defect, serious safety defect, or condition that substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of a new motor vehicle, but does not include a defect or condition that is the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modification or alteration of the new motor vehicle.
(14) "Purchase price" means the cash price of the new motor vehicle appearing in the sales agreement or contract.
(a) "Purchase price" in the instance of a lease means the actual written capitalized cost disclosed to the consumer contained in the lease agreement. If there is no disclosed capitalized cost in the lease agreement the "purchase price" is the manufacturer's suggested retail price including manufacturer installed accessories or items of optional equipment displayed on the manufacturer label, required by 15 U.S.C. Sec. 1232.
(b) "Purchase price" in the instance of both a vehicle purchase or lease agreement includes any allowance for a trade-in vehicle but does not include any manufacturer-to-consumer rebate appearing in the agreement or contract that the consumer received or that was applied to reduce the purchase or lease cost. Where the consumer is a subsequent transferee and the consumer selects repurchase of the motor vehicle, "purchase price" means the consumer's subsequent purchase price. Where the consumer is a subsequent transferee and the consumer selects replacement of the motor vehicle, "purchase price" means the original purchase price.
(15) "Reasonable offset for use" means the definition provided in RCW 19.118.041(1)(c) for a new motor vehicle other than a new motorcycle. The reasonable offset for use for a new motorcycle shall be computed by the number of miles that the vehicle traveled before the manufacturer's acceptance of the vehicle upon repurchase or replacement multiplied by the purchase price, and divided by twenty-five thousand.
(16) "Reasonable number of attempts" means the definition provided in RCW 19.118.041.
(17) "Replacement motor vehicle" means a new motor vehicle that 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 purchase or lease, including any service contract, undercoating, rustproofing, and factory or dealer installed options.
(18) "Serious safety defect" means a life-threatening malfunction or nonconformity that impedes the consumer's ability to control or operate the new motor vehicle for ordinary use or reasonable intended purposes or creates a risk of fire or explosion.
(19) "Subsequent transferee" means a consumer who acquires a motor vehicle, within the warranty period, as defined in this section, with an applicable manufacturer's written warranty and where the vehicle otherwise met the definition of a new motor vehicle at the time of original retail sale or lease.
(20) "Substantially impair" means to render the new motor vehicle unreliable, or unsafe for ordinary use, or to diminish the resale value of the new motor vehicle below the average resale value for comparable motor vehicles.
(21) "Warranty" means any implied warranty, any written warranty of the manufacturer, or any affirmation of fact or promise made by the manufacturer in connection with the sale of a new motor vehicle that becomes part of the basis of the bargain. The term "warranty" pertains to the obligations of the manufacturer in relation to materials, workmanship, and fitness of a new motor vehicle for ordinary use or reasonably intended purposes throughout the duration of the warranty period as defined under this section.
(22) "Warranty period" means the period ending two years after the date of the original delivery to the consumer of a new motor vehicle, or the first twenty-four thousand miles of operation, whichever occurs first.

Washington Lemon Law RCW 19.118.031 Manufacturers and new motor vehicle dealers.

Responsibilities to consumers; Extension of warranty period.

