Iowa Lemon Law (322G.7 - 322G.15)
To facilitate uniform application, interpretation, and enforcement of this section and section 322G.6, and in implementing rules adopted pursuant to section 322G.14, the attorney general may cooperate with agencies that perform similar functions in any other states that enact these or similar sections. The cooperation authorized by this subsection may include any of the following:
- Establishing a central depository for copies of all applications and accompanying materials submitted by manufacturers for certification, and all reports prepared, notices issued, and determinations made by the attorney general under section 322G.6.
- Sharing and exchanging information, documents, and records pertaining to program operations.
- Sharing personnel to perform joint reviews, surveys, and investigations of program operations.
- Preparing joint reports evaluating program operations.
- Granting joint certifications and certification renewals.
- Issuing joint denials or revocations of certification.
- Holding a joint administrative hearing.
- Formulating, in accordance with chapter 17A, the administrative procedure Act, rules or proposed rules on matters such as guidelines, forms, statements of policy, interpretative opinions, and any other information necessary to implement section 322G.6.
- If a consumer resorts to a manufacturer’s certified program and a decision is not rendered within the time periods allowed in this chapter, or a manufacturer has no certified program and the consumer has notified the manufacturer pursuant to section 322G.4, subsection 1, the consumer may file an action in district court under this chapter within one year from the expiration of the lemon law rights period or an extension of the period pursuant to section 322G.4, subsection 3.
- If a consumer resorts to a manufacturer’s certified program and is not satisfied with the performance of the manufacturer as ordered in the decision, or the manufacturer does not perform as directed by the decision within the time period specified in the decision, the consumer may file an action in district court under this chapter within six months after the date prescribed in the decision by which the manufacturer must fulfill the terms of the decision. If the consumer declines to accept the decision of the manufacturer’s certified program, the consumer may appeal the decision pursuant to subsection 4. For purposes of this subsection, “not satisfied with the performance of the decision” means, following the consumer’s acceptance of the decision, the consumer indicates that the manufacturer failed to comply with the terms of the decision within the time specified in the decision or failed to cure the nonconformity within the time specified in the decision if further repairs were ordered.
- In an action under either subsection 1 or 2, the court shall award a consumer who prevails the amount of any pecuniary loss, including relief the consumer is entitled to under section 322G.4, subsection 2, reasonable attorney’s fees, and costs. In addition, if the court affirms the decision of the certified program, the court may award any additional amounts allowed under subsection 7.
- A certified program’s decision is final unless appealed by either party. A petition to the district court to appeal a decision must be made within fifty days after receipt of the decision or within twenty-five days from the date the consumer indicates acceptance of the decision to the manufacturer, whichever occurs first. Within seven days after the petition has been filed, the appealing party must send, by certified, registered, or express mail, a copy of the petition to the attorney general. If the attorney general receives no notice of the petition within sixty days after the manufacturer’s receipt of a decision in favor of the consumer, and the consumer has indicated acceptance of the decision within the twenty-five days of receipt of the decision, but the manufacturer has neither complied with, nor petitioned to appeal the decision, the attorney general may apply to the court to impose a fine up to one thousand dollars per day against the manufacturer until the amount stands at twice the purchase price of the motor vehicle, unless the manufacturer provides clear and convincing evidence that the 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 such evidence or fails to pay the fine, the attorney general shall initiate proceedings against the manufacturer for failure to pay the fine. The proceeds from the fine imposed shall be placed in the attorney general’s motor vehicle fraud and odometer law enforcement fund for implementation and enforcement of this chapter.
- If the manufacturer fails to comply with a decision which has been timely accepted by the consumer or fails to file a timely petition for appeal, the court shall affirm the board’s decision upon application by the consumer.
- An appeal of a decision by a certified program to the court by a consumer or a manufacturer shall be tried de novo, and may be based upon stipulated facts. In a written petition to appeal a decision by the board, the appealing party must state the action requested and the grounds relied upon for appeal.
- If a decision of the certified program in favor of the consumer is affirmed or upheld by the court, recovery by the consumer shall include the pecuniary value of the award, including relief the consumer is entitled to under section 322G.4, subsection 2, attorney’s fees incurred in obtaining confirmation of the award, and all costs and continuing damages in an amount of twenty-five dollars per day for all days beyond the twenty-five-day period following the manufacturer’s receipt of the consumer’s acceptance of the certified program’s decision. If a court determines that a manufacturer filed a petition for appeal to be tried de novo in bad faith or brought such an appeal solely for the purpose of harassment, the court shall double, and may triple, the amount of the total award, after consideration of all circumstances.
- Appellate review of a court decision in favor of the consumer may be conditioned upon payment by the manufacturer of the consumer’s attorney’s fees and giving security for costs and expenses resulting from the review period.
- This chapter does not prohibit a consumer from pursuing other rights or remedies under any other law.
