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2013 - 2014 LEGISLATURE
May 13, 2013 - Introduced by Representatives Kramer, LeMahieu, Williams,
Craig, Kuglitsch, Thiesfeldt, Schraa, Czaja, Murphy, Tittl, Jacque, Stone,
Kleefisch, Steineke, Suder, Neylon, Murtha, Nygren, Severson, Ballweg,
A. Ott, Jagler, Nerison, Petryk, August, Mursau, Kaufert, Sanfelippo,
Loudenbeck, Kestell, Ripp, Tauchen, Weatherston, Spiros, Swearingen,
Bies, Born, Honadel, T. Larson, Knodl, Stroebel, Strachota, Weininger,
Bernier, Kooyenga and Pridemore, cosponsored by Senators Petrowski,
Farrow and Vukmir. Referred to Committee on Judiciary.
AB200,1,5 1An Act to renumber and amend 218.0171 (2) (c); to amend 218.0171 (2) (b)
22. a., 218.0171 (2) (cm) 1. and 2. and 218.0171 (7); and to create 218.0171 (1)
3(am), 218.0171 (1) (g), 218.0171 (2) (c) 3., 4. and 5., 218.0171 (2) (cm) 4., 218.0171
4(6m), 218.0171 (8) and 227.01 (13) (yd) of the statutes; relating to: the law
5governing repair, replacement, and refund under a motor vehicle warranty.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Currently the law governing repair, replacement, and refund under a motor
vehicle warranty, commonly referred to as the "lemon law," provides remedies for a
person who purchases, receives, or leases (consumer) a motor vehicle that is under
an express warranty and that has a nonconformity. A "nonconformity" is defined as
a condition or defect that substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of the motor
vehicle and that is covered by an express warranty, but does not include a condition
or defect that is the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modification or
alteration of the motor vehicle by the consumer.
Under current law, if a consumer reports a nonconformity to the manufacturer
or manufacturer's agent such as the importer or distributor (manufacturer), the
lessor of the motor vehicle (lessor) if the consumer is leasing the vehicle, or any of the
manufacturer's authorized motor vehicle dealers (authorized dealers) and if the
consumer makes the motor vehicle available for repair before the warranty expires
or within one year after first delivery of the motor vehicle to a consumer, whichever
is sooner, the consumer is entitled to have the nonconformity repaired. If, after a

reasonable attempt to repair, the nonconformity is not repaired, the manufacturer
must provide the consumer with a comparable new motor vehicle or a refund, at the
consumer's option. "Reasonable attempt to repair" is defined as any of the following
occurring within the warranty period or within one year after first delivery of the
motor vehicle to a consumer, whichever is sooner: 1) the same nonconformity is
subject to repair by the manufacturer, lessor, or authorized dealer at least four times
and the nonconformity continues; or 2) the motor vehicle is out of service for an
aggregate of at least 30 days because of nonconformities. To receive a comparable
new motor vehicle or a refund, the consumer must offer to transfer title of the vehicle
with the nonconformity to the manufacturer and, within 30 days after this offer, the
manufacturer must provide the consumer with the comparable new motor vehicle or
refund. When the manufacturer provides the new motor vehicle or refund, the
consumer must return the vehicle with the nonconformity to the manufacturer along
with necessary vehicle title documents. If another person is in possession of the
vehicle's certificate of title, that person must provide the certificate to the
manufacturer or to the consumer. In addition to the new replacement vehicle or
refund, the consumer may bring a civil action to recover damages caused by a lemon
law violation. If the consumer prevails, the court must award the consumer twice
the amount of any pecuniary loss, along with costs and reasonable attorney fees.
This bill creates a definition of "out of service," which affects whether a
"reasonable attempt to repair" has been made under item 2), above. Under the bill,
"out of service" means that a motor vehicle is unable to be used by the consumer for
the vehicle's intended purpose as a result of any of the following: 1) the vehicle is in
the possession of the manufacturer, lessor, or authorized dealer for the purpose of
performing or attempting repairs to correct a nonconformity; or 2) the vehicle is in
the consumer's possession and all of the following apply: a) the vehicle has a
nonconformity that substantially affects the use or safety of the vehicle and that has
been subject to a previous repair attempt to correct the same nonconformity; and b)
the consumer has reported, in writing, the nonconformity to the manufacturer,
lessor, or authorized dealer and the manufacturer, lessor, or dealer has refused to
accept the vehicle for the purpose of performing or attempting subsequent repairs.
