If you have purchased a defective new vehicle, understanding if the lemon law Missouri applies to you could be the first step toward receiving compensation. The term lemon law refers to consumer products that are defective or develop issues even after numerous repair attempts.
Missouri lemon laws have been created to protect consumers from such defective products. Different states have different laws pertaining to if a car qualifies as a lemon. Below you’ll find a summary of the Missouri lemon laws, what you should do if you think your car is a lemon, and lemon law resources.
One of the main things to consider as to whether Missouri’s lemon law
applies to your case is whether your vehicle is new vs. used. A
majority of lemon law state statutes, including Missouri, apply only to
new cars. However, some states do have provisions under their
lemon laws for used cars.
The issue is specifically linked to your vehicle’s warranty. New cars are sold with vehicle warranties that specify coverage for a specified number of miles or months. It is under the umbrella of this warranty that the lemon law generally applies. For used cars sold by dealers with warranties, coverage under the state’s lemon law may apply. If your state does not have specified lemon laws for used cars and you purchased your used car with a warranty, federal lemon laws may apply.
The following are the key aspects of the Missouri lemon laws. In order for your vehicle to qualify under the lemon law, your vehicle must meet the following criteria:
• It must be a vehicle used primarily for personal, family or household purposes, excluding commercial vehicles, mopeds, motorcycles, and RVs except for the chassis, engine, powertrain and component parts of RV's.
• The law applies only when a minimum of 4 repair attempts or 30 business days out of service have occurred.
• The coverage period is the express warranty period or 1 year, whichever occurs earlier.
If the above conditions are met, under the Missouri lemon laws the manufacture or dealer is required to do the following:
• If the manufacturer, cannot conform the new motor vehicle to any applicable express warranty by repairing or correcting any default or condition which impairs the use, market value, or safety of the new motor vehicle to the consumer, the manufacturer shall, at its option, either replace the new motor vehicle with a comparable new vehicle acceptable to the consumer, or take title of the vehicle from the consumer and refund to the consumer the full purchase price, including all reasonably incurred collateral charges, less a reasonable allowance for the consumer's use of the vehicle.
• The subtraction of a reasonable allowance for use shall apply when either a replacement or refund of the new motor vehicle occurs.
First, if you want to possibly make a lemon law claim, you’ll need to gather all records associated with the vehicle. Gather detailed records of all problems, repairs performed, and the amount of time your car was unavailable while repairs were being made. Without these documents, proving that your car qualifies as a lemon will be a challenge. If you did not collect documents when problems first arose, ask the dealer for the repair records.
To help you organize your documentation, click on this link for a repair log:
Lemon Law Repair Log
Second, in order to potentially invoke the lemon law Missouri, you must communicate with the dealer attempting to fix the vehicle that you feel your car may qualify. If the dealer is not complying, contact the manufacturer directly, detailing the problem. When contacting the manufacturer, specifically ask for their procedure for making a lemon law claim.
A final step you can take is to hire a lemon law attorney. The good news is that the attorney fees are generally free to the consumer. If an attorney who specializes in the lemon law Missouri loses your case, they don’t get paid. If they win, the manufacturer pays the legal fees. Thus, if you do not feel like the dealer or manufacture has provided sufficient restitution, contacting a lemon law attorney to review your case is definitely worth the effort.
If your situation appears not to qualify under the Missouri lemon laws, there may be another option. A potential resource is the federal lemon law. This statute is called the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act. In general it falls under the breach of warranty (BOW) theory. Restitution under this act is different than under than Missouri lemon laws. Instead of a refund for the defective vehicle, restitution is the difference between the Kelly blue book value of the car in excellent conditions vs. the blue book value of the car in good or poor condition.
Again, if you are unclear if the lemon law Missouri applies to your situation, a lemon law attorney can be hired at no cost to you and review your case to determine if the federal lemon law applies to your case.
If you have specific questions regarding the Missouri lemon laws, you can also contact the Attorney General’s Office at the following address:
Missouri Attorney General's Office
Supreme Court Building
207 W. High St.
P.O. Box 899
Jefferson City, MO 65102
You may contact the Attorney General's Office with general questions by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your email will be routed to a member of the Attorney General's staff and an appropriate response shall be forthcoming.
You can also visit their website at:
Missouri Attorney General's Office
The Better Business Bureau also has a printable summary of the Missouri lemon laws: BBB Lemon Law State Statutes