CHAPTER 743b*
NEW AUTOMOBILE WARRANTIES

      *See also chapter 743f (Sec. 42-220 et seq.) re used automobile warranties.

      See also chapter 743g (Sec. 42-227 et seq.) re automobile manufacturers' warranty adjustment programs.

      See also chapter 743s (Sec. 42-355 et seq.) re new emergency vehicle warranties.

      Cited. 209 C. 579. Secs. 42-179-42-186 cited. 239 C. 1.


Table of Contents

Sec. 42-179. New motor vehicle warranties. Leased vehicles. Resales. Transfers. Manufacturer buybacks.
Sec. 42-179a. Copies of paperwork or invoices.
Sec. 42-179b. Dealers and lessors to deliver information.
Sec. 42-180. Costs and attorney's fees in breach of warranty actions.
Sec. 42-181. Department arbitration procedure. Records. Appeals.
Sec. 42-182. Certification of manufacturer's informal dispute settlement procedures.
Sec. 42-183. Institution of proceedings.
Sec. 42-184. Unfair trade practices.
Sec. 42-185. Waiver of filing fees, statement prohibited.
Sec. 42-186. Action brought by lessee against manufacturer. Lessee to notify lessor. Lessor authorized to petition to be made a party to proceeding.
Secs. 42-187 to 42-189.
Sec. 42-190. New automobile warranties account surcharge. Account.
Secs. 42-191 to 42-199.

      Sec. 42-179. New motor vehicle warranties. Leased vehicles. Resales. Transfers. Manufacturer buybacks. (a) As used in this chapter: (1) "Consumer" means the purchaser, other than for purposes of resale, of a motor vehicle, a lessee of a motor vehicle, any person to whom such motor vehicle is transferred during the duration of an express warranty applicable to such motor vehicle, and any person entitled by the terms of such warranty to enforce the obligations of the warranty; and (2) "motor vehicle" means a passenger motor vehicle, a passenger and commercial motor vehicle or a motorcycle, as defined in section 14-1, which is sold or leased in this state.

      (b) If a new motor vehicle does not conform to all applicable express warranties, and the consumer reports the nonconformity to the manufacturer, its agent or its authorized dealer during the period of two years following the date of original delivery of the motor vehicle to a consumer or during the period of the first twenty-four thousand miles of operation, whichever period ends first, the manufacturer, its agent or its authorized dealer shall make such repairs as are necessary to conform the vehicle to such express warranties, notwithstanding the fact that such repairs are made after the expiration of the applicable period.

      (c) No consumer shall be required to notify the manufacturer of a claim under this section and sections 42-181 to 42-184, inclusive, unless the manufacturer has clearly and conspicuously disclosed to the consumer, in the warranty or owner's manual, that written notification of the nonconformity is required before the consumer may be eligible for a refund or replacement of the vehicle. The manufacturer shall include with the warranty or owner's manual the name and address to which the consumer shall send such written notification.

      (d) If the manufacturer or its agents or authorized dealers are unable to conform the motor vehicle to any applicable express warranty by repairing or correcting any defect or condition which substantially impairs the use, safety or value of the motor vehicle to the consumer after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer shall replace the motor vehicle with a new motor vehicle acceptable to the consumer, or accept return of the vehicle from the consumer and refund to the consumer, lessor and lienholder, if any, as their interests may appear, the following: (1) The full contract price, including but not limited to, charges for undercoating, dealer preparation and transportation and installed options, (2) all collateral charges, including but not limited to, sales tax, license and registration fees, and similar government charges, (3) all finance charges incurred by the consumer after he first reports the nonconformity to the manufacturer, agent or dealer and during any subsequent period when the vehicle is out of service by reason of repair, and (4) all incidental damages as defined in section 42a-2-715, less a reasonable allowance for the consumer's use of the vehicle. No authorized dealer shall be held liable by the manufacturer for any refunds or vehicle replacements in the absence of evidence indicating that dealership repairs have been carried out in a manner inconsistent with the manufacturers' instructions. Refunds or replacements shall be made to the consumer, lessor and lienholder if any, as their interests may appear. A reasonable allowance for use shall be that amount obtained by multiplying the total contract price of the vehicle by a fraction having as its denominator one hundred twenty thousand and having as its numerator the number of miles that the vehicle traveled prior to the manufacturer's acceptance of its return. It shall be an affirmative defense to any claim under this section (1) that an alleged nonconformity does not substantially impair such use, safety or value or (2) that a nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect or unauthorized modifications or alterations of a motor vehicle by a consumer.

      (e) It shall be presumed that a reasonable number of attempts have been undertaken to conform a motor vehicle to the applicable express warranties, if (1) the same nonconformity has been subject to repair four or more times by the manufacturer or its agents or authorized dealers during the period of two years following the date of original delivery of the motor vehicle to a consumer or during the period of the first twenty-four thousand miles of operation, whichever period ends first, but such nonconformity continues to exist or (2) the vehicle is out of service by reason of repair for a cumulative total of thirty or more calendar days during the applicable period, determined pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection. Such two-year period and such 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. No claim shall be made under this section unless at least one attempt to repair a nonconformity has been made by the manufacturer or its agent or an authorized dealer or unless such manufacturer, its agent or an authorized dealer has refused to attempt to repair such nonconformity.

