The Massachusetts lemon law was created to protect consumers. If you have purchased or leased a defective new vehicle, understanding if the Massachusetts lemon law applies to you could be the first step toward receiving compensation. The term lemon law refers to consumer products that are defective or continue to have issues even after numerous repair attempts.
The lemon law Mass has been created to protect consumers. Individual states have different laws pertaining to if a car qualifies as a lemon. Below you’ll find a summary of the lemon law Mass, 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 Massachusetts’s lemon law applies to your case is whether your vehicle is new vs. used. A majority of lemon law state statutes apply only to new cars. However, some states do have provisions under their used car lemon laws.
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 Massachusetts lemon law does 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 lemon law Mass. In order for your vehicle to qualify under the lemon law, the following conditions must be met:
• The law applies to new and leased vehicles, except those used primarily for business purposes, off-road vehicles, auto homes and motorized bicycles.
• In order to qualify, a vehicle must have a minimum of 3 repair attempts - 15 business days out of service.
• The coverage period is 1 year or 15,000 miles, whichever occurs first.
If the above conditions are met, under the lemon law Mass the manufacture or dealer is required to do the following:
• If your vehicle qualifies as a lemon and the manufacturer offers you a replacement vehicle, it must be one that is acceptable to you. You are free to reject a replacement vehicle and demand a refund. However, you cannot reject a refund and demand a replacement. If you are given a replacement vehicle under the Lemon Law, a new one year or 15,000 mile term of protection starts from the date of delivery of that replacement vehicle.
• If you choose to get a refund, you will receive the full contract price of the vehicle including all credits and allowances for any trade-in vehicle, but a reasonable allowance for use will be deducted.
• The use allowance depends upon the vehicle’s purchase price and mileage.
First, if you want to possibly make a lemon law claim, you’ll need to keep accurate records. Keep detailed records of all problems, repairs performed, and the amount of time your car is unavailable while repairs are 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:
Second, in order to make a claim under the Massachusetts lemon law, you must communicate with the dealer attempting to fix the vehicle that you feel your car qualifies. 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 Mass 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, consulting a lemon law attorney to review your case is worth the effort.
If your situation appears not to qualify under the lemon law Mass, 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 lemon law Mass. 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. good or poor condition.
Again, if you are unclear if the Massachusetts lemon law applies to your situation, a lemon law attorney can be hired at no cost to you to determine if the federal lemon law applies to your case.
If you have specific questions regarding the Massachusetts lemon law, you can also contact the Attorney General’s Office at the following number:
Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation
(617) 727-7780 or Toll Free: (888) 283-3757
For new and leased car lemon law specifics visit: Mass Office of Consumer Affairs
The Better Business Bureau also has a printable summary of the lemon law Mass: BBB State Statutes