(1) The manufacturer shall publish an owner's manual and provide it to the new motor vehicle dealer or leasing company. The owner's manual shall include a list of the addresses and phone numbers for the manufacturer's customer assistance division, or zone or regional offices. A manufacturer shall provide to the new motor vehicle dealer or leasing company all applicable manufacturer's written warranties. The dealer or leasing company shall transfer to the consumer, at the time of original retail sale or lease, the owner's manual and applicable written warranties as provided by a manufacturer.
(2) At the time of purchase, the new motor vehicle dealer shall provide the consumer with a written statement that explains the consumer's rights under this chapter. The written statement shall be prepared and supplied by the attorney general and shall contain a toll-free number that the consumer can contact for information regarding the procedures and remedies under this chapter.
(3) For the purposes of this chapter, if a new motor vehicle does not conform to the warranty and the consumer reports the nonconformity during the term of the warranty period or the period of coverage of the applicable manufacturer's written warranty, whichever is less, to the manufacturer, its agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer who sold the new motor vehicle, the manufacturer, its agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer shall make repairs as are necessary to conform the vehicle to the warranty, regardless of whether such repairs are made after the expiration of the warranty period. Any corrections or attempted repairs undertaken by a new motor vehicle dealer under this chapter shall be treated as warranty work and billed by the dealer to the manufacturer in the same manner as other work under the manufacturer's written warranty is billed. For purposes of this subsection, the manufacturer's written warranty shall be at least one year after the date of the original delivery to the consumer of the vehicle or the first twelve thousand miles of operation, whichever occurs first.
(4) Upon request from the consumer, the manufacturer or new motor vehicle dealer shall provide a copy of any report or computer reading compiled by the manufacturer's field or zone representative regarding inspection, diagnosis, or test-drive of the consumer's new motor vehicle, or shall provide a copy of any technical service bulletin issued by the manufacturer regarding the year and model of the consumer's new motor vehicle as it pertains to any material, feature, component, or the performance thereof.
(5) The new motor vehicle 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, 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.
(6) No manufacturer, its agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer may refuse to diagnose or repair any nonconformity covered by the warranty for the purpose of avoiding liability under this chapter.
(7) For purposes of this chapter, consumers shall have the rights and remedies, including a cause of action, against manufacturers as provided in this chapter.
(8) The warranty period and thirty-day out-of-service period, and sixty-day out-of-service period in the case of a motor home, shall be extended by any time that repair services are not available to the consumer as a direct result of a strike, war, invasion, fire, flood, or other natural disaster.

Washington Lemon Law RCW 19.118.041 Replacement or repurchase of nonconforming new motor vehicle.

Reasonable number of attempts; Notice by consumer regarding motor home nonconformity; Liabilities and rights of parties; Application of consumer protection act.