Under the bill, if a consumer elects to receive a comparable new motor vehicle
or a refund and offers to transfer title of the vehicle with the nonconformity to the
manufacturer, the deadline for the manufacturer to provide the consumer with the
comparable new motor vehicle or refund, discussed further below, is measured from
the later of the election or the offer, except as discussed below. The bill also requires
a consumer requesting a refund to provide to the manufacturer, in a form and
manner prescribed by the Department of Transportation (DOT), all information
timely requested and required by the manufacturer and any written consent to allow
the manufacturer to provide the refund. The consumer must provide this
information during or prior to the 30-day period that commences with the later of
the consumer's election of the refund or the consumer's offer to transfer title to the
manufacturer of the vehicle with the nonconformity. If the consumer fails to provide
any of this information by the end of this 30-day period, the consumer may not bring
a civil action to recover damages caused by a lemon law violation. Also, if a consumer

elects to receive a refund, the deadline for the manufacturer to provide the consumer
with the refund can be no earlier than ten days after the manufacturer receives from
the consumer the required information and consent in the form and manner
prescribed by DOT.
The bill also extends the time in which a manufacturer must provide a
comparable new motor vehicle to a consumer who elects to receive a comparable new
motor vehicle, from 30 days to 45 days after the later of the election or offer. If no
comparable new motor vehicle is available for delivery within this 45-day period, the
manufacturer must provide a refund in lieu of providing the comparable new motor
vehicle. The manufacturer must exercise due diligence in locating and providing a
comparable new motor vehicle during this 45-day period. These changes also apply
if the comparable new motor vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle, except that the
applicable period is 120 days rather than 45 days.
The bill also imposes additional limitations on civil actions brought to recover
damages caused by lemon law violations. Under the bill, any action must be
commenced within 24 months after first delivery of the motor vehicle to a consumer.
The bill also makes an award for pecuniary loss, costs, and attorney fees to a
prevailing consumer in such an action discretionary with the court or jury rather
than mandatory. The bill further eliminates the provision requiring the award of
twice the amount of a prevailing consumer's pecuniary loss and instead allows an
award of up to the amount of the prevailing consumer's pecuniary loss.
This bill specifies that, if a consumer enters into a negotiated written
settlement with the manufacturer regarding a vehicle nonconformity, the
manufacturer is no longer subject to any requirement under the lemon law with
respect to that vehicle.
Also under this bill, if a consumer returns a vehicle with a nonconformity to the
manufacturer and another person is in possession of the vehicle's certificate of title,
that person must provide the certificate of title to the manufacturer, not the
consumer, upon satisfaction of any security interest in the vehicle.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
AB200, s. 1 1Section 1. 218.0171 (1) (am) of the statutes is created to read:
AB200,3,42 218.0171 (1) (am) 1. Subject to subd. 2., "commercial motor vehicle" means a
3motor vehicle designed to transport passengers or property and having one or more
4of the following characteristics:
AB200,4,3
1a. The vehicle is a single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001
2or more pounds or the vehicle's registered weight or actual gross weight is more than
326,000 pounds.
AB200,4,74 b. The vehicle is a combination vehicle with a gross combination weight rating,
5registered weight or actual gross weight of 26,001 or more pounds inclusive of a
6towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating, registered weight or actual gross
7weight of more than 10,000 pounds.
AB200,4,128 c. The vehicle is designed to transport the driver and 15 or more passengers.
9If the vehicle is equipped with bench type seats intended to seat more than one
10person, the passenger-carrying capacity shall be determined under s. 340.01 (31) or,
11if the vehicle is a school bus, by dividing the total seating space measured in inches
12by 13.
AB200,4,1413 2. "Commercial motor vehicle" does not include a motor home, as defined in s.
14340.01 (33m).
