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1.8.5 Money Damages and Lemon Law Remedies

The consumer can also sue the seller for actual damages, whether or not the consumer has canceled the sale. The consumer may seek incidental and consequential damages.465

Attorney fees are not recoverable under UCC Article 2 or for tort claims, although they are under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act for breach of written and implied warranties and service contracts.466 In most states, fees are recoverable under the state UDAP statute as well.467 Attorney fees in lease transactions can also be recovered based on an Article 2A unconscionability claim.468 Many state lemon laws also offer attorney fees.

Punitive, multiple, and minimum damages are usually not recoverable under the UCC or the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. Such damages are available in some states under the state UDAP statute, and punitive damages should be available in a fraud or even a negligence action.469

New car lemon laws provide their own unique remedial scheme for defects discovered in the first year or two of a new car purchase.470 Typically, the manufacturer makes a number of repair attempts. If these are unsuccessful, the manufacturer must refund the purchase price or replace the vehicle. Disputes over this remedy are generally first heard by an informal dispute resolution mechanism.471 The consumer, either under the lemon law, the UCC, or Magnuson-Moss, can also recover damages.

Footnotes