      (f) If a motor vehicle has a nonconformity which results in a condition which is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury if the vehicle is driven, it shall be presumed that a reasonable number of attempts have been undertaken to conform such vehicle to the applicable express warranties if the nonconformity has been subject to repair at least twice by the manufacturer or its agents or authorized dealers within the express warranty term or during the period of one year following the date of the original delivery of the motor vehicle to a consumer, whichever period ends first, but such nonconformity continues to exist. The term of an express warranty and such one-year period shall be extended by any period of time during which repair services are not available to the consumer because of war, invasion, strike or fire, flood or other natural disaster.

      (g) (1) No motor vehicle which is returned to any person pursuant to any provision of this chapter or in settlement of any dispute related to any complaint made under the provisions of this chapter and which requires replacement or refund shall be resold, transferred or leased in the state without clear and conspicuous written disclosure of the fact that such motor vehicle was so returned prior to resale or lease. Such disclosure shall be affixed to the motor vehicle and shall be included in any contract for sale or lease. The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall, by regulations adopted in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, prescribe the form and content of any such disclosure statement and establish provisions by which the commissioner may remove such written disclosure after such time as the commissioner may determine that such motor vehicle is no longer defective. (2) If a manufacturer accepts the return of a motor vehicle or compensates any person who accepts the return of a motor vehicle pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection such manufacturer shall stamp the words "MANUFACTURER BUYBACK" clearly and conspicuously on the face of the original title in letters at least one-quarter inch high and, within ten days of receipt of the title, shall submit a copy of the stamped title to the Department of Motor Vehicles. The Department of Motor Vehicles shall maintain a listing of such buyback vehicles and in the case of any request for a title for a buyback vehicle, shall cause the words "MANUFACTURER BUYBACK" to appear clearly and conspicuously on the face of the new title in letters which are at least one-quarter inch high. Any person who applies for a title shall disclose to the department the fact that such vehicle was returned as set forth in this subsection. (3) If a manufacturer accepts the return of a motor vehicle from a consumer due to a nonconformity or defect, in exchange for a refund or a replacement vehicle, whether as a result of an administrative or judicial determination, an arbitration proceeding or a voluntary settlement, the manufacturer shall notify the Department of Motor Vehicles and shall provide the department with all relevant information, including the year, make, model, vehicle identification number and prior title number of the vehicle. The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall adopt regulations in accordance with chapter 54 specifying the format and time period in which such information shall be provided and the nature of any additional information which the commissioner may require. (4) The provisions of this subsection shall apply to motor vehicles originally returned in another state from a consumer due to a nonconformity or defect in exchange for a refund or replacement vehicle and which a lessor or transferor with actual knowledge subsequently sells, transfers or leases in this state.

      (h) All express and implied warranties arising from the sale of a new motor vehicle shall be subject to the provisions of part 3 of article 2 of title 42a.

      (i) Nothing in this section shall in any way limit the rights or remedies which are otherwise available to a consumer under any other law.

      (j) If a manufacturer has established an informal dispute settlement procedure which is certified by the Attorney General as complying in all respects with the provisions of Title 16 Code of Federal Regulations Part 703, as in effect on October 1, 1982, and with the provisions of subsection (b) of section 42-182, the provisions of subsection (d) of this section concerning refunds or replacement shall not apply to any consumer who has not first resorted to such procedure.

      (P.A. 82-287; P.A. 83-351, S. 1; 83-458; P.A. 84-338, S. 3, 8; 84-429, S. 75; P.A. 85-331, S. 1, 6; 85-613, S. 132, 154; P.A. 87-342, S. 1, 5; 87-522, S. 2, 6; P.A. 89-173, S. 1, 2; P.A. 92-190; P.A. 93-435, S. 14, 95; P.A. 97-6; P.A. 98-211, S. 2.)

