Motor and Other Vehicles

CHAPTER 31-23.2
Tampering with Odometers

SECTION 31-23.2-8

§ 31-23.2-8. Cause of action – Statute of limitations – Damages.

(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or public law to the contrary, any person who suffers a loss as a result of a violation of any provision of this chapter, may commence an action in either the superior or district court within three (3) years from the date of discovery of the loss, or within one year from the date when through the exercise of reasonable diligence, the cause of the loss should have been discovered, whichever is later. If the seller of any motor vehicle or any previous owner shall have knowingly violated any of the provisions of this chapter, he or she shall be liable to any subsequent good faith purchaser in an amount equal to three (3) times the amount of actual damages and shall also be liable for punitive damages, costs, and reasonable attorney's fees as determined by the court.

(b) Prior to initiating any legal action as set forth in subsection (a) of this section, a person shall serve a written demand upon the seller or any previous owner by registered mail, return receipt requested, containing the following information:

(1) That the buyer believes the odometer has been tampered with;

(2) Date of purchase;

(3) Name of buyer and seller;

(4) Make, model, year, and VIN of motor vehicle;

(5) Sales price;

(6) Present mileage;

(7) Any repairs done on the motor vehicle since its purchase; and

(8) A demand for a refund or a replacement motor vehicle of comparable value within thirty (30) days of the notification of the seller or previous owner. Should the seller or previous owner comply with the demand within thirty (30) days, the buyer shall forfeit any right to proceed in accordance with subsection (a) of this section. Additionally, a replacement motor vehicle shall be accepted by any financial institution financing the motor vehicle replaced as substitute collateral on any notes made to finance the replaced motor vehicle, and the owner/borrower and/or guarantors on the notes shall not have to pay any penalties or refinance charges.

(c) Any person who knowingly violates any of the provisions of this chapter, shall be absolutely liable to any person suffering a loss, and it shall not be a defense that any plaintiff contributed to his or her own loss.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1972, ch. 14, § 1; P.L. 1984, ch. 76, § 1; P.L. 1985, ch. 392, § 1.)