Legal Question in Consumer Law in North Carolina

define 'demo' as applied to cars in North Carolina

When does a dealer have to label a car a demonstration model?

Asked on 2/05/13, 5:14 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

A car is either new or used. See below statute for definitions:

20‑286. Definitions.

The following definitions apply in this Article:

(10) Motor vehicle. Any motor propelled vehicle, trailer or semitrailer, required to be registered under the laws of this State.

a. "New motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle that has never been the subject of a completed, successful, or conditional sale that was subsequently approved other than between new motor vehicle dealers, or between manufacturer and dealer of the same franchise.

b. "Used motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle other than described in paragraph (10)a above.

See also New Motor Vehicle Warranty Act:

20‑351.1. Definitions.

(4) "New motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle for which a certificate of origin, as required by G.S. 20‑52.1 or a similar requirement in another state, has never been supplied to a consumer, or which a manufacturer, its agent, or its authorized dealer states in writing is being sold as a new motor vehicle.

The lemon law in NC only applies to a car where a problem or series of problems arises during the first 24 months or 24,000 miles. I would think that a demo model has to fit in this definition.

If the dealer lied or misrepresented, you may have a claim under the unfair/deceptive trade practices act. If so, see a consumer attorney that specializes in this type of law. You also might want to check with the NC License & Theft Bureau of NC DoT/DMV as they regulate car dealers.

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Answered on 2/05/13, 10:27 pm

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