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Massachusetts Lemon Law

Green check mark icon Attorney Updated: 05/09/2019

Did You Purchase Or Lease A Lemon In Massachusetts?

If you have ever purchased or leased a new vehicle, only to discover in the coming hours, days or weeks that your new car is defective, then you understand the special frustration unique to purchasers of “lemons.” Fortunately, both federal and state lawmakers have put in place laws to protect consumers who receive these lemons, to help them get the reliable new car they were promised.

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The Massachusetts Lemon Law provides protection against serious defects, defined as defects which “substantially impair” the use, market-value or safety of the vehicle. The federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (sometimes called the Federal Lemon Law), however, provides protection against all problems covered by a warranty – even if such problems are not “serious” enough to qualify under the Massachusetts Lemon Law. The experienced Lemon Law attorneys at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® can help you to decide whether to pursue a claim under Massachusetts law, federal law, or both.

Available Remedies

If a manufacturer or dealer fails to comply with the Massachusetts Lemon Law, the consumer is entitled to have the manufacturer repurchase or replace the lemon. This also obligates the manufacturer or dealer to return or reimburse the consumer for other incidental or collateral fees and expenses. These expenses may include taxes, registration and titling fees, insurance charges, finance fees, towing and rental car charges, and other costs. In addition, a manufacturer’s failure to comply with the Massachusetts Lemon Law may qualify as an unfair and deceptive act under the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act, which may entitle you to double or triple damages. An experienced Massachusetts Lemon Law attorney can help you determine how to proceed to obtain all the relief to which you are entitled.

Covered Vehicles

The Massachusetts Lemon Law extends to a new car, motorcycle, van or truck bought in Massachusetts, under warranty, from a new-car dealer. To be covered, the vehicle must be purchased for personal or family purposes. In addition, the Massachusetts Lemon Law does not cover motor homes, off-road vehicles, or vehicles purchased primarily for business use.

The Federal Lemon Law, however, provides broader protection. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act covers all consumer products – including vehicles, appliances, and other items. Therefore, even if your vehicle does not qualify under the Massachusetts Lemon Law, an experienced Massachusetts Lemon Law attorney can help you obtain relief under federal law.

Term of Protection

The Massachusetts Lemon Law provides protection against defects which arise within one year or 15,000 miles from your date of purchase, whichever comes first. All the dealer’s repair attempts, however, need not occur during this period, provided proper, timely notice is given within the term of protection. The law also continues to provide protection if a vehicle is resold during the one year or 15,000-mile term-of-protection, if the manufacturer or dealer is given a full opportunity to repair during this period.

Reasonable Repair Opportunity

Before you may bring a claim under the Massachusetts Lemon Law, you must first give the dealer or manufacturer a reasonable opportunity to repair the defects in the vehicle, as defined by the law. The Massachusetts Lemon Law, however, is more favorable to consumers than the laws in many states – once a manufacturer or dealer has made three attempts to correct the same problem, or the vehicle has been out of service for 15 or more business days for repairs, the requirement of a reasonable opportunity to repair has been met.

Once a manufacturer has failed to correct the defects despite a reasonable opportunity to do so, that manufacturer is in violation of the Massachusetts Lemon Law. You must then provide a certified final notice to the manufacturer, and give the manufacturer one final seven-day opportunity to repair the vehicle. Once this opportunity has passed, you are free to bring a legal claim, either in court or via an informal dispute process through Massachusetts State Consumer Affairs or the manufacturer’s own procedures. The experienced Lemon Law attorneys at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® can help you determine the best way to proceed, to quickly and effectively obtain the best possible result in your lemon law case.

How to Get Relief

Once you have reason to believe that your vehicle is defective or may be a lemon, contact Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® for a free consultation to determine if you qualify for relief. The manufacturer is required to pay your attorneys’ fees and costs when you win your lemon law case. This means that Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® will seek their attorneys’ fees from your vehicle’s manufacturer instead.

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