      History: P.A. 83-351 amended Subsec. (a) to provide that the definitions therein also apply to Sec. 42-180; P.A. 83-458 amended Subsec. (c) by prohibiting manufacturers from holding dealers liable for refunds or vehicle replacements under certain circumstances; P.A. 84-338 created a period during which a consumer may require a manufacturer or dealer to repair a nonconformity existing in a new motor vehicle sold on or after July 1, 1984, outlined requirements concerning notifying the manufacturer of a nonconformity, specified the elements included in a refund of the contract price, required that a replacement vehicle be acceptable to the consumer, defined a defect as anything which impairs the use, safety or value of the vehicle, redefined the amount deducted for reasonable allowance for use, required disclosure that any vehicle which requires refund or replacement and which is being resold has been returned, and established that a manufacturer's informal dispute resolution procedure must comply with Title 16, Code of Federal Regulations Part 703 as in effect on October 1, 1982; P.A. 84-429 made technical changes for statutory consistency; P.A. 85-331 amended Subsec. (i) by specifying that a manufacturer's informal dispute resolution procedure must be certified by the attorney general as complying with Title 16 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 703, as in effect on October 1, 1982, and with the provisions of Subsec. (b) of Sec. 42-182, or order to come within the provision of this section; P.A. 85-613 made technical changes in Subsec. (e); P.A. 87-342 extended the provisions of the section to leased vehicles, removed obsolete language and made technical changes; P.A. 87-522 amended Subsecs. (b) and (e) by removing archaic language and making other technical changes, inserted a new Subsec. (f) concerning motor vehicles which have a nonconformity which results in a condition which is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury if the vehicle is driven, relettered the remaining existing Subsecs. and amended the relettered Subsec. (g) by requiring a manufacturer who accepts the return of a motor vehicle due to a defect or nonconformity to notify the department of motor vehicles; P.A. 89-173 amended Subsec. (e) to require at least one repair attempt prior to making of a claim and amended Subsec. (g) to require persons other than manufacturers to make disclosures and to provide for regulations by the commissioner of motor vehicles concerning the format, nature and time period of information required; P.A. 92-190 amended Subsec. (g) to make chapter apply to "transferred" vehicles and to specify that the required written disclosure "shall be affixed to the motor vehicle and shall be included in any contract for sale or lease", dividing Subsec. into Subdivs. and adding provisions designated as Subdiv. (2) which, among other things, provided for the stamping of the words "manufacturer buyback" on the original title of any buyback vehicle and added Subdiv. (4) specifying applicability to vehicles returned in another state because of nonconformity or defect and subsequently sold in this state; P.A. 93-435 reinstated language last printed in the 1991 revision, but dropped in the 1993 revision due to a clerical error, effective June 28, 1993; P.A. 97-6 amended the definition of "motor vehicle" in Subsec. (a) to include a motorcycle as defined in Sec. 14-1; P.A. 98-211 amended Subsecs. (b) and (e) by changing 18,000 miles to 24,000 miles and amended Subsec. (d) by changing the fraction denominator from 100,000 to 120,000.

      Cited. 203 C. 63. Cited. 209 C. 579. Lemon law I cited. Id. Cited. 212 C. 83. Cited. 239 C. 1.

      Motorcycles fall within definition of "motor vehicle". 40 CS 156.

      Subsec. (a):

      Subdiv. (2): Motorcycles are not passenger motor vehicles within meaning of section. Cited. 239 C. 1.

      Subsec. (d):

      Cited. 203 C. 63. Cited. 213 C. 136. Standard for determining whether a defect substantially impairs the use, safety or value of a motor vehicle to the consumer is both subjective and objective. 247 C. 274. Legislature did not intend to waive sovereign immunity under this Subsec. to permit manufacturer of defective motor vehicles to claim reimbursement of sales tax refunded to consumers under state lemon law; plaintiff manufacturer not an aggrieved taxpayer entitled to reimbursement of refunded tax under Sec. 12-422 or 12-425; because plaintiff did not seek declaratory or injunctive relief for claims of violation of due process and equal protection rights, plaintiff's claims must be characterized as claims for damages and are barred by sovereign immunity. 284 C. 701.

      Certain transmission noise in plaintiff's car did not substantially impair its use, safety or value within meaning of statute. 80 CA 146.

      Subsec. (e):

      Plaintiff's attempt to replace truck's hood constituted a reasonable number of repair attempts as required by subsection. 247 C. 274.


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      Sec. 42-179a. Copies of paperwork or invoices. A dealer or authorized agent of a manufacturer shall, upon the request of a consumer, provide such consumer with copies of any paperwork or invoices related to repair work performed on such consumer's automobile in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of section 42-179. Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of an infraction.

      (P.A. 85-331, S. 4, 6.)

      Cited. 203 C. 63. Cited. 209 C. 579.

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      Sec. 42-179b. Dealers and lessors to deliver information. Each motor vehicle dealer, as defined in section 14-1, and each person engaged in the business of leasing new motor vehicles shall, at the time of sale or execution of the lease of any new motor vehicle, deliver to the consumer, as defined in subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of section 42-179, of such vehicle written information, in a form approved by the Commissioner of Consumer Protection, which explains the new automobile warranty and dispute settlement program established pursuant to this chapter.

      (P.A. 89-173, S. 4; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 146(c); P.A. 04-189, S. 1; 04-217, S. 33.)

      History: June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 replaced Commissioner of Consumer Protection with Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective July 1, 2004; P.A. 04-189 repealed Sec. 146 of June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, thereby reversing the merger of the Departments of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective June 1, 2004; P.A. 04-217 eliminated reference to Sec. 14-1(11), effective January 1, 2005.