(1) If the manufacturer, its agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer is unable to conform the new motor vehicle to the warranty by repairing or correcting any nonconformity after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer, within forty calendar days of a consumer's written request to the manufacturer's corporate, dispute resolution, zone, or regional office address shall, at the option of the consumer, replace or repurchase the new motor vehicle.
(a) The replacement motor vehicle shall be identical or reasonably equivalent to the motor vehicle to be replaced as the motor vehicle to be replaced existed at the time of original purchase or lease, including any service contract, undercoating, rust proofing, and factory or dealer installed options. Where the manufacturer supplies a replacement motor vehicle, the manufacturer shall be responsible for sales tax, license, registration fees, and refund of any incidental costs. Compensation for a reasonable offset for use shall be paid by the consumer to the manufacturer in the event that the consumer accepts a replacement motor vehicle.
(b) When repurchasing the new motor vehicle, the manufacturer shall refund to the consumer the purchase price, all collateral charges, and incidental costs, less a reasonable offset for use. When repurchasing the new motor vehicle, in the instance of a lease, the manufacturer shall refund to the consumer all payments made by the consumer under the lease including but not limited to all lease payments, trade-in value or inception payment, security deposit, all collateral charges and incidental costs less a reasonable offset for use. The manufacturer shall make such payment to the lessor and/or lien holder of record as necessary to obtain clear title to the motor vehicle and upon the lessor's and/or lien holder's receipt of that payment and payment by the consumer of any late payment charges, the consumer shall be relieved of any future obligation to the lessor and/or lien holder.
(c) The reasonable offset for use shall be computed by multiplying the number of miles that the vehicle traveled directly attributable to use by the consumer times the purchase price, and dividing the product by one hundred twenty thousand, except in the case of a motor home, in which event it shall be divided by ninety thousand. However, the reasonable offset for use calculation total for a motor home is subject to modification by the board by decreasing or increasing the offset total up to a maximum of one- third of the offset total. The board may modify the offset total in those circumstances where the board determines that the wear and tear on those portions of the motor home designated, used, or maintained primarily as a mobile dwelling, office, or commercial space are significantly greater or significantly less than that which could be reasonably expected based on the mileage attributable to the consumer's use of the motor home. Where the consumer is a second or subsequent purchaser, lessee, or transferee of the motor vehicle and the consumer selects repurchase of the motor vehicle, "the number of miles that the vehicle traveled" shall be calculated from the date of purchase or lease by the consumer. Where the consumer is a second or subsequent purchaser, lessee, or transferee of the motor vehicle and the consumer selects replacement of the motor vehicle, "the number of miles that the vehicle traveled" shall be calculated from the original purchase, lease, or in-service date.
(2) Reasonable number of attempts, except in the case of a new motor vehicle that is a motor home acquired after June 30, 1998, shall be deemed to have been undertaken by the manufacturer, its agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer to conform the new motor vehicle to the warranty within the warranty period, if:
(a) The same serious safety defect has been subject to diagnosis or repair two or more times, at least one of which is during the period of coverage of the applicable manufacturer's written warranty, and the serious safety defect continues to exist; (b) the same nonconformity has been subject to diagnosis or repair four or more times, at least one of which is during the period of coverage of the applicable manufacturer's written warranty, and the nonconformity continues to exist; or
(c) the vehicle is out of service by reason of diagnosis or repair of one or more nonconformities for a cumulative total of thirty calendar days, at least fifteen of them during the period of the applicable manufacturer's written warranty. For purposes of this subsection, the manufacturer's written warranty shall be at least one year after the date of the original delivery to the consumer of the vehicle or the first twelve thousand miles of operation, whichever occurs first.
(3)
(a) In the case of a new motor vehicle that is a motor home acquired after June 30, 1998, a reasonable number of attempts shall be deemed to have been undertaken by the motor home manufacturers, their respective agents, or their respective new motor vehicle dealers to conform the new motor vehicle to the warranty within the warranty period, if:
