ENGROSSED SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL NO. 2430
AS AMENDED BY FREE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
C 239 L 90
State of Washington 51st Legislature 1990 Regular Session
By House Committee on Commerce & Labor (originally sponsored by Representatives P. King, Vekich, Walker, Prentice, Winsley, Jones and Kremen; by request of Attorney General)
Read first time 1/22/90.
AN ACT Relating to motor vehicle warranties; amending RCW 19.118.021, 48.96.030, 48.96.040, 48.96.050, and 48.96.060; adding new sections to chapter 48.96 RCW; and providing an effective date.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
Sec. 1. Section 2, chapter 344, Laws of 1987 as amended by section 1, chapter 347, Laws of 1989 and RCW 19.118.021 are each amended to read as follows:
Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.
(1) "Board" means new motor vehicle arbitration board.
(2) "Collateral charges" means any sales or lease related charges including but not limited to sales tax, use tax, arbitration service fees, unused license fees, unused registration fees, unused title fees, finance charges, prepayment penalties, credit disability and credit life insurance costs not otherwise refundable, any other insurance costs prorated for time out of service, transportation charges, dealer preparation charges, or any other charges for service contracts, undercoating, rustproofing, or factory or dealer installed options.
(3) "Condition" means a general problem that results from a defect or malfunction of one or more parts, or their improper installation by the manufacturer, its agents, or the new motor vehicle dealer.
(4) "Consumer" means any person who has entered into an agreement or contract for the transfer, lease, or purchase of a new motor vehicle, other than for purposes of resale or sublease, during the duration of the warranty period defined under this section.
(5) "Court" means the superior court in the county where the consumer resides, except if the consumer does not reside in this state, then the superior court in the county where an arbitration hearing or determination was conducted or made pursuant to this chapter.
(6) "Incidental costs" means any reasonable expenses incurred by the consumer in connection with the repair of the new motor vehicle, including any towing charges and the costs of obtaining alternative transportation.
(7) "Manufacturer" means any person engaged in the business of constructing or assembling new motor vehicles or engaged in the business of importing new motor vehicles into the United States for the purpose of selling or distributing new motor vehicles to new motor vehicle dealers. "Manufacturer" does not include any person engaged in the business of set-up of motorcycles as an agent of a new motor vehicle dealer if the person does not otherwise construct or assemble motorcycles.
(8) "Motorcycle" means any motorcycle as defined in RCW 46.04.330 which has an engine displacement of at least seven hundred fifty cubic centimeters.
(9) "New motor vehicle" means any new self-propelled vehicle,
including a new motorcycle, primarily designed for the transportation of
persons or property over the public highways that, after original retail
purchase or lease in this state, was initially registered in this state or for
which a temporary motor vehicle license was issued pursuant to RCW 46.16.460,
but does not include vehicles purchased or leased by a business as part of a
fleet of ten or more vehicles. If the motor vehicle is a motor home, this
chapter shall apply to the self-propelled vehicle and chassis, but does not
include those portions of the vehicle designated, used, or maintained primarily
as a mobile dwelling, office, or commercial space. The term "new motor
vehicle" does not include (( motorcycles or)) trucks with nineteen
thousand pounds or more gross vehicle weight rating. The term "new motor
vehicle" includes a demonstrator or lease-purchase vehicle as long as a
manufacturer's warranty was issued as a condition of sale.
(10) "New motor vehicle dealer" means a person who holds a
dealer agreement with a manufacturer for the sale of new motor vehicles, who is
engaged in the business of purchasing, selling, servicing, exchanging, or
dealing in new motor vehicles, and who is licensed as a dealer by the state of
(11) "Nonconformity" means a defect, serious safety defect, or
condition that substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of a new motor
vehicle, but does not include a defect or condition that is the result of
abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modification or alteration of the new motor
(12) "Purchase price" means the cash price of the new motor
vehicle appearing in the sales agreement or contract, including any allowance
for a trade-in vehicle; "purchase price" in the instance of a lease
means the purchase price or value of the vehicle declared to the department of
licensing for purposes of tax collection.
Where the consumer is a second or subsequent purchaser, lessee, or transferee and the consumer selects repurchase of the motor vehicle, "purchase price" means the purchase price of the second or subsequent purchase or lease. Where the consumer is a second or subsequent purchaser, lessee, or transferee and the consumer selects replacement of the motor vehicle, "purchase price" means the original purchase price.
(13) "Reasonable offset for use" means the definition provided
in RCW 19.118.041(1)(c) for a new motor vehicle other than a new
motorcycle. The reasonable offset for use for a new motorcycle shall be
computed by the number of miles that the vehicle traveled before the
manufacturer's acceptance of the vehicle upon repurchase or replacement
multiplied by the purchase price, and divided by twenty-five thousand.
(14) "Reasonable number of attempts" means the definition
provided in RCW 19.118.041.
(15) "Replacement motor vehicle" means a new motor vehicle
that is identical or reasonably equivalent to the motor vehicle to be replaced,
as the motor vehicle to be replaced existed at the time of original purchase or
lease, including any service contract, undercoating, rustproofing, and factory
or dealer installed options.
(16) "Serious safety defect" means a life-threatening
malfunction or nonconformity that impedes the consumer's ability to control or
operate the new motor vehicle for ordinary use or reasonable intended purposes
or creates a risk of fire or explosion.
