AN ACT TO PROVIDE REMEDIES FOR CONSUMERS OF AGRICULTURAL EQUIPMENT THAT DOES NOT CONFORM TO EXPRESS WARRANTIES.
Enacts Article 6, New Farm Equipment Warranties, of GS Chapter 106. States the Article's purpose and sets forth defined terms. Defines agricultural equipment as any self-propelled vehicle designated primarily for and used in the occupation or business of farming.
Requires a manufacturer, an agent or authorized dealer of the manufacturer to make or arrange for repairs necessary to conform agricultural equipment to the express written warranties if the consumer reports the nonconformity during the later of the term of the express written warranties or one year from the date of original delivery to the first consumer. Requires replacement with comparable equipment acceptable to the consumer when noncomformity is not corrected and substantially impairs the use and market value of the equipment to the consumer after a reasonable number of attempts, whereby the consumer can only be charged the reasonable allowance for prior use of the equipment, or requires the manufacturer or authorized dealer to accept a return of the equipment and refund the cash price to the consumer less a reasonable allowance for prior use. Provides for refunds to the consumer and lien holder or holder of a security interest, if any. Defines reasonable allowance for prior use.
Establishes a presumption that a reasonable number of attempts have been undertaken to conform equipment to the applicable express written warranties if, within the warranty term or one year following the date of the original delivery to the first consumer, (1) the same nonconformity subject to repair four or more times continues to exist, or (2) the equipment has been out of service for repair for a cumulative total of 30 or more calendar days, as specified. Allows for extensions whereby repair services are unavailable due to war, natural disasters or the like. Prevents application of the presumption unless the manufacturer received prior direct written notice from or on behalf of the consumer and has been offered an opportunity to cure the defect, as specified.
Establishes affirmative defenses against claims alleging nonconformity which does not substantially impair the use and market value, or a nonconformity that is the result of abuse, neglect, or modifications or alterations of the equipment not authorized by the manufacturer.
Establishes a consumer's right to civil action for violations of the Article. Sets a six month or 24 month statute of limitations on an action under the Article, determined by the later of six months following the expiration of the warranty term or 24 months following the date of the original delivery to the consumer. Provides that other remedies are not effected and remain available to the consumer.
Effective January 1, 2021, and applies to agricultural equipment sold on or after that date.
Appropriates $100,000 in nonrecurring funds from the General Fund to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for the 2020-21 fiscal year for consumer education and enforcement of the act.
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