(i) The same serious safety defect has been subject to diagnosis or repair one or more times during the period of coverage of the applicable motor home manufacturer's written warranty, plus a final attempt to repair the vehicle as provided for in (b) of this subsection, and the serious safety defect continues to exist;
(ii) the same nonconformity has been subject to repair three or more times, at least one of which is during the period of coverage of the applicable motor home manufacturer's written warranty, plus a final attempt to repair the vehicle as provided for in (b) of this subsection, and the nonconformity continues to exist; or
(iii) the vehicle is out of service by reason of diagnosis or repair of one or more nonconformities for a cumulative total of sixty calendar days aggregating all motor home manufacturer days out of service, and the motor home manufacturers have had at least one opportunity to coordinate and complete an inspection and any repairs of the vehicle's nonconformities after receipt of notification from the consumer as provided for in (c) of this subsection. For purposes of this subsection, each motor home manufacturer's written warranty must be at least one year after the date of the original delivery to the consumer of the vehicle or the first twelve thousand miles of operation, whichever occurs first.
(b) In the case of a new motor vehicle that is a motor home, after one attempt has been made to repair a serious safety defect, or after three attempts have been made to repair the same nonconformity, the consumer shall give written notification of the need to repair the nonconformity to each of the motor home manufacturers at their respective corporate, zone, or regional office addresses to allow the motor home manufacturers to coordinate and complete a final attempt to cure the nonconformity. The motor home manufacturers each have fifteen days, commencing upon receipt of the notification, to respond and inform the consumer of the location of the facility where the vehicle will be repaired. If the vehicle is unsafe to drive due to a serious safety defect, or to the extent the repair facility is more than one hundred miles from the motor home location, the motor home manufacturers are responsible for the cost of transporting the vehicle to and from the repair facility. The motor home manufacturers have a cumulative total of thirty days, commencing upon delivery of the vehicle to the designated repair facility by the consumer, to conform the vehicle to the applicable motor home manufacturer's written warranty. This time period may be extended if the consumer agrees in writing. If a motor home manufacturer fails to respond to the consumer or perform the repairs within the time period prescribed, that motor home manufacturer is not entitled to a final attempt to cure the nonconformity.
(c) In the case of a new motor vehicle that is a motor home, if the vehicle is out of service by reason of diagnosis or repair of one or more nonconformities by the motor home manufacturers, their respective agents, or their respective new motor vehicle dealers for a cumulative total of thirty or more days aggregating all motor home manufacturer days out of service, the consumer shall so notify each motor home manufacturer in writing at their respective corporate, zone, or regional office addresses to allow the motor home manufacturers, their respective agents, or their respective new motor vehicle dealers an opportunity to coordinate and complete an inspection and any repairs of the vehicle's nonconformities. The motor home manufacturers have fifteen days, commencing upon receipt of the notification, to respond and inform the consumer of the location of the facility where the vehicle will be repaired. If the vehicle is unsafe to drive due to a serious safety defect, or to the extent the repair facility is more than one hundred miles from the motor home location, the motor home manufacturers are responsible for the cost of transporting the vehicle to and from the repair facility. Once the buyer delivers the vehicle to the designated repair facility, the inspection and repairs must be completed by the motor home manufacturers either
(i) within ten days or
(ii) before the vehicle is out of service by reason of diagnosis or repair of one or more nonconformities for sixty days, whichever time period is longer.
This time period may be extended if the consumer agrees in writing. If a motor home manufacturer fails to respond to the consumer or perform the repairs within the time period prescribed, that motor home manufacturer is not entitled to at least one opportunity to inspect and repair the vehicle's nonconformities after receipt of notification from the buyer as provided for in this subsection (3)(c).
(4) No new motor vehicle dealer may be held liable by the manufacturer for any collateral charges, incidental costs, purchase price refunds, or vehicle replacements. Manufacturers shall not have a cause of action against dealers under this chapter. Consumers shall not have a cause of action against dealers under this chapter, but a violation of any responsibilities imposed upon dealers under this chapter is a per se violation of chapter 19.86 RCW. Consumers may pursue rights and remedies against dealers under any other law, including chapters 46.70 and 46.71 RCW. Manufacturers and consumers may not make dealers parties to arbitration board proceedings under this chapter.