AB200, s. 2 15Section 2. 218.0171 (1) (g) of the statutes is created to read:
AB200,4,1816 218.0171 (1) (g) "Out of service," with respect to a motor vehicle, means that
17the vehicle is unable to be used by the consumer for the vehicle's intended purpose
18as a result of any of the following:
AB200,4,2119 1. The vehicle is in the possession of the manufacturer, motor vehicle lessor, or
20any of the manufacturer's authorized motor vehicle dealers for the purpose of
21performing or attempting repairs to correct a nonconformity.
AB200,4,2222 2. The vehicle is in the possession of the consumer and all of the following apply:
AB200,4,2523 a. The vehicle has a nonconformity that substantially affects the use or safety
24of the vehicle and that has been subject to a previous repair attempt to correct the
25same nonconformity.
AB200,5,4
1b. The consumer has reported, in writing, the nonconformity to the
2manufacturer, motor vehicle lessor, or manufacturer's authorized motor vehicle
3dealer and the manufacturer, lessor, or dealer has refused to accept the vehicle for
4the purpose of performing or attempting subsequent repairs.
AB200, s. 3 5Section 3. 218.0171 (2) (b) 2. a. of the statutes is amended to read:
AB200,5,86 218.0171 (2) (b) 2. a. Accept return of the motor vehicle and, subject to par. (c)
73. and 4.,
replace the motor vehicle with a comparable new motor vehicle and refund
8any collateral costs.
AB200, s. 4 9Section 4. 218.0171 (2) (c) of the statutes is renumbered 218.0171 (2) (c) 1. and
10amended to read:
AB200,5,1411 218.0171 (2) (c) 1. To receive a comparable new motor vehicle or a refund due
12under par. (b) 1. or 2., a consumer described under sub. (1) (b) 1., 2. or 3. shall offer
13to the manufacturer of the motor vehicle having the nonconformity to transfer title
14of that motor vehicle to that manufacturer. No
AB200,5,23 152. Subject to subd. 5., if the consumer elects a refund, no later than 30 days after
16that the offer under subd. 1. or the election of the refund, whichever is later, the
17manufacturer shall provide the consumer with the comparable new motor vehicle or
18refund. During or prior to this 30-day period, the consumer shall provide to the
19manufacturer, in a form and manner prescribed by the department of transportation,
20all information timely requested and required by the manufacturer and any written
21consent to allow the manufacturer to provide the refund. If the consumer fails to
22provide any of this information by the end of this 30-day period, the consumer may
23not bring an action under sub. (7).
AB200,6,6 246. When the manufacturer provides the new motor vehicle or refund, the
25consumer shall return the motor vehicle having the nonconformity to the

1manufacturer and provide the manufacturer with the certificate of title and all
2endorsements necessary to transfer title to the manufacturer. If another person is
3in possession of the certificate of title, as shown by the records of the department of
4transportation, that person shall, upon request of the consumer, provide the
5certificate of title to the manufacturer or to the consumer upon satisfaction of any
6security interest in the motor vehicle
.
AB200, s. 5 7Section 5. 218.0171 (2) (c) 3., 4. and 5. of the statutes are created to read:
AB200,6,188 218.0171 (2) (c) 3. Except as provided in this subdivision, if the consumer elects
9a comparable new motor vehicle, no later than 45 days after the offer under subd. 1.
10or the election of the new motor vehicle, whichever is later, the manufacturer shall
11provide the consumer with the comparable new motor vehicle. The manufacturer
12shall exercise due diligence in locating and providing a comparable new motor
13vehicle within this 45-day period. If no comparable new motor vehicles exists or if
14a comparable new motor vehicle is otherwise unavailable for delivery within this
1545-day period, the manufacturer shall provide a refund in lieu of providing a
16comparable new motor vehicle and shall provide this refund no later than 45 days
17after the offer under subd. 1. or the election of the new motor vehicle, whichever is
18later. This subdivision does not apply with respect to commercial motor vehicles.
AB200,7,519 4. Except as provided in this subdivision, if the consumer elects a comparable
20new commercial motor vehicle, no later than 120 days after the offer under subd. 1.
21or the election of the new commercial motor vehicle, whichever is later, the
22manufacturer shall provide the consumer with the comparable new commercial
23motor vehicle. The manufacturer shall exercise due diligence in locating and
24providing a comparable new commercial motor vehicle within this 120-day period.