(17) "Substantially impair" means to render the new motor
vehicle unreliable, or unsafe for ordinary use, or to diminish the resale value
of the new motor vehicle below the average resale value for comparable motor
(18) "Warranty" means any implied warranty, any written
warranty of the manufacturer, or any affirmation of fact or promise made by the
manufacturer in connection with the sale of a new motor vehicle that becomes
part of the basis of the bargain. The term "warranty" pertains to
the obligations of the manufacturer in relation to materials, workmanship, and
fitness of a new motor vehicle for ordinary use or reasonably intended purposes
throughout the duration of the warranty period as defined under this section.
(19) "Warranty period" means the period ending two years after
the date of the original delivery to the consumer of a new motor vehicle, or
the first twenty-four thousand miles of operation, whichever occurs first.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. The purpose of this chapter is to protect the public and contract providers from losses arising from the mismanagement of funds paid for motor vehicle service contracts, to better inform the public of their rights and obligations under the contracts, to permit purchasers of such contracts the opportunity to return the contract for a refund, and to require the liabilities owed under these contracts to be fully insured, rather than partially insured, or insured only in the event of provider default.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 3. (1) Every insurer issuing a reimbursement insurance policy shall include, as a part of the policy, the motor vehicle service contract(s) that the reimbursement insurance policy is intended to cover. Notwithstanding RCW 48.18.100, subsequent changes to the motor vehicle service contract(s) must be filed by the insurer with the commissioner no later than thirty days after the date of the change.
(2) Every insurer issuing a reimbursement insurance policy must require that premiums due for coverage under the policy be paid directly by the provider to the insurer or its agent.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 4. A motor vehicle service contract shall not be issued, sold, or offered for sale in this state unless the contract contains a conspicuous statement that has been initialed by the service contract holder and discloses:
(1) Any material conditions that the service contract holder must meet to maintain coverage under the contract including, but not limited to any maintenance schedule to which the service contract holder must adhere, any requirement placed on the service contract holder for documenting repair or maintenance work, and any procedure to which the service contract holder must adhere for filing claims;
(2) The work and parts covered by the contract;
(3) Any time or mileage limitations;
(4) That the implied warranty of merchantability on the motor vehicle is not waived if the contract has been purchased within ninety days of the purchase date of the motor vehicle from a provider who also sold the motor vehicle covered by the contract;
(5) Any exclusions of coverage; and
(6) The contract holder's right to return the contract for a refund, which right can be no more restrictive than provided for in section 5 of this act.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 5. (1) At a minimum, every provider shall permit the service contract holder to return the contract within thirty days of its purchase if no claim has been made under the contract, and shall refund to the holder the full purchase price of the contract unless the service contract holder returns the contract ten or more days after its purchase, in which case the provider may charge a cancellation fee not exceeding twenty-five dollars. A ten percent penalty shall be added to any refund that is not paid within thirty days of return of the contract to the provider. If a contract holder returns the contract within thirty days of its purchase or within such longer time period as permitted under the contract, the contract shall be void from the beginning and the parties shall be in the same position as if no contract had been issued.
(2) If a service contract holder returns the contract in accordance with this section, the insurer issuing the reimbursement insurance policy covering the contract shall refund to the provider the full premium paid by the provider for coverage of the contract.
Sec. 6. Section 3, chapter 99, Laws of 1987 and RCW 48.96.030 are each amended to read as follows:
vehicle service contract reimbursement insurance policy shall not be issued,
sold, or offered for sale in this state unless the reimbursement insurance
policy conspicuously states that the issuer of the policy shall pay on behalf
of the provider all sums which the provider is legally obligated to pay ((
failure to perform)) according to the provider's contractual obligations
under the motor vehicle service contracts issued or sold by the provider.
Sec. 7. Section 4, chapter 99, Laws of 1987 and RCW 48.96.040 are each amended to read as follows:
vehicle service contract shall not be issued, sold, or offered for sale in this
state unless the contract conspicuously states that the obligations of the
provider to the service contract holder are guaranteed under the ((
contract)) reimbursement insurance policy, and unless the contract
conspicuously states the name and address of the issuer of the reimbursement insurance
policy, the applicable policy number, and the means by which a service contract
holder may file a claim under the policy.
Sec. 8. Section 5, chapter 99, Laws of 1987 and RCW 48.96.050 are each amended to read as follows:
chapter does)) RCW 48.96.020, 48.96.030, and 48.96.040 do not apply
to motor vehicle service contracts issued by a motor vehicle manufacturer or (( importer))
import distributor covering vehicles manufactured or imported by the motor
vehicle manufacturer or import distributor.
Sec. 9. Section 6, chapter 99, Laws of 1987 and RCW 48.96.060 are each amended to read as follows:
Failure to comply with the provisions of this chapter is an unfair method of competition and an unfair or deceptive act or practice in the conduct of a trade or commerce, as specifically contemplated by RCW 19.86.020, and is a violation of the Consumer Protection Act, chapter 19.86 RCW. Any service contract holder injured as a result of a violation of a provision of this chapter shall be entitled to maintain an action pursuant to chapter 19.86 RCW against the motor vehicle service contract provider and the insurer issuing the applicable motor vehicle service contract reimbursement insurance policy and shall be entitled to all of the rights and remedies afforded by that chapter. Any successful claimant under this section shall also be entitled to reasonable attorneys' fees.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 10. Sections 2 through 5 of this act are each added to chapter 48.96 RCW.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 11. Sections 2 through 10 of this act shall take effect January 1, 1991.