Washington Lemon Law RCW 19.118.061 Vehicle with nonconformities or out of service.

Notification of correction; Resale or transfer of title; Issuance of new title; Disclosure to buyer; Intervening transferor.

(1) A manufacturer shall be prohibited from reselling any motor vehicle determined or adjudicated as having a serious safety defect unless the serious safety defect has been corrected and the manufacturer warrants upon the first subsequent resale that the defect has been corrected.
(2) Before any sale or transfer of a vehicle that has been replaced or repurchased by the manufacturer that was determined or adjudicated as having a nonconformity or to have been out of service for thirty or more calendar days, or sixty or more calendar days in the case of a motor home, under this chapter, the manufacturer shall:
(a) Notify the attorney general and the department of licensing, by certified mail or by personal service, upon receipt of the motor vehicle;
(b) Attach a resale disclosure notice to the vehicle in a manner and form to be specified by the attorney general. Only the retail purchaser may remove the resale disclosure notice after execution of the disclosure form required under subsection (3) of this section; and
(c) Notify the attorney general and the department of licensing if the nonconformity in the motor vehicle is corrected.
(3) Upon the first subsequent resale, either at wholesale or retail, or transfer of title of a motor vehicle and which was previously returned after a final determination, adjudication, or settlement under this chapter or under a similar statute of any other state, the manufacturer, its agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer who has actual knowledge of said final determination, adjudication or settlement, shall execute and deliver to the buyer before sale an instrument in writing setting forth information identifying the nonconformity in a manner to be specified by the attorney general, and the department of licensing shall place on the certificate of title information indicating the vehicle was returned under this chapter.
(4) Upon receipt of the manufacturer's notification under subsection (2) of this section that the nonconformity has been corrected and upon the manufacturer's request and payment of any fees, the department of licensing shall issue a new title with information indicating the vehicle was returned under this chapter and that the nonconformity has been corrected. Upon the first subsequent resale, either at wholesale or retail, or transfer of title of a motor vehicle, as provided under subsection (2)(c) of this section, the manufacturer shall warrant upon the resale that the nonconformity has been corrected, and the manufacturer, its agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer who has actual knowledge of the corrected nonconformity, shall execute and deliver to the buyer before sale an instrument in writing setting forth information identifying the nonconformity and indicating that it has been corrected in a manner to be specified by the attorney general.
(5) After repurchase or replacement and following a manufacturer's receipt of a vehicle under this section and prior to a vehicle's first subsequent retail transfer by resale or lease, any intervening transferor of a vehicle subject to the requirements of this section who has received the disclosure, correction and warranty documents, as specified by the attorney general and required under this chapter, shall deliver the documents with the vehicle to the next transferor, purchaser or lessee to ensure proper and timely notice and disclosure. Any intervening transferor who fails to comply with this subsection shall, at the option of the subsequent transferor or first subsequent retail purchaser or lessee:
(a) Indemnify any subsequent transferor or first subsequent retail purchaser for all damages caused by such violation; or
(b) repurchase the vehicle at the full purchase price including all fees, taxes and costs incurred for goods and services which were included in the subsequent transaction.