The attorney general may enforce and ensure compliance with the provisions of this chapter and rules adopted pursuant to section 322G.14, may issue subpoenas requiring the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence, and may petition any court having jurisdiction to compel compliance with the subpoenas. The attorney general may levy and collect an administrative fine in an amount not to exceed one thousand dollars for each violation against any manufacturer found to be in violation of this chapter or rules adopted pursuant to section 322G.14. A manufacturer may request a hearing pursuant to chapter 17A, the administrative procedure Act, if the manufacturer contests the fine levied against it. The proceeds from any fine levied and collected pursuant to this section shall be placed in the attorney general’s motor vehicle fraud and odometer law enforcement fund for implementation and enforcement of this chapter.
A violation by a manufacturer of this chapter is an unfair or deceptive trade practice in violation of section 714.16, subsection 2, paragraph “a”.
This chapter, except for the requirements of section 322G.12, does not impose any liability on a franchised motor vehicle dealer or create a cause of action by a consumer against a dealer. A dealer shall not be made a party defendant in any action involving or relating to this chapter, except as provided in this section. The manufacturer shall not charge back or require reimbursement by the dealer for any costs, including but not limited to any refunds or vehicle replacements, incurred by the manufacturer pursuant to this chapter, in the absence of a finding by a court that the related repairs had been carried out by the dealer in a manner substantially inconsistent with the manufacturer’s published instructions. A manufacturer who is found by a court to have improperly charged back a dealer because of a violation of this section is liable to the injured dealer for full reimbursement plus reasonable costs and any attorney’s fees.
A manufacturer who accepts the return of a motor vehicle pursuant to a settlement, determination, or decision under this chapter shall notify the state department of transportation, report the vehicle identification number of that motor vehicle within ten days after the acceptance, and obtain a new certificate of title for the vehicle in the manufacturer’s name pursuant to section 321.46. In obtaining a new certificate of title, the manufacturer shall title the vehicle in the county of the transferor’s residence and shall be exempt from the registration fee requirements of section 321.46 and the fee for new registration under section 321.105A. The new certificate of title, and all subsequent registration receipts and certificates of title issued for the motor vehicle, shall contain a designation indicating that the motor vehicle was returned to the manufacturer pursuant to this chapter or a similar law of another state. The state department of transportation shall determine the manner in which the designation is to be indicated on registration receipts and certificates of title and may determine that a “REBUILT” or “SALVAGE” designation supersedes the designation required by this paragraph and include the “REBUILT” or “SALVAGE” designation on the registration receipt and certificate of title in lieu of the designation required by this paragraph.
A person shall not knowingly lease, sell, either at wholesale or retail, or transfer a title to a motor vehicle returned by reason of a settlement, determination, or decision pursuant to this chapter or a similar law of another state unless the nature of the nonconformity is clearly and conspicuously disclosed to the prospective transferee, lessee, or buyer. The attorney general shall prescribe by rule the form, content, and procedure pertaining to such a disclosure statement, recognizing the need of manufacturers to implement a uniform disclosure form. The manufacturer shall make a reasonable effort to ensure that such disclosure is made to the first subsequent retail buyer or lessee. For purposes of this section, “settlement” includes an agreement entered into between the manufacturer and the consumer that occurs after the thirtieth day following the manufacturer’s receipt of the consumer’s written notification pursuant to section 322G.4.
Any agreement entered into by a consumer that waives, limits, or disclaims the rights set forth in this chapter is void as contrary to public policy.
- The attorney general shall adopt rules as necessary to implement this chapter.
- In prescribing rules and forms under this chapter, the attorney general may cooperate with agencies that perform similar functions in other states with a view to effectuating the policy of this chapter to achieve maximum uniformity in the form and content of certification, regulation, and procedural evaluation of manufacturer-established programs, required recordkeeping, required reporting wherever practicable, and required notices to consumers.
- This chapter takes effect July 1, 1991, and applies to motor vehicles originally purchased or leased by consumers on or after that date.
- This chapter applies to motor vehicles originally purchased or leased in this state and, except for section 322G.3, subsections 1 and 2, and section 322G.6, subsection 1, applies to motor vehicles originally purchased or leased in other states, if the consumer is a resident of this state at the time the consumer’s rights are asserted under this chapter.
- JD Haas & Associates PLLC Managing Attorney JD Haas Iowa Bar No: 3360
- Co-counsel, Thompson Consumer Law Group PLLC (Managing Attorney Russell S. Thompson IV, Arizona Bar No: 029098)
- Co-counsel, Weisberg Consumer Law Group PA (Managing Attorney Alex Weisberg, Florida Bar No: 0566551)
In Iowa and through this site, JD Haas & Associates PLLC provides Lemon Law representation with Weisberg Consumer Law Group PA and litigates claims under state and federal consumer financial protection laws dealing with vehicles with Thompson Consumer Law Group. Click here for more information about these law firms and how they may be able to help you.