This act [57-16A-1 to 57-16A-9 NMSA 1978] may be cited as the
"Motor Vehicle Quality Assurance Act".
History: Laws 1985, ch. 220, ¤ 1.
57-16A-2 Definitions (1995 Repl.)
As used in the Motor Vehicle Quality Assurance Act
[57-16A-1 to 57-16A-9 NMSA 1978]:
A. "collateral charges" means those additional charges to a consumer
not directly attributed to a manufacturer's suggested retail price
label for a new motor vehicle and includes all taxes, license, title
and registration fees and other governmental charges related to
the purchase of the vehicle;
B. "comparable motor vehicle" means an identical or reasonably
equivalent motor vehicle;
C. "consumer" means the purchaser, other than for purposes of
resale, of a new motor vehicle normally used for personal, family
or household purposes, any person to whom such a motor vehicle has
been transferred 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;
D. "express warranty" means any written affirmation of the fact
of promise made by a manufacturer to a consumer in connection with
the sale of new motor vehicles which relates to the nature of the
material or workmanship or to a specified level of performance over
a specified period of time, including any terms or conditions precedent
to the enforcement of obligations pursuant to the warranty;
E. "manufacturer" means any person engaged in the manufacturing,
assembling, importing or distributing of a motor vehicle as a regular
F. "motor vehicle" means a passenger motor vehicle including an
automobile, pickup truck, motorcycle or van normally used for personal,
family or household purposes which is sold and registered in this
state and whose gross vehicle weight is less than ten thousand pounds.
History: Laws 1985, ch. 220, ¤ 2.
57-16A-3 Conformation to express warranties (1995 Repl.)
A. 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 term of such express
warranties 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, the manufacturer, its agent or its authorized
dealer shall make such repairs as are necessary to conform the vehicle
to such express warranties.
B. If the manufacturer or its agent or authorized dealer, after
a reasonable number of attempts, is 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 and
market value of the motor vehicle to the consumer, the manufacturer
shall replace the motor vehicle with a comparable motor vehicle
or accept return of the vehicle from the consumer and refund to
the consumer the full purchase price including all collateral charges,
less a reasonable allowance for the consumer's use of the vehicle.
The subtraction of a reasonable allowance for use shall apply when
either a replacement or refund of the new motor vehicle occurs.
As used in this subsection, a reasonable allowance for use shall
be that amount directly attributable to use by the consumer prior
to his first report of the nonconformity to the manufacturer, agent
or dealer and during any subsequent period when the vehicle is not
out of service by reason of repair. Refunds shall be made to consumers
or lienholders as their interests may appear.
C. It shall be presumed that a reasonable number of attempts as
mentioned in Subsection B of this section have been undertaken to
conform a new motor vehicle to the applicable express warranties
(1) the same uncorrected nonconformity has been subject to repair
four or more times 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 original delivery of the motor vehicle
to a consumer, whichever is the earlier date, but the nonconformity
continues to exist; or
(2) the vehicle is in the possession of the manufacturer, its
agent or authorized dealer for repair a cumulative total of thirty
or more business days during such term or during such period whichever
is the earlier date, exclusive of down time for routine maintenance
as prescribed by the manufacturer. The term of an express warranty,
such one-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 war, invasion, strike, fire, flood or
other natural disaster. In no event shall the presumption herein
provided apply against a manufacturer unless the manufacturer has
received prior direct written notification from or on behalf of
the consumer and an opportunity to cure the defect alleged. The
manufacturer shall provide written notice and instruction to the
consumer, either in the warranty or a separate notice, of the obligation
to file this written notification before invoking the remedies available
pursuant to the Motor Vehicle Quality Assurance Act [57-16A-1 to
57-16A-9 NMSA 1978].
History: Laws 1985, ch. 220, ¤ 3.
57-16A-4 Affirmative defenses (1995 Repl.)
It shall be an affirmative defense to any claim under the Motor
Vehicle Quality Assurance Act [57-16A-1 to 57-16A-9 NMSA 1978] that:
A. an alleged nonconformity does not substantially impair the
use and market value of the motor vehicle;
B. a nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect or unauthorized
modifications or alterations of the motor vehicle;
C. a claim by a consumer was not filed in good faith; or
D. any other affirmative defense allowed by law.
History: Laws 1985, ch. 220, ¤ 4.
57-16A-5 Limitation of remedy (1995 Repl.)
Any consumer who seeks enforcement of the provisions of the Motor
Vehicle Quality Assurance Act [57-16A-1 to 57-16A-9 NMSA 1978] shall
be foreclosed from pursuing any Uniform Commercial Code remedy set
forth in Sections 55-2-602 through 55-2-608 NMSA 1978.
History: Laws 1985, ch. 220, ¤ 5.
57-16A-6 Informal dispute resolution (1995 Repl.)
If a manufacturer has established or participates in a fair and
impartial informal dispute settlement procedure which substantially
complies with the substantive requirements of Title 16, Part 703
of the Code of Federal Regulations, the provisions of Subsection
B of Section 3 [57-16A-3B NMSA 1978] of the Motor Vehicle Quality
Assurance Act concerning refunds or replacement shall not apply
to any consumer who has not first resorted to that procedure. The
state attorney general may investigate and determine that the informal
dispute settlement procedure is fair and impartial and conforms
with the requirements of Title 16, Part 703 of the Code of Federal
History: Laws 1985, ch. 220, ¤ 6.
57-16A-7 Resale of returned motor vehicle (1995 Repl.)
No motor vehicle which has not been properly repaired pursuant
to the provisions of Subsection B of Section 3 [57-16A-3 NMSA 1978]
of the Motor Vehicle Quality Assurance Act, or pursuant to a similar
law of another state, may be resold in New Mexico unless the manufacturer
provides full written disclosure of the reason for the return to
any prospective buyer.
History: Laws 1985, ch. 220, ¤ 7.
57-16A-8 Limitation of action (1995 Repl.)
Any action brought to enforce the provisions of the Motor Vehicle
Quality Assurance Act [57-16A-1 to 57-16A-9 NMSA 1978] shall be
commenced within eighteen months following the date of original
delivery of the motor vehicle to a consumer, or, in the event that
a consumer resorts to an informal dispute settlement procedure pursuant
to Section 6 [57-16A-6 NMSA 1978] of the Motor Vehicle Quality Assurance
Act, within ninety days following the final action of the panel,
whichever is later.
57-16A-9 Reasonable attorney fees (1995 Repl.)
A consumer who prevails in an action brought to enforce the provisions
of the Motor Vehicle Quality Assurance Act [57-16A-1 to 57-16A-9
NMSA 1978] shall be entitled to receive reasonable attorneys' fees
and court costs from the manufacturer. If a consumer does not prevail
in such an action and brings that action for frivolous reasons or
in bad faith, the manufacturer shall be entitled to receive reasonable
attorneys' fees and court costs from the consumer.