(2) The Legislature further finds that any agreement under the provisions of article six-a, chapter seventeen-a of this code, or any agreement hereafter amended or entered into between a dealer and manufacturer which would transfer to the dealer any duty, or all or any part of the cost of performing any duty imposed on the manufacturer by the provisions of this article, or which would directly or indirectly charge the dealer for or reduce the payment or reimbursement due the dealer for performing work or furnishing parts required by this article to be provided by either the dealer or manufacturer, so as to shift to the dealer all or any part of the cost of the manufacturer's compliance with this article, to be against public policy, void and unenforceable.
(1) "Consumer" means the purchaser, other than for purposes of resale, of a new motor vehicle used primarily for personal, family or household purposes, a person to whom the new motor vehicle is transferred for the same purposes during the duration of an express warranty applicable to the motor vehicle and any other person entitled by the terms of the warranty to enforce the obligations of the warranty;
(2) "Manufacturer" means a person engaged in the business of manufacturing, assembling or distributing motor vehicles, who will, under normal business conditions during the year, manufacture, assemble or distribute to dealers at least ten new motor vehicles;
(3) "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 obligations under that warranty; and
(4) "Motor vehicle" means any passenger automobile purchased in this state or registered and titled in this state, including any pickup truck or van registered as a Class A motor vehicle under the provisions of article ten, chapter seventeen-a of this code, and any self-propelled motor vehicle chassis of a motor home registered as a Class A or Class B motor vehicle under the provisions of article ten, chapter seventeen-a of this code.
(b) If the manufacturer, its agents or its authorized dealer are unable to conform the new motor vehicle to any applicable express warranty by repairing or correcting any defect or condition which substantially impairs the use or market value of the motor vehicle to the consumer after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer shall replace the new motor vehicle with a comparable new motor vehicle which does conform to the warranties.
(c) No authorized dealer shall be held liable by the manufacturer for any refunds or vehicle replacements in the absence of evidence indicating that the dealership repairs have been carried out in a manner substantially inconsistent with the manufacturer's instruction. This section does not create any cause of action by a consumer against an authorized dealer.
This disclosure requirement does not apply to identical replacement of stolen or damaged accessories or their components, tires or antennae.
For purposes of this section, a motor vehicle is not a new motor vehicle when it has been previously titled or the motor vehicle has been damaged in such a manner that, were the damage not repaired, the value and usability of the motor vehicle would be substantially impaired.
(b) In any action under this section, the consumer may be awarded all or any portion of the following:
(1) Revocation of acceptance and refund of the purchase price, including, but not limited to, sales tax, license and registration fees, and other reasonable expenses incurred for the purchase of the new motor vehicle, or if there be no such revocation of acceptance, damages for diminished value of the motor vehicle;
(2) Damages for the cost of repairs reasonably required to conform the motor vehicle to the express warranty;
(3) Damages for the loss of use, annoyance or inconvenience resulting from the nonconformity, including, but not limited to, reasonable expenses incurred for replacement transportation during any period when the vehicle is not out of service by reason of the nonconformity or by reason of repair; and
(4) Reasonable attorney fees.
(c) It is an affirmative defense to any claim under this section (i) that an alleged nonconformity does not substantially impair the use or market value or (ii) that a nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect or unauthorized modifications or alterations of a motor vehicle by anyone other than the manufacturer, its agent or its authorized dealer.
(d) An action brought under this section by the consumer must be commenced within one year of the expiration of the express warranty term.
(e) The cause of action provided for in this section shall be available only against the manufacturer.
(b)If the nonconformity results in a condition which is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury if the vehicle is driven, it is presumed that a reasonable number of attempts have been undertaken to conform the vehicle to the applicable express warranties if the nonconformity has been subject to repair at least once by the manufacturer within the express warranty term or during the period of one year following the date of original delivery of the motor vehicle to a consumer, whichever is the earlier date, and the nonconformity continues to exist.
(c) The presumption that a reasonable number of attempts have been undertaken to conform a new motor vehicle to the applicable express warranties applies against a manufacturer only if the manufacturer has received prior written notification from or on behalf of the consumer and has had at least one opportunity to cure the defect alleged.
(d) The term of an express warranty, the one-year period and the thirty-day period shall be extended by any period of time during which repair services are not available to the consumer because of a war, invasion, strike or fire, flood or other natural disaster.
(b) If a qualified third party dispute resolution process exists and the consumer receives timely notification in writing of the availability of the third party process with a description of its operation and effect, the cause of action under section four of this article may not be asserted by the consumer until after the consumer has initially resorted to the third party process. Notification of the availability of the third party process must be timely to the consumer. If a qualified third party dispute resolution process does not exist, or if the consumer is dissatisfied with the third party decision, or if the manufacturer, its agent or its authorized dealer fails to promptly fulfill the terms of the third party decision, the consumer may assert a cause of action under section four of this article.
(c) Any period of limitation of actions under any federal or West Virginia laws with respect to any consumer shall be tolled for the period between the date a complaint is filed with a third party dispute resolution process and the date of its decision or the date before which the manufacturer, its agent or its authorized dealer is required by the decision to fulfill its terms, whichever occurs later.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.