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      Sec. 42-180. Costs and attorney's fees in breach of warranty actions. In any action by a consumer against the manufacturer of a motor vehicle, or the manufacturer's agent or authorized dealer, based upon the alleged breach of an express or implied warranty made in connection with the sale or lease of such motor vehicle, the court, in its discretion, may award to the plaintiff his costs and reasonable attorney's fees or, if the court determines that the action was brought without any substantial justification, may award costs and reasonable attorney's fees to the defendant.

      (P.A. 83-351, S. 2; P.A. 87-342, S. 2, 5.)

      History: P.A. 87-342 extended provisions of section to leased vehicles.

      Cited. 209 C. 579.

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      Sec. 42-181. Department arbitration procedure. Records. Appeals. (a) The Department of Consumer Protection, shall provide an independent arbitration procedure for the settlement of disputes between consumers and manufacturers of motor vehicles which do not conform to all applicable warranties under the terms of section 42-179. The Commissioner of Consumer Protection shall appoint as arbitrators individuals who shall not be employees or independent contractors with any business involved in the manufacture, distribution, sale or service of any motor vehicle. The arbitrator shall be a member of an arbitration organization and shall serve with compensation. The Department of Consumer Protection may refer an arbitration dispute to the American Arbitration Association or other arbitration organization in accordance with regulations adopted in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, provided such organization and any arbitrators appointed by such organization to hear cases shall not be affiliated with any motor vehicle manufacturer, distributor, dealer or repairer. Such arbitration organizations shall comply with the provisions of subsections (b) and (c) of this section.

      (b) If any motor vehicle purchased at any time on or after October 1, 1984, or leased at any time on or after June 17, 1987, fails to conform to such applicable warranties as defined in said section 42-179, a consumer may bring a grievance to an arbitrator if the manufacturer of the vehicle has not established an informal dispute settlement procedure which the Attorney General has certified as complying in all respects with the requirements of said section 42-179. The consumer may initiate a request for arbitration by calling a toll-free telephone number designated by the commissioner or by requesting an arbitration hearing in writing. The consumer shall file, on forms prescribed by the commissioner, any information deemed relevant to the resolution of the dispute and shall return the form accompanied by a filing fee of fifty dollars. Prior to submitting the complaint to an arbitrator, the Department of Consumer Protection shall conduct an initial review of the complaint. The department shall determine whether the complaint should be accepted or rejected for arbitration based on whether it alleges that the manufacturer has failed to comply with section 42-179. The filing fee shall be refunded if the department determines that a complaint does not allege a violation of any applicable warranty under the requirements of said section 42-179. Upon acceptance of the complaint, the commissioner shall notify the manufacturer of the filing of a request for arbitration and shall obtain from the manufacturer, in writing on a form prescribed by the commissioner, any information deemed relevant to the resolution of the dispute. The manufacturer shall return the form within fifteen days of receipt, together with a filing fee of two hundred fifty dollars. Upon written agreement of the parties, signed after the consumer has initiated a request for arbitration, the case may be presented to the arbitrator solely based on the written documents submitted by such parties. A lessee who brings a grievance to an arbitrator under this section shall, upon filing the complaint form provided for in this section, provide the lessor with notice by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, and the lessor may petition the arbitrator to be made a party to the arbitration proceedings. Initial determinations to reject a complaint for arbitration shall be submitted to an arbitrator for a final decision upon receipt of a written request from the consumer for a review of the initial eligibility determination and a filing fee of fifty dollars. If a complaint is accepted for arbitration, an arbitrator may determine that a complaint does not allege that the manufacturer has failed to comply with section 42-179 at any time before such arbitrator renders its decision on the merits of the dispute. The fee accompanying the consumer's complaint form shall be refunded to the consumer and the fee accompanying the form filed by the manufacturer shall be refunded to the manufacturer if the arbitrator determines that a complaint does not allege a violation of the provisions of section 42-179.

      (c) The Department of Consumer Protection shall investigate, gather and organize all information necessary for a fair and timely decision in each dispute. The commissioner may issue subpoenas on behalf of any arbitrator to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents, papers and records relevant to the dispute. The department shall forward a copy of all written testimony, including all documentary evidence, to an independent technical expert certified by the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence or having a degree or other credentials from a nationally recognized organization or institution attesting to automotive expertise, who shall review such material and be available to advise and consult with the arbitrator. An expert shall sit as a nonvoting member of an arbitration panel whenever oral testimony is presented. Such experts may be recommended by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles at the request of the Commissioner of Consumer Protection. An arbitrator shall, as expeditiously as possible, but not later than sixty days after the time the consumer files the complaint form together with the filing fee, render a fair decision based on the information gathered and disclose his or her findings and the reasons therefor to the parties involved. The failure of the arbitrator to render a decision within sixty days shall not void any subsequent decision or otherwise limit the powers of the arbitrator. The arbitrator shall base his or her determination of liability solely on whether the manufacturer has failed to comply with section 42-179. The arbitration decision shall be final and binding as to the rights of the parties pursuant to section 42-179, subject only to judicial review as set forth in this subsection. The decision shall provide appropriate remedies, including, but not limited to one or more of the following:

      (1) Replacement of the vehicle with an identical or comparable new vehicle acceptable to the consumer;