Washington Lemon Law RCW 19.118.070 Remedies.

The remedies provided under this chapter are cumulative and are in addition to any other remedies provided by law.

Washington Lemon Law RCW 19.118.080 New motor vehicle arbitration boards.

Board proceedings; Prerequisite to filing action in superior court.

(1) Except as provided in RCW 19.118.160, the attorney general shall contract with one or more private entities to conduct arbitration proceedings in order to settle disputes between consumers and manufacturers as provided in this chapter, and each private entity shall constitute a new motor vehicle arbitration board for purposes of this chapter. The entities shall not be affiliated with any manufacturer or new motor vehicle dealer and shall have available the services of persons with automotive technical expertise to assist in resolving disputes under this chapter. No private entity or its officers or employees conducting board proceedings and no arbitrator presiding at such proceedings shall be directly involved in the manufacture, distribution, sale, or warranty service of any motor vehicle. Payment to the entities for the arbitration services shall be made from the new motor vehicle arbitration account.
(2) The attorney general shall adopt rules for the uniform conduct of the arbitrations by the boards whether conducted by a private entity or by the attorney general pursuant to RCW 19.118.160, which rules shall include but not be limited to the following procedures:
(a) At all arbitration proceedings, the parties are entitled to present oral and written testimony, to present witnesses and evidence relevant to the dispute, to cross-examine witnesses, and to be represented by counsel.
(b) A dealer, manufacturer, or other persons shall produce records and documents requested by a party which are reasonably related to the dispute. If a dealer, manufacturer, or other person refuses to comply with such a request, a party may present a request to the board for the attorney general to issue a subpoena on behalf of the board.
The subpoena shall be issued only for the production of records and documents which the board has determined are reasonably related to the dispute, including but not limited to documents described in RCW 19.118.031 (4) or (5).
If a party fails to comply with the subpoena, the arbitrator may at the outset of the arbitration hearing impose any of the following sanctions:
(i) Find that the matters which were the subject of the subpoena, or any other designated facts, shall be taken to be established for purposes of the hearing in accordance with the claim of the party which requested the subpoena;
(ii) refuse to allow the disobedient party to support or oppose the designated claims or defenses, or prohibit that party from introducing designated matters into evidence;
(iii) strike claims or defenses, or parts thereof; or
(iv) render a decision by default against the disobedient party.
If a nonparty fails to comply with a subpoena and upon an arbitrator finding that without such compliance there is insufficient evidence to render a decision in the dispute, the attorney general shall enforce such subpoena in superior court and the arbitrator shall continue the arbitration hearing until such time as the nonparty complies with the subpoena or the subpoena is quashed.
(c) A party may obtain written affidavits from employees and agents of a dealer, a manufacturer or other party, or from other potential witnesses, and may submit such affidavits for consideration by the board.
(d) Records of the board proceedings shall be open to the public. The hearings shall be open to the public to the extent practicable.
(e) Where the board proceedings are conducted by one or more private entities, a single arbitrator may be designated to preside at such proceedings.
(3) A consumer shall exhaust the new motor vehicle arbitration board remedy or informal dispute resolution settlement procedure under RCW 19.118.150 before filing any superior court action.
(4) The attorney general shall maintain records of each dispute submitted to the new motor vehicle arbitration board, including an index of new motor vehicles by year, make, and model.
(5) The attorney general shall compile aggregate annual statistics for all disputes submitted to, and decided by, the new motor vehicle arbitration board, as well as annual statistics for each manufacturer that include, but shall not be limited to, the number and percent of:
(a) Replacement motor vehicle requests;
(b) purchase price refund requests;
(c) replacement motor vehicles obtained in prehearing settlements;
(d) purchase price refunds obtained in prehearing settlements;
(e) replacement motor vehicles awarded in arbitration;
(f) purchase price refunds awarded in arbitration;
(g) board decisions neither complied with during the forty calendar day period nor petitioned for appeal within the thirty calendar day period;
(h) board decisions appealed categorized by consumer or manufacturer;
(i) the nature of the court decisions and who the prevailing party was;
(j) appeals that were held by the court to be brought without good cause; and
(k) appeals that were held by the court to be brought solely for the purpose of harassment. The statistical compilations shall be public information.
(6) The attorney general shall adopt rules to implement this chapter. Such rules shall include uniform standards by which the boards shall make determinations under this chapter, including but not limited to rules which provide:
(a) A board shall find that a nonconformity exists if it determines that the consumer's new motor vehicle has a defect, serious safety defect, or condition that substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of the vehicle.
(b) A board shall find that a reasonable number of attempts to repair a nonconformity have been undertaken if:
(i) The same serious safety defect has been subject to diagnosis or repair two or more times, at least one of which is during the period of coverage of the applicable manufacturer's written warranty, and the serious safety defect continues to exist;
(ii) the same nonconformity has been subject to diagnosis or repair four or more times, at least one of which is during the period of coverage of the applicable manufacturer's written warranty, and the nonconformity continues to exist; or
(iii) the vehicle is out of service by reason of diagnosis or repair of one or more nonconformities for a cumulative total of thirty calendar days, at least fifteen of them during the period of the applicable manufacturer's written warranty. For purposes of this subsection, the manufacturer's written warranty shall be at least one year after the date of the original delivery to the consumer of the vehicle or the first twelve thousand miles of operation, whichever occurs first.
(c) A board shall find that a manufacturer has failed to comply with RCW 19.118.041 if it finds that the manufacturer, its agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer has failed to correct a nonconformity after a reasonable number of attempts and the manufacturer has failed, within forty days of the consumer's written request, to repurchase the vehicle or replace the vehicle with a vehicle identical or reasonably equivalent to the vehicle being replaced.
(7) The attorney general shall provide consumers with information regarding the procedures and remedies under this chapter.

