STANDARDS OF THE RHODE ISLAND LEMON LAW
The following is a brief explanation of most relevant provisions of the Rhode Island
lemon law. The complete text of the lemon law can be found at Rhode Island Gen. Laws
§ 31-5.2-1 et seq.
The Rhode Island lemon law cover any “motor vehicle”, defined as an automobile, truck,
motorcycle, or van with a registered gross vehicle weight of less than 10,000 pounds.
The motor vehicle must be sold, leased or replaced by a dealer or manufacturer after
May 11, 1984. The lemon law covers used vehicles but does not cover motorized
The lemon law covers the following consumers:
1. The buyer, other than for purposes of resale, of a motor vehicle;
2. Any person to whom the motor vehicle is transferred for the same purposes during
the duration of any express or implied warranty applicable to the motor vehicle;
3. Any other person entitled by the terms of the warranty to enforce its obligations; and
4. The lessee of a motor vehicle for one year or more pursuant to a written lease
agreement that makes the lessee responsible for repairs to the vehicle or the lessee of
a motor vehicle pursuant to a lease-purchase agreement.
The lemon law applies to vehicle converters.
The lemon law covers any nonconformity, which is defined as any specific or generic
defect or malfunction, or any concurrent combination of defects or malfunctions, that
substantially impairs the use, market value or safety of the motor vehicle.
The lemon law provides manufacturers with an affirmative defense if it can be shown
that the alleged nonconformity does not substantially impair the use, market value, or
safety of the motor vehicle, or the nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect, or
unauthorized substantial modification or alteration of a motor vehicle by the consumer.
LEMON LAW COVERAGE PERIOD
The Rhode Island lemon law establishes a term of protection ending one year or 15,000
miles after the date of the motor vehicle’s original delivery to the consumer, whichever
More at: bbb.org/us/auto-line/state-lemon-laws/