      (2) Refund of the full contract price, plus collateral charges as specified in subsection (d) of said section 42-179;

      (3) Reimbursement for expenses and compensation for incidental damages as specified in subsection (d) of said section 42-179;

      (4) Any other remedies available under the applicable warranties, section 42-179, this section and sections 42-182 to 42-184, inclusive, or the Magnuson-Moss Warranty-Federal Trade Commission Improvement Act, 88 Stat. 2183 (1975), 15 USC 2301 et seq., as in effect on October 1, 1982, other than repair of the vehicle. The decision shall specify a date for performance and completion of all awarded remedies. Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes or any regulation to the contrary, the Department of Consumer Protection shall not amend, reverse, rescind or revoke any decision or action of an arbitrator. The department shall contact the consumer, within ten working days after the date for performance, to determine whether performance has occurred. The manufacturer shall act in good faith in abiding by any arbitration decision. In addition, either party to the arbitration may make application to the superior court for the judicial district in which one of the parties resides or, when the court is not in session, any judge thereof for an order confirming, vacating, modifying or correcting any award, in accordance with the provisions of this section and sections 52-417, 52-418, 52-419 and 52-420. Upon filing such application the moving party shall mail a copy of the application to the Attorney General and, upon entry of any judgment or decree, shall mail a copy of such judgment or decree to the Attorney General. A review of such application shall be confined to the record of the proceedings before the arbitrator. The court shall conduct a de novo review of the questions of law raised in the application. In addition to the grounds set forth in sections 52-418 and 52-419, the court shall consider questions of fact raised in the application. In reviewing questions of fact, the court shall uphold the award unless it determines that the factual findings of the arbitrator are not supported by substantial evidence in the record and that the substantial rights of the moving party have been prejudiced. If the arbitrator fails to state findings or reasons for the award, or the stated findings or reasons are inadequate, the court shall search the record to determine whether a basis exists to uphold the award. If it is determined by the court that the manufacturer has acted without good cause in bringing an appeal of an award, the court, in its discretion, may grant to the consumer his costs and reasonable attorney's fees. If the manufacturer fails to perform all awarded remedies by the date for performance specified by the arbitrator, and the enforcement of the award has not been stayed pursuant to subsection (c) of section 52-420, then each additional day the manufacturer wilfully fails to comply shall be deemed a separate violation for purposes of section 42-184.

      (d) The department shall maintain such records of each dispute as the commissioner may require, including an index of disputes by brand name and model. The department shall annually compile and maintain statistics indicating the record of manufacturer compliance with arbitration decisions and the number of refunds or replacements awarded. A copy of the statistical summary shall be filed with the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and shall be considered a factor in determining the issuance of any manufacturer license as required under section 14-67a. The summary shall be a public record.

      (e) If a manufacturer has not established an informal dispute settlement procedure certified by the Attorney General as complying with the requirements of said section 42-179, public notice of the availability of the department's automobile dispute settlement procedure shall be prominently posted in the place of business of each new car dealer licensed by the Department of Motor Vehicles to engage in the sale of such manufacturer's new motor vehicles. Display of such public notice shall be a condition of licensure under sections 14-52 and 14-64. The Commissioner of Consumer Protection shall determine the size, type face, form and wording of the sign required by this section, which shall include the toll-free telephone number and the address to which requests for the department's arbitration services may be sent.

      (f) Any consumer injured by the operation of any procedure which does not conform with procedures established by a manufacturer pursuant to subsection (b) of section 42-182 and the provisions of Title 16 Code of Federal Regulations Part 703, as in effect on October 1, 1982, may appeal any decision rendered as the result of such a procedure by requesting arbitration de novo of the dispute by an arbitrator. Filing procedures and fees for appeals shall be the same as those required in subsection (b) of this section. The findings of the manufacturer's informal dispute settlement procedure may be admissible in evidence at such arbitration and in any civil action subsequently arising out of any warranty obligation or matter related to the dispute. Any consumer so injured may, in addition, request the Attorney General to investigate the manufacturer's procedure to determine whether its certification shall be suspended or revoked after proper notice and hearing. The Attorney General shall establish procedures for processing such consumer complaints and maintain a record of the disposition of such complaints, which record shall be included in the annual report prepared in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of section 42-182.

      (g) The Commissioner of Consumer Protection shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to carry out the purposes of this section. Written copies of the regulations and appropriate arbitration hearing procedures shall be provided to any person upon request.

