New Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board (Lemon Law)

The New Hampshire New Motor Vehicle Arbitration program (RSA 357-D) is commonly referred to as the New Hampshire "Lemon Law".

Arbitration Law

What is the New Hampshire New Motor Vehicle Arbitration Law?

The New Hampshire New Motor Vehicle Arbitration program (RSA 357-D) is commonly referred to as the New Hampshire "Lemon Law." The purpose of the law is to provide a consumer with an efficient and informal process with which to resolve new motor vehicle warranty problems. The New Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board (MVAB) is administratively attached to the DMV and consists of consumer representatives, a new car dealer, and an automotive expert. The jurisdiction of the MVAB is to determine whether a new motor vehicle or off-highway recreational vehicle (OHRV), motorcycle or snowmobile has a defect that substantially impairs its use, market value, or safety.

What vehicles are covered under the Lemon Law?

Passenger vehicles, motorcycles, off-highway recreational vehicles or light trucks with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 11,000 pounds or less which are purchased or leased (at least two years) in New Hampshire are eligible. Mopeds, tractors, government vehicles and vehicles with a GVW in excess of 11,000 pounds are not eligible.

What are the requirements to file a complaint under the Lemon Law?

  • The vehicle must have been subject to at least 3 repair attempts by the manufacturer, its agent or authorized dealer, for the same defect, nonconformity or condition within the express warranty term, and the same nonconformity continues to exist.
  • The vehicle must have been out of service for repair of one or more non conformities, defects or conditions for a cumulative total of 30 or more business days during the term of the express warranty. Documentation, such as invoices or repair orders, must be provided to verify the claim.
  • Any leasing or financing payments on the vehicle must not have been discontinued.
  • If the manufacturer's dispute settlement program has been selected, a complaint cannot be filed under the New Hampshire "Lemon Law" program. (RSA 357-D:4,I)

Notice to Consumer

Manufacturers are required to supply this notice with delivery of a new motor vehicle sold within the State of New Hampshire:

The New Hampshire New Motor Vehicle Arbitration Law, RSA 357-D, and Administrative Rules, Arb 100 and Arb 200, applies to new motor vehicles sold or leased (for two or more years) in the State of New Hampshire. A new motor vehicle is defined as a passenger vehicle or truck with a gross vehicle weight not exceeding 11,000 pounds, motorcycle or off-highway recreational vehicle as defined in RSA 215-A:1,VI as defined in RSA 125-A:1,VI and any snowmobile as defined in RSA 215-C:1,XV and RSA 357-C:1,XXVI.

If, during the express warranty period, you discover a defect which substantially impairs the use, market value or safety of this vehicle, and it has not been successfully repaired after three repair attempts by the manufacturer, its agent or an authorized dealer, or it has been out of service by reason of repair of one or more non conformities, defects or conditions which still exist for a cumulative total of 30 business days, you may be entitled to apply for a comparable replacement or refund of purchase price plus incidental damages less a reasonable allowance for use.

In order for a repair attempt to qualify, you must obtain a written repair order. Neither the manufacturer nor any agent of the manufacturer (including the dealership service) may refuse to provide you with a written repair order at your request.

The vehicle is deemed to be out of service if it is in for repair for a majority of the day.

You cannot use the New Motor Vehicle Arbitration Law if you elect to use the manufacturer's dispute settlement mechanism.

You may not use the New Motor Vehicle Arbitration Law if you have stopped making payments on any lease or financing agreement because of the vehicle's condition.

The New Hampshire Motor Vehicle Arbitration Program includes other eligibility requirements which you must meet to qualify.

Forms for electing to proceed before the New Hampshire Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board should be included with your new vehicle on delivery.

For information as to your rights under the New Motor Vehicle Arbitration Law or for additional forms, contact the New Hampshire Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board, 23 Hazen Drive, Concord, New Hampshire, 03305, telephone (603) 227-4385, email at lemonlaw@dos.nh.gov, or your dealer.

Arbitration Board

The New Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board consists of five (5) members and three (3) alternates representing the following groups:

  • Consumers (4 consumer representatives).
  • Dealers (2).
  • Mechanics (2).

The Arbitration Board conducts hearings after the owner or lessee of the problem vehicle has documented one of the following:

  • At least three unsuccessful warranted repair attempts to correct a defect or nonconformity.
  • Thirty (30) or more business days out-of-service during the warranty period for warranted problems.
  • The alleged defect(s) or condition(s) must not be the result of abuse, neglect, unauthorized modifications, or alterations by the customer.