Every state in the nation has now enacted a “lemon law.” The “lemon law” is designed to protect car buyers who receive defective vehicles in violation of the manufacturer’s written warranty. The State of Maine is no exception. The Maine Lemon Law protects Maine consumers against manufacturers who sell or lease defective vehicles. Together with the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (more commonly known as the federal lemon law), the Maine Lemon Law provides important legal protections to the citizens of Maine and allows Maine consumers to get the new car they paid for – or else the right to their money back or a replacement vehicle.
Maine Lemon Law Info:
The Maine Lemon Law covers defects or problems which substantially impair the use, value or safety of the vehicle. If the manufacturer (through its authorized dealers) cannot bring the vehicle into compliance with the written warranty after a “reasonable number of repair attempts,” then the Maine Lemon Law requires the manufacturer to provide a refund to the consumer or replace the vehicle. If the manufacturer offers a replacement vehicle, the buyer must approve it as the buyer has an unqualified right to reject the replacement vehicle and demand a refund instead.
If the consumer does elect a refund, the manufacturer must refund the full price paid for the vehicle, including any finance charges. The manufacturer must also refund or compensate the buyer for collateral charges, including government charges like taxes, registration fees, and titling fees. Additionally, the Maine Lemon Law requires the manufacturer to reimburse the buyer of their “lemon” vehicle for any fees they incurred as a result of the problem. This includes towing charges, storage fees, and alternate transportation costs. From that amount, the manufacturer is entitled to a reasonable allowance for the buyer’s use of the vehicle (as outlined in the Maine Lemon Law) which will be deducted from the refund amount.
The Maine Lemon Law covers all new or used cars sold or leased in Maine that are covered by a written warranty and intended for use on public roads and highways. It does not cover vehicles which weigh 8,500 pounds or more. However, the federal lemon law provides broader protection. The federal lemon law covers all consumer products that are covered by a warranty. This includes all consumer vehicles, both on and off-road, appliances, consumer electronics, toys, and other household goods.
Term of Protection
The Maine Lemon Law protects consumers for the term of the manufacturer’s written warranty, for three (3) years after the date of purchase or for 18,000 miles from purchase – whichever comes first. This means that as soon as one of these terms expires, the protection of the Maine Lemon Law comes to an end. This is just one of the reasons why it is crucial to consult an experienced Maine Lemon Law attorney at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® as soon as you realize that your vehicle is defective as your attorney can help you to protect your rights before the term of the law expires.
However, even if Maine Lemon Law has expired, the federal lemon law may still apply as the federal lemon law extends to the entire term of the manufacturer’s written warranty.
Reasonable Repair Opportunity
Under the Maine Lemon Law, you are entitled to the remedies discussed above only after you have provided the manufacturer with a “reasonable opportunity to repair” the problems with your vehicle. In practice, this means that the manufacturer may generally have three (3) attempts to fix a single problem, one (1) attempt to fix a problem involving brakes or steering, or fifteen (15) total business days of repair attempts.
Once the manufacturer has been given a reasonable opportunity to repair the vehicle, you must give formal written notice to the manufacturer that the car is still not in compliance with the warranty. If it so chooses, the manufacturer may then make a final repair attempt before you are entitled to further relief under the Maine Lemon Law. In addition, in certain circumstances, you must participate in the manufacturer’s government-approved arbitration program before you can file a lawsuit to enforce your rights. Your experienced Maine Lemon Law attorney at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® can help you to navigate these requirements and help you to get the best possible relief in the fastest possible time.
How to Get Relief
Call Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® or submit your information to us online to see if you qualify under the state or federal lemon law. You may be entitled to a refund, a replacement vehicle or cash compensation for your lemon. We have handled thousands of claims for both “lemon” vehicles and other consumer products since 1995 and over 97% of our cases settle without going to trial. We work extremely hard to get your claim settled as quickly as possible.
We work with Maine attorneys associated with Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® in of-counsel relationships to handle lemon law claims for consumers in Maine. We stay informed of the newest legal developments so you can get the best results for your lemon law claim.