      (P.A. 84-338, S. 1; P.A. 85-331, S. 2, 6; P.A. 87-342, S. 3, 5; 87-522, S. 3, 6; P.A. 89-173, S. 3, 7; P.A. 90-8, S. 1, 2; P.A. 96-259, S. 1; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 146(c), (d); P.A. 04-169, S. 17; 04-189, S. 1; P.A. 07-212, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 85-331 changed department panel to arbitration panel, deleted the requirement that a consumer return the complaint form within 5 days from Subsec. (b), sanctioned the use of a technical expert with credentials from a nationally recognized organization, prohibited the commissioner from altering the decision of an arbitration panel, and allowed either party to appeal the decision of an arbitration panel to superior court in Subsec. (c), and in Subsec. (f) required the attorney general to establish procedures for processing consumer complaints and maintaining records; P.A. 87-342 amended Subsec. (b) by extending the provisions of the section to leased vehicles; P.A. 87-522 amended Subsec. (b) by providing that the department of consumer protection shall conduct an initial review of a complaint, and that such initial review may be reviewed by an arbitration panel upon written request of a consumer, provided such panel may determine that the complaint does not allege a violation of Sec. 42-179 at any time and amended Subsec. (c) by providing that the failure of the arbitrators to render a decision within 60 days shall not void any subsequent decision or otherwise limit the power of the arbitrators, eliminated the remedy of repair of the vehicle, requiring a party moving for an order confirming or modifying any award to mail a copy of the application as subsequent entry of judgment to the attorney general and provided that each day a manufacturer fails to perform all awarded remedies shall be deemed a separate violation for purposes of Sec. 42-184; P.A. 89-173 amended Subsec. (c)(4) to exclude repair from the list of remedies; P.A. 90-8 amended Subsec. (c) to specify that arbitration panel is to base its determination of liability solely on question of compliance with Sec. 42-179, to specify that decision is final and binding subject only to judicial review and to specify limits of inquiry under judicial review; P.A. 96-259 amended Subsec. (d) to require the department to compile statistics annually rather than at intervals of no more than six months; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 and P.A. 04-169 replaced Commissioner and Department of Consumer Protection with Commissioner and Department of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective July 1, 2004; P.A. 04-189 repealed Sec. 146 of June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, thereby reversing the merger of the Departments of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective June 1, 2004; P.A. 07-212 amended Subsec. (a) by replacing provisions re establishment of dispute settlement panels and appointment, number, qualifications and terms of panel members with provisions re appointment, qualifications and compensation of individual arbitrators and by adding provisions re referral of dispute to other arbitration organization, amended Subsec. (b) by deleting provision re complaint form to offer consumer choice of presenting subsequent testimony orally or in writing and adding provision re case to be presented to arbitrator based solely on written documents upon agreement of parties, and made conforming and technical changes in Subsecs. (b), (c), (d) and (f).

      Cited. 203 C. 63. Cited. 209 C. 579. Lemon Law II cited. Id. Cited. 212 C. 83. Lemon Law II cited. Id. Cited. 213 C. 136. Lemon Law II cited. Id. Cited. 218 C. 646. Lemon Law II cited. Id. Cited. 239 C. 1.

      Subsec. (c):

      Court concluded general assembly intended to authorize arbitrators to award reasonable attorneys' fees to consumers who prevail. 209 C. 579. Judicial review procedures are constitutionally insufficient. 212 C. 83. Cited. 226 C. 475.


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      Sec. 42-182. Certification of manufacturer's informal dispute settlement procedures. (a) The Attorney General shall prepare an annual report evaluating the operation of informal dispute settlement procedures established by manufacturers of new motor vehicles and shall issue a certificate of approval to those manufacturers whose settlement procedures comply in all respects with the provisions of Title 16 Code of Federal Regulations Part 703, as in effect on October 1, 1982, and with the provisions of subsection (b) of this section. The report and certification shall be public records. The Attorney General or an agent authorized by him may conduct any inquiry or investigation in connection with the certification or evaluation of a manufacturer's informal dispute settlement procedure and may hold hearings, issue subpoenas requiring the attendance of witnesses and the production of records, documents or other evidence in connection therewith, administer oaths, examine witnesses, receive oral and documentary evidence and issue written interrogatories prescribing a return date which would allow a reasonable time to respond, which responses shall be under oath. Service of subpoenas compelling testimony or the production of documents and written interrogatories as provided herein, may be made by (1) personal service or service at the usual place of abode; or (2) registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, a duly executed copy of which shall be addressed to the person to be served at his principal place of business in this state, or, if said person has no principal place of business in this state, to his principal office or to his residence. In the event that any person shall fail to comply with a subpoena or with interrogatories issued pursuant to this section, the Attorney General or an agent authorized by him may apply to the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford for compliance, which court may, upon notice to such person, issue an order requiring such compliance, which shall be served upon such person. Hearings under this subsection shall be held in the manner provided for contested cases under sections 4-176e to 4-181a, inclusive, except that no informal disposition may be made by stipulation, agreed settlement, consent order or default, in any proceeding concerning the certification of an automobile manufacturer's informal dispute settlement procedure unless such proceeding is open to the public in accordance with the provisions of section 1-225. The Attorney General, after notice and hearing, may suspend or revoke the certification of an automobile manufacturer's informal dispute settlement procedure which violates the provisions of subsection (b) of this section or the provisions of Title 16 Code of Federal Regulations Part 703, as in effect on October 1, 1982. Any person aggrieved by a decision of the Attorney General or his authorized agent, may appeal in accordance with the provisions of sections 4-183 and 4-184. Section 4-184a shall be applicable to such appeals. Hearings, meetings and conferences, except telephone conversations, relating to evaluation and certification shall be open to the public in accordance with the provisions of section 1-225. If the Attorney General certifies a manufacturer's informal dispute settlement procedure, the provisions of subsection (d) of section 42-179 concerning refunds or replacement shall not apply to any consumer who has not first resorted to such procedure. A copy of the Attorney General's report and certification shall be forwarded by the Attorney General to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, who may consider such report and certification in determining the fitness of an applicant for a manufacturer's license to engage in business as a manufacturer of motor vehicles for sale in this state, as provided for in section 14-67a.