25If no comparable new commercial motor vehicles exists or if a comparable new

1commercial motor vehicle is otherwise unavailable for delivery within this 120-day
2period, the manufacturer shall provide a refund in lieu of providing a comparable
3new commercial motor vehicle and shall provide this refund no later than 120 days
4after the offer under subd. 1. or the election of the new commercial motor vehicle,
5whichever is later.
AB200,7,96 5. A manufacturer is not required to provide a consumer with a refund under
7subd. 2. less than 10 days after the manufacturer receives from the consumer the
8information and consent required under subd. 2., in the form and manner specified
9in sub. (8).
AB200, s. 6 10Section 6. 218.0171 (2) (cm) 1. and 2. of the statutes are amended to read:
AB200,7,2211 218.0171 (2) (cm) 1. To receive a refund due under par. (b) 3., a consumer
12described under sub. (1) (b) 4. shall offer to the manufacturer of the motor vehicle
13having the nonconformity to return that motor vehicle to that manufacturer. No
14Subject to subd. 4., no later than 30 days after that offer, the manufacturer shall
15provide the refund to the consumer. During or prior to this 30-day period, the
16consumer shall provide to the manufacturer, in a form and manner prescribed by the
17department of transportation, all information timely requested and required by the
18manufacturer and any written consent to allow the manufacturer to provide the
19refund. If the consumer fails to provide any of this information by the end of this
2030-day period, the consumer may not bring an action under sub. (7).
When the
21manufacturer provides the refund, the consumer shall return the motor vehicle
22having the nonconformity to the manufacturer.
AB200,8,1123 2. To receive a refund due under par. (b) 3., a motor vehicle lessor shall offer to
24the manufacturer of the motor vehicle having the nonconformity to transfer title of
25that motor vehicle to that manufacturer. No Subject to subd. 4., no later than 30 days

1after that offer, the manufacturer shall provide the refund to the motor vehicle lessor.
2During or prior to this 30-day period, the consumer shall provide to the
3manufacturer, in a form and manner prescribed by the department of transportation,
4all information timely requested and required by the manufacturer and any written
5consent to allow the manufacturer to provide the refund.
When the manufacturer
6provides the refund, the motor vehicle lessor shall provide to the manufacturer the
7certificate of title and all endorsements necessary to transfer title to the
8manufacturer. If another person is in possession of the certificate of title, as shown
9by the records of the department of transportation, that person shall, upon request
10of the motor vehicle lessor, provide the certificate to the manufacturer or to the motor
11vehicle lessor.
AB200, s. 7 12Section 7. 218.0171 (2) (cm) 4. of the statutes is created to read:
AB200,8,1613 218.0171 (2) (cm) 4. A manufacturer is not required to provide a consumer with
14a refund under subd. 1. or a motor vehicle lessor a refund under subd. 2. less than
1510 days after the manufacturer receives from the consumer the information and
16consent required under subd. 1. or 2., in the form and manner specified in sub. (8).
AB200, s. 8 17Section 8. 218.0171 (6m) of the statutes is created to read:
AB200,8,2118 218.0171 (6m) Notwithstanding subs. (2) (b) and (6), if the consumer enters
19into a negotiated written settlement with the manufacturer regarding any motor
20vehicle nonconformity, the manufacturer shall no longer be subject to any
21requirement of this section with respect to that motor vehicle.
AB200, s. 9 22Section 9. 218.0171 (7) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB200,9,423 218.0171 (7) In Subject to subs. (2) (c) 2. and (cm) 1. and (3), in addition to
24pursuing any other remedy, a consumer may bring an action to recover for any
25damages caused by a violation of this section if the action is commenced within 24

1months after first delivery of the motor vehicle to a consumer
. The court shall or jury
2may
award a consumer who prevails in such an action twice up to the amount of any
3pecuniary loss, together with costs, disbursements and reasonable attorney fees, and
4any equitable relief the court determines appropriate.
AB200, s. 10 5Section 10. 218.0171 (8) of the statutes is created to read:
AB200,9,86 218.0171 (8) The department of transportation shall prescribe a form and
7manner for consumers to provide information and consent to manufacturers for
8purposes of sub. (2) (c) 2. and (cm) 1. and 2.
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