missouri Lemon Law FAQ

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Missouri Lemon Law Basics

Does Missouri Have a Lemon Law?

Yes! The Missouri New Vehicles Warranty Law protects consumers who’ve purchased a lemon in the State of Missouri.

What Is the Lemon Law in Missouri?

The Lemon Law in Missouri holds manufacturers responsible for defective vehicles. Under the law, if a consumer reports a defect within one (1) year of purchasing the vehicle and the dealer fails to repair it after a “reasonable number of attempts,” then the consumer is entitled to a refund or a replacement vehicle.

Although the Missouri New Vehicles Warranty Law only applies to defects that arise within a year of ownership, the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act provides additional protections. This “federal Lemon Law” requires manufacturers to repair any defect which occurs during the warranty period. And if they fail to do so, consumers have up to four (4) years to file a claim.

How Does the Lemon Law Work in Missouri?

The Lemon Law in Missouri awards consumers who have purchased defective vehicles with refunds or replacements. However, you can’t simply demand a new car at the first sign of a problem.

If your new vehicle has an issue, the first step is to notify the manufacturer and bring it in for repair. To qualify for compensation under the Missouri Lemon Law you must notify the manufacturer of the issue within a year of the purchase date. Defects that aren’t reported during the first year of ownership are still protected under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

Before your vehicle can be considered a lemon, you must provide the manufacturer with a “reasonable number of repair attempts.” Typically, that means four (4) repair attempts for the same defect. Alternatively, vehicles can qualify as lemons in Missouri if they remain out of service for repairs for a total of thirty (30) business days.

In some cases, vehicles can be classified as lemons after fewer than (4) four repair attempts. In fact, we’ve handled cases under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act where vehicles were deemed lemons after just one (1) repair attempt.

So as soon as you think you have a lemon, reach out to a Missouri Lemon Law attorney. Both state and federal laws require manufacturers to pay your legal fees if you win your case. And at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center®, we only charge for our services if we secure your compensation. So, there is no reason to deal with your lemon without an attorney to advise you.

An attorney can also help by sending written notice to the manufacturer of the defect before one (1) final repair attempt, which is required before pursuing claims. Once the manufacturer receives this written notice, they’ll direct you to a repair facility. After you bring the car to the facility, they’ll have ten (10) days to repair the defect. And if the defect is still present after this attempt, you have a lemon.

At this point, you or your attorney must present your case to an arbitration board. The board will review the relevant documents (sales paperwork, repair records, receipts for incidental expenses, etc.) and issue a ruling. The ruling may award you with a full or partial refund or even a replacement vehicle. But if you aren’t satisfied with the decision, you can file a lawsuit.

Even if you need to file suit, with an experienced attorney in your corner it’s unlikely your case will make it to trial. In fact, fewer than 1% of our cases do. So if you even think you have a lemon, reach out to us today for a free case review to let us help you get the compensation you deserve.

How Long Is the Claims Period for the Lemon Law in Missouri?

You have eighteen (18) months from the date of purchase to file a claim under the Missouri Lemon Law. If you fail to file your claim in time, other laws, such as the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act provide similar protections. And you can file claims under this “federal Lemon Law” for up to four (4) years after the date of the breach of warranty, which is often the date of the first failed repair attempt.

Does Missouri Have a Lemon Law for Used Cars?

YES, while the Missouri Lemon Law itself does not cover used cars, the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act does. It requires warrantors of consumer products (i.e., car manufacturers and their dealers) to comply with the terms of any warranties or service contracts that accompany the used car.

If the company fails to do so (if they fail to repair the car), it must compensate the owner for the problems they’ve experienced. The law also holds the warrantor or manufacturer responsible for your attorneys’ fees as well as other costs accrued in pursuing a claim. This “fee-shifting” provision allows our Lemon Law lawyers in Missouri to fight for your rights at no cost to you.

Does the Missouri Lemon Law Cover Purchases from an Individual?

YES, although the Missouri New Vehicles Warranty Law only applies to new vehicles purchased from a dealer, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act does cover private party purchases in Missouri. This federal Lemon Law allows consumers to seek compensation for any defects covered by the vehicle’s warranty that the manufacturer fails to fix.

Does Missouri Have a Lemon Law for Semi-Trucks?

No, the Missouri Lemon Law applies only to consumer vehicles. It does not cover semi-trucks or any other commercial vehicles.

Is There a 30-Day Lemon Law in Missouri?

No, it’s a common misconception that consumers who purchase a vehicle have a “cooling-off” period during which they can return the vehicle. This is not the case. All vehicle sales in Missouri are final. You take ownership as soon as you sign the paperwork, before you even drive it off the lot.

However, if the car is a lemon, you are entitled to a refund or a replacement vehicle under the Missouri Lemon Law. But you may need to take legal action to collect the compensation you’re owed. So, if you think you have a lemon, reach out to us for a free case review so we can help to make you whole again.

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