Used Car Sales and Warranty Law

Posted on Apr 1, 2013 in Cars, RICO

1/15/13 [RICO]

Hawaii’s Used Car Sales and Warranty Law protects consumers who buy used vehicles from motor vehicle dealer in Hawaii. The law requires motor vehicle dealers to provide consumers with written information about any known material mechanical defects that may affect the safety and use of a motor vehicle. The law also requires dealers to provide written information about any inspections that may have been done to determine if there are any defects. Under the law, consumers are also entitled to written warranties for covered major mechanical parts.

To qualify for the Used Car Sales warranty, the vehicle you purchase must be less than 5 years old as of January of the model year, cost more than $1,500, have between 12,000 to 75,000 miles, must not have been custom-built or modified, and is not considered “inoperable” or a “total loss.” The sale of these vehicles must be accompanied by a written warranty.

So, if the car you purchase has less than 25,000 miles, you should receive a 90-day or 5,000 mile written warranty.

If the car has 25,000 to less than 50,000 miles, you should receive a 60 day or 3,000 mile warranty.

If the car has 50,000 to less than 75,000 miles, you should receive a 30 day or 1,000 mile warranty.

It does not cover all vehicles or all defects, and not all problems will qualify your vehicle for repurchase. For example, transmissions, drive axles, and the related components of four-wheel drive vehicles are excluded from coverage.

How does it work? If you return the car to the dealer for repair during the applicable warranty period, and the dealer is unable to repair the defect, the dealer must either refund your money or replace the car. The dealer can deduct amounts for “reasonable” use or damage that is not attributable to normal wear and tear.

Consumers who believe a motor vehicle dealer may have violated Hawaii’s used car sales and warranty law should review any civil remedies they may have. The Regulated Industries Complaints Office may investigate and prosecute a complaint against a motor vehicle dealer, but may not seek restitution as part of its case.

For more information about Hawaii’s Used Car Sales and Warranty Law, visit the State’s website at or call the Consumer Resource Center at 587-4272.