      (b) A manufacturer's informal dispute procedure shall not include any practices which: (1) Delay a decision in any dispute beyond sixty days after the date on which the consumer initially resorts to the informal dispute settlement procedure either by a telephone call or by written notification that a dispute exists; (2) delay performance of remedies awarded in a settlement beyond ten days after receipt of notice of the consumer's acceptance of the decision, except that a manufacturer may have thirty days following the date of such receipt to deliver a replacement of a motor vehicle acceptable to the consumer or to refund the full contract price of the vehicle together with all collateral charges, and all consequential and incidental damages as defined in said section 42-179; (3) require the consumer to make the vehicle available more than once for inspection by a manufacturer's representative, and more than once for repair of the same defect by a dealer, in which cases, and upon proof of the consumer's financial responsibility in accordance with the provisions of section 14-112, the manufacturer of the defective vehicle shall provide for the loan of a reliable vehicle, not more than two years old, for use during the periods required for inspection or repair; (4) fail to consider in decisions any remedies provided by sections 42-179 and 42-181, this section and sections 42-183 and 42-184, such remedies to include (A) repair, replacement and refund, (B) reimbursement for expenses and collateral charges, (C) compensation for consequential and incidental damages as defined in said section 42-179 and (D) any other remedies available under applicable express or implied warranties; (5) require the consumer to take any action or assume any obligation not specifically authorized under the provisions of Title 16 Code of Federal Regulations Part 703, as in effect on October 1, 1982; or (6) fail to conform to all applicable standards and requirements of this chapter in the processing of consumer complaints.

      (c) Any manufacturer operating or participating in an informal dispute settlement procedure for resolving disputes with consumers in this state shall be required to maintain records which indicate the number of: (1) Vehicles sold in this state during the reporting period; (2) telephone and written requests from consumers to enter the dispute resolution program; (3) requests rejected as ineligible for the program; (4) requests accepted for resolution by the program; (5) cases in which a decision was reached and the manufacturer has complied with the decision within the time period for compliance established by the decision; (6) cases in which a decision was reached and the manufacturer's compliance occurred after the expiration of the time period for compliance established by the decision; (7) cases in which a decision was reached, the time period for compliance has expired and the manufacturer has not complied with such decision; (8) cases in which a decision was reached and the time period for compliance has not yet expired; (9) cases in which a decision awarded no relief to the consumer; (10) cases in which a decision awarded the consumer further repair or extended warranty; (11) cases in which a decision required the manufacturer to accept the return of the vehicle and a refund was issued to the consumer; (12) cases in which a decision required the manufacturer to accept the return of the vehicle and a replacement vehicle was provided to the consumer; (13) cases in which a decision is pending; (14) cases in which the consumer accepted the decision; (15) cases in which the consumer rejected the decision; (16) cases resolved by predecision settlement.

      (P.A. 84-338, S. 2, 8; P.A. 85-331, S. 3, 6; P.A. 87-522, S. 5, 6; P.A. 88-230, S. 1, 12; 88-317, S. 94, 107; P.A. 90-98, S. 1, 2; P.A. 93-142, S. 4, 7, 8; P.A. 95-220, S. 4-6.)

      History: P.A. 85-331 empowered the attorney general to conduct hearings in connection with the certification or evaluation of manufacturer's informal dispute settlement procedures, prohibited informal dispositions, unless such proceeding is open to the public, provided for the revocation of certification, appeals from decisions of the attorney general, required meetings relating to certification or evaluation to be open to the public, deleted the attorney general's power to adopt regulations, prohibited manufacturer's settlement procedures from failing to conform to standards of this chapter in processing consumer complaints; P.A. 87-522 amended Subsec. (a) by authorizing the attorney general to issue written interrogatories and prescribing the manner in which subpoenas may be served, and amended Subsec. (c) by specifying the type of records which manufacturers operating or participating in informal dispute settlement procedure are required to keep; P.A. 88-230 replaced "judicial district of Hartford-New Britain" with "judicial district of Hartford", effective September 1, 1991; P.A. 88-317 amended reference to Secs. 4-177 to 4-181 in Subsec. (a) to include new sections added to Ch. 54, effective July 1, 1989, and applicable to all agency proceedings commencing on or after that date; P.A. 90-98 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1991, to September 1, 1993; P.A. 93-142 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1993, to September 1, 1996, effective June 14, 1993; P.A. 95-220 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1996, to September 1, 1998, effective July 1, 1995.

