Mississippi's Lemon Law was enacted to protect the purchasers of motor vehicles and to supplement those existing protections afforded by federal lemon laws. While some limitations may apply, the Mississippi legislature sought to provide the purchasers of motor vehicles with a tailored remedy should the manufacturer, by and through its dealers, fail to repair a defect or nonconformity in a vehicle after being afforded a reasonable number of attempts to do so. Specifically, should this situation occur, the consumer may seek at their option a refund for their purchase or a replacement vehicle. Additionally, the law makes clear that if a consumer prevails that a court may award the consumer their attorneys' fees and costs for bringing their claim.
Mississippi Lemon Law Info:
Reasonable Number of Attempts to Repair
A consumer is only required to provide the manufacturer with a "reasonable number of attempts" to repair the motor vehicle at issue. Under Mississippi law, this means that if the vehicle has either not been repaired after three (3) repair attempts, or the vehicle has been out of service for fifteen (15) cumulative days, the vehicle is presumptively designated as a lemon. If you are uncertain if you meet this criterion, contact a Mississippi Lemon Law attorney who may evaluate your claims and advise you of your rights under the law.
Types of Nonconformities Covered
While an automobile manufacturer is contractually obligated to repair all defects and nonconformities that arise during the duration of the warranty accompanying your vehicle, an automobile manufacturer is only liable under the Mississippi Lemon Law if the nonconformities impair the vehicle’s use, value, or safety. However, the simple fact that a vehicle has been out of service for multiple days or has not provided you with reliable transportation is the type of evidence that suggests the nonconformity impairs the vehicle’s use, value, or safety. Moreover, any trade valuation guide, such as the Kelley Blue Book, makes clear that a vehicle with defects has substantially less value than one without defects. Therefore, proving that the defects and nonconformities in your vehicle impair its use, value, or safety is often not very difficult. A Lemon Law attorney will be able to assess your case and advise you as to whether the defects and nonconformities in your vehicle qualify for relief under Mississippi law. However, even if your vehicle does not qualify for relief, an experienced attorney will also be able to advise you if the defects and nonconformities qualify for relief under the less stringent federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which does not require that the defects impair the use, value, or safety of the vehicle.
Your repair receipts are your most compelling evidence. It is, therefore, important that consumers maintain documentation of every repair visit so the records may be provided to a Mississippi Lemon Law attorney for review. If you do not have your receipts or the dealer refused to give them to you, take good notes of every visit to the dealer so you may advise an attorney as to what occurred. While the records definitely make it easier to assess your claims, an experienced lawyer should be able to assess your case with or without written records. It is also good to have copies of your purchase documents and all warranty information. Although these records may come in handy when assessing your case, a lemon law attorney may request further information from the dealers or manufacturer necessary to prove your case.
Time Frame to Pursue a Claim
If you do not get help from the dealer or manufacturer, you will want to file a claim as soon as possible. The law in Mississippi provides that you must file a claim within eighteen (18) months after your vehicle has been delivered to you. If you are outside of this time period, do not be discouraged. In Broome v. General Motors, LLC, a recent case handled by the attorneys at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® before the Mississippi Supreme Court, the court made clear that a consumer has six (6) years to pursue a claim for breach of warranty in the State of Mississippi. Accordingly, if the defects and nonconformities in your vehicle arose after eighteen (18) months and the manufacturer still failed to repair them, the manufacturer may have breached your warranty, i.e., broken its promise to repair. Nevertheless, it is important that you act quickly to make sure that you meet all possible deadlines and put yourself in the best position possible to receive the maximum compensation under the law. Whatever you do, don’t wait to ask for redress under the Mississippi Lemon Law.