Washington Lemon Law RCW 19.118.090 Request for arbitration.

Eligibility; Rejection; Manufacturer's response; Remedies; Defenses; Acceptance or appeal.

(1) A consumer may request arbitration under this chapter by submitting the request to the attorney general. Within ten days after receipt of an arbitration request, the attorney general shall make a reasonable determination of the cause of the request for arbitration and provide necessary information to the consumer regarding the consumer's rights and remedies under this chapter. The attorney general shall assign the dispute to a board, except that if it clearly appears from the materials submitted by the consumer that the dispute is not eligible for arbitration, the attorney general may refuse to assign the dispute and shall explain any required procedures to the consumer.
(2) Manufacturers shall submit to arbitration if such arbitration is requested by the consumer within thirty months from the date of the original delivery of the new motor vehicle to a consumer at retail and if the consumer's dispute is deemed eligible for arbitration by the board. In the case of a motor home, the thirty-month period will be extended by the amount of time it takes the motor home manufacturers to complete the final repair attempt at the designated repair facility as provided for in RCW 19.118.041(3)(b).
(3) The new motor vehicle arbitration board may reject for arbitration any dispute that it determines to be frivolous, fraudulent, filed in bad faith, res judicata or beyond its authority. Any dispute deemed by the board to be ineligible for arbitration due to insufficient evidence may be reconsidered by the board upon the submission of other information or documents regarding the dispute that would allegedly qualify for relief under this chapter. Following a second review, the board may reject the dispute for arbitration if evidence is still clearly insufficient to qualify the dispute for relief under this chapter. A rejection by the board is subject to review by the attorney general or may be appealed under RCW 19.118.100.
A decision to reject any dispute for arbitration shall be sent by certified mail to the consumer and the manufacturer, and shall contain a brief explanation as to the reason therefore.
(4) The manufacturer shall complete a written manufacturer response to the consumer's request for arbitration. The manufacturer shall provide a response to the consumer and the board within ten calendar days from the date of the manufacturer's receipt of the board's notice of acceptance of a dispute for arbitration. The manufacturer response shall include all issues and affirmative defenses related to the nonconformities identified in the consumer's request for arbitration that the manufacturer intends to raise at the arbitration hearing.
(5) The arbitration board shall award the remedies under RCW 19.118.041 if it finds a nonconformity and that a reasonable number of attempts have been undertaken to correct the nonconformity. The board shall award reasonable costs and attorneys' fees incurred by the consumer where the manufacturer has been directly represented by counsel:
(a) In dealings with the consumer in response to a request to repurchase or replace under RCW 19.118.041;
(b) in settlement negotiations;
(c) in preparation of the manufacturer's statement; or
(d) at an arbitration board hearing or other board proceeding.
In the case of an arbitration involving a motor home, the board may allocate liability among the motor home manufacturers.
(6) 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 new motor vehicle; or
(b) the alleged nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modifications or alterations of the new motor vehicle.
(7) The board shall have forty-five calendar days from the date the board receives the consumer's request for arbitration to hear the dispute. If the board determines that additional information is necessary, the board may continue the arbitration proceeding on a subsequent date within ten calendar days of the initial hearing. The board shall decide the dispute within sixty calendar days from the date the board receives the consumer's request for arbitration.
The decision of the board shall be delivered by certified mail or personal service to the consumer and the manufacturer, and shall contain a written finding of whether the new motor vehicle meets the standards set forth under this chapter.
(8) The consumer may accept the arbitration board decision or appeal to superior court, pursuant to RCW 19.118.100. Upon acceptance by the consumer, the arbitration board decision shall become final. The consumer shall send written notification of acceptance or rejection to the arbitration board within sixty days of receiving the decision and the arbitration board shall immediately deliver a copy of the consumer's acceptance to the manufacturer by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by personal service. Failure of the consumer to respond to the arbitration board within sixty calendar days of receiving the decision shall be considered a rejection of the decision by the consumer. The consumer shall have one hundred twenty calendar days from the date of rejection to file a petition of appeal in superior court. At the time the petition of appeal is filed, the consumer shall deliver, by certified mail or personal service, a conformed copy of such petition to the attorney general.
(9) Upon receipt of the consumer's acceptance, the manufacturer shall have forty calendar days to comply with the arbitration board decision or thirty calendar days to file a petition of appeal in superior court. At the time the petition of appeal is filed, the manufacturer shall deliver, by certified mail or personal service, a conformed copy of such petition to the attorney general. If the attorney general receives no notice of petition of appeal after forty calendar days, the attorney general shall contact the consumer to verify compliance.

Washington Lemon Law RCW 19.118.095 Arbitration decision.

Compliance; Accomplishment; Dispute; Failure; Fine; Costs; Attorneys' fees.

(1) Compliance with an arbitration board decision under this chapter must be accomplished at a time, place, and in a manner to be determined by the mutual agreement of the consumer and manufacturer.
(a) The consumer shall make the motor vehicle available to the manufacturer free of damage other than that related to any nonconformity, defect, or condition to which a warranty applied, or that can reasonably be expected in the use of the vehicle for ordinary or reasonably intended purposes and in consideration of the mileage attributable to the consumer's use. Any insurance claims or settlement proceeds for repair of damage to the vehicle due to fire, theft, vandalism, or collision must be assigned to the manufacturer or, at the consumer's option, the repair must be completed before return of the vehicle to the manufacturer. The consumer may not remove any equipment or option that was included in the original purchase or lease of the vehicle or that is otherwise included in the repurchase or replacement award. In removing any equipment not included in the original purchase or lease, the consumer shall exercise reasonable care to avoid further damage to the vehicle but is not required to return the vehicle to original condition.
(b) At the time of compliance with an arbitration board decision that awards repurchase, the manufacturer shall make full payment to the consumers and either the lessor or lien holder, or both, or provide verification to the consumer of prior payment to either the lessor or lien holder, or both. At the time of compliance with an arbitration board decision that awards replacement, the manufacturer shall provide the replacement vehicle together with any refund of incidental costs.
(c) At any time before compliance a party may request the board to resolve disputes regarding compliance with the arbitration board decision including but not limited to time and place for compliance, condition of the vehicle to be returned, clarification or recalculation of refund amounts under the award, or a determination if an offered vehicle is reasonably equivalent to the vehicle being replaced. In resolving compliance disputes the board may not review, alter, or otherwise change the findings of a decision or extend the time for compliance beyond the time necessary for the board to resolve the dispute.
(d) Failure of the consumer to make the vehicle available within sixty calendar days in response to a manufacturer's unconditional tender of compliance is considered a rejection of the arbitration decision by the consumer, except as provided in (c) of this subsection or subsection (2) of this section.
(2) If, at the end of the forty calendar day period, neither compliance with nor a petition to appeal the board's decision has occurred, the attorney general may impose a fine of up to one thousand dollars per day until compliance occurs or a maximum penalty of one hundred thousand dollars accrues unless the manufacturer can provide clear and convincing evidence that any delay or failure was beyond its control or was acceptable to the consumer as evidenced by a written statement signed by the consumer. If the manufacturer fails to provide the evidence or fails to pay the fine, the attorney general may initiate proceedings against the manufacturer for failure to pay any fine that accrues until compliance with the board's decision occurs or the maximum penalty of one hundred thousand dollars results. If the attorney general prevails in an enforcement action regarding any fine imposed under this subsection, the attorney general is entitled to reasonable costs and attorneys' fees. Fines and recovered costs and fees shall be returned to the new motor vehicle arbitration account.