      Cited. 203 C. 63. Cited. 209 C. 579. Lemon Law II cited. Id. Cited. 212 C. 83. Lemon Law II cited. Id. Cited. 213 C. 136. Lemon Law II cited. Id. Cited. 218 C. 646. Lemon Law II cited. Id.

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      Sec. 42-183. Institution of proceedings. The Commissioner of Consumer Protection may, in consultation with the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, request institution of proceedings under section 14-67c against any manufacturer found to have failed to comply with the provisions of sections 42-179, 42-181 and 42-182, this section and section 42-184.

      (P.A. 84-338, S. 4, 8; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 146(c); P.A. 04-189, S. 1.)

      History: June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 replaced Commissioner of Consumer Protection with Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective July 1, 2004; P.A. 04-189 repealed Sec. 146 of June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, thereby reversing the merger of the Departments of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective June 1, 2004.

      Cited. 203 C. 63. Cited. 209 C. 579. Lemon Law II cited. Id. Cited. 212 C. 83. Lemon Law II cited. Id. Cited. 213 C. 136. Lemon Law II cited. Id. Cited. 218 C. 646. Lemon Law II cited. Id.

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      Sec. 42-184. Unfair trade practices. A violation of any of the provisions of sections 42-179 and 42-181 to 42-183, inclusive, shall be deemed an unfair or deceptive trade practice under chapter 735a.

      (P.A. 84-338, S. 5, 8.)

      Cited. 203 C. 63. Cited. 209 C. 579. Lemon Law II cited. Id. Cited. 212 C. 83. Lemon Law II cited. Id. Cited. 213 C. 136. Lemon Law II cited. Id. Cited. 218 C. 646. Lemon Law II cited. Id.

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      Sec. 42-185. Waiver of filing fees, statement prohibited. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general statute, regulation or grant of authority to the contrary, no filing fee or statement required under the provisions of this chapter shall be waived, refunded, reduced or withheld from use, by the state pursuant to any contract, stipulated settlement, consent order, administrative directive or by any other means except as provided in this chapter or by order of a court of competent jurisdiction made upon proof of economic hardship and a finding that such settlement, consent order, directive or other action is in the public interest.

      (P.A. 85-331, S. 5, 6.)

      Cited. 203 C. 63. Cited. 209 C. 579. Cited. 212 C. 83. Lemon Law II cited. Id. Cited. 218 C. 646. Lemon Law II cited. Id.

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      Sec. 42-186. Action brought by lessee against manufacturer. Lessee to notify lessor. Lessor authorized to petition to be made a party to proceeding. In any action by a consumer who is a lessee against the manufacturer of a motor vehicle, or the manufacturer's agent or authorized dealer, based upon the alleged breach of an express or implied warranty made in connection with the lease of such motor vehicle pursuant to section 42-179, the lessee shall, at the time of the service of process upon such manufacturer, manufacturer's agent or authorized dealer, notify the lessor of such motor vehicle of such action by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, and such lessor may petition the court to be made a party to the proceedings.

      (P.A. 87-342, S. 4, 5.)

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      Secs. 42-187 to 42-189. Reserved for future use.

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      Sec. 42-190. New automobile warranties account surcharge. Account. (a) A new automobile warranties account surcharge is hereby imposed on the sale or lease of each new motor vehicle, as defined in section 42-179, sold or leased in this state by any person licensed to offer such vehicles for sale under section 14-52. Such surcharge shall be in addition to any tax otherwise applicable to any such sales transaction.

      (b) The surcharge assessed pursuant to this section shall be at a rate of three dollars per motor vehicle, as defined in section 42-179. Such surcharge shall be collected by each licensee under section 14-52 engaged in the sale or lease of motor vehicles, as defined in section 42-179, in this state.

      (c) Proceeds collected from surcharges assessed under this section shall be deposited in the new automobile warranties account established pursuant to subsection (d) of this section.

      (d) There is established a separate, nonlapsing account, within the General Fund, to be known as the "new automobile warranties account". The account may contain any moneys required by law to be deposited in the account. The moneys in said account shall be allocated to the Department of Consumer Protection to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

      (June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-9, S. 23, 24, 131; P.A. 02-82, S. 8; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 146(d); P.A. 04-169, S. 17; 04-189, S. 1.)

      History: June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-9 effective July 1, 2001; P.A. 02-82 amended Subsecs. (a) and (b) by imposing surcharge on sale or lease of each new motor vehicle, as defined in Sec. 42-179, deleting references to "passenger vehicle or motorcycle", and requiring surcharge to be collected by each licensee engaged in sale or lease of motor vehicles; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 and P.A. 04-169 replaced Department of Consumer Protection with Department of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective July 1, 2004; P.A. 04-189 repealed Sec. 146 of June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, thereby reversing the merger of the Departments of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective June 1, 2004.

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      Secs. 42-191 to 42-199. Reserved for future use.

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