Washington Lemon Law RCW 19.118.100 Trial de novo.

Posting security; Recovery.

(1) The consumer or the manufacturer may request a trial de novo of the arbitration decision, including a rejection, in superior court.
(2) If the manufacturer appeals, the court may require the manufacturer to post security for the consumer's financial loss due to the passage of time for review.
(3) If the consumer prevails, recovery shall include the monetary value of the award, attorneys' fees and costs incurred in the superior court action, and, if the board awarded the consumer replacement or repurchase of the vehicle and the manufacturer did not comply, continuing damages in the amount of twenty-five dollars per day for all days beyond the forty calendar day period following the manufacturer's receipt of the consumer's acceptance of the board's decision in which the manufacturer did not provide the consumer with the free use of a comparable loaner replacement motor vehicle. If it is determined by the court that the party that appealed acted without good cause in bringing the appeal or brought the appeal solely for the purpose of harassment, the court may triple, but at least shall double, the amount of the total award.

Washington Lemon Law RCW 19.118.110 Arbitration fee

New motor vehicle arbitration account; Report by attorney general.

A three-dollar arbitration fee shall be collected by either the new motor vehicle dealer or vehicle lessor from the consumer upon execution of a retail sale or lease agreement. The fee shall be forwarded to the department of licensing at the time of title application for deposit in the new motor vehicle arbitration account hereby created in the state treasury. Moneys in the account shall be used for the purposes of this chapter, subject to appropriation. During the 1995-97 fiscal biennium, the legislature may transfer moneys from the account to the extent that the moneys are not necessary for the purposes of this chapter.
At the end of each fiscal year, the attorney general shall prepare a report listing the annual revenue generated and the expenses incurred in implementing and operating the arbitration program under this chapter.

Washington Lemon Law RCW 19.118.120 Application of consumer protection act.

A violation of this chapter shall constitute an unfair or deceptive trade practice affecting the public interest under chapter 19.86 RCW. All public and private remedies provided under that chapter shall be available to enforce this chapter.

Washington Lemon Law RCW 19.118.130 Waivers, limitations, disclaimers; Void.

Any agreement entered into by a consumer for the purchase of a new motor vehicle that waives, limits, or disclaims the rights set forth in RCW 19.118.021 through 19.118.140 shall be void as contrary to public policy. Said rights shall extend to a subsequent transferee of such new motor vehicle.

Washington Lemon Law RCW 19.118.140 Other rights and remedies not precluded.

Nothing in this chapter limits the consumer from pursuing other rights or remedies under any other law.

Washington Lemon Law RCW 19.118.150 Informal dispute resolution settlement procedure.
If a manufacturer has established an informal dispute resolution settlement procedure which substantially complies with the applicable provision of Title 16, Code of Federal Regulations Part 703, as from time to time amended, a consumer may choose to first submit a dispute under this chapter to the informal dispute resolution settlement procedure.

Washington Lemon Law RCW 19.118.170 History of vehicle.

Availability to owner.

Notwithstanding RCW 46.12.380, the department of licensing shall make available to the registered owner all title history information regarding the vehicle upon request of the registered owner and receipt of a statement that he or she is investigating or pursuing rights under this chapter.