What is a Lemon Car Under Massachusetts Lemon Law?
Massachusetts lemon law covers new passenger vehicles, SUVs, vans, trucks, and motorcycles that are purchased in Massachusetts, as well as used cars that are sold by dealers within one year or 15,000 miles of the original purchase (whichever comes first). In order to be considered a “lemon,” the vehicle must meet the following requirements:
- Does not conform to the manufacturer’s express warranty
- Has substantial defects affecting the use, safety, or value of the vehicle
- Has manufacturer’s defects that occurred during the first year from the original owner’s delivery date or the first 15,000 miles on the odometer (whichever period ends first)
- Has been taken in three times for the same problem or if it has been out of service for 15 business days due to a series of unrelated problems
- After the dealer has tried to repair the vehicle three times, the manufacturer has been notified and given a final opportunity to repair the vehicle
- It is used primarily for personal, family, or household purposes
Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 90, Section 7N1/2 is the state’s new and leased car lemon law. In addition, the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act (Massachusetts General Law, chapter 93A), covers unfair or deceptive merchant practices.
Massachusetts Lemon Law Relief
Massachusetts lemon law provides several options for a successful lemon law claimant. First, you may be awarded a replacement vehicle of the same year, make, and model. You may also qualify for a monetary award, which can include:
- The full contract price
- Sales tax
- Registration fees
- Finance charges paid on your loan
- Cost of dealer-installed options
- Towing and vehicle rental costs
- Non-dealer added options
- Incidental costs
- Attorney’s fees
The amount of the monetary reward may be reduced by a deduction for the total mileage on the vehicle. This amount is calculated by dividing the total contract price by 100,000 and multiplying that amount by the mileage driven since delivery. For motorcycles, the use allowance is calculated by dividing the contract price by 25,000. The award may also be reduced by the total amount of dealer allowances and rebates or settlements.
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Pursuing a MA Lemon Law Claim
Under Massachusetts lemon law there are three ways to gain relief: go to court, go to mediation, or go to arbitration.
Mediation requires both your consent and that of the manufacturer and/or dealer. Consumer Affairs offers a mediation program for lemon law disputes, or you can use an independent mediator.
Under the provisions of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act, your lemon law case begins with a demand letter to the manufacturer and/or dealer. Here’s a sample demand letter that you can adapt for your use.
The manufacturer’s time to make the final repair begins when the manufacturer receives this letter or when the manufacturer knows, or should have known, that your car has been subject to repair three times or has been out of service for 15 business days.
If the manufacturer fails to make the repair attempt within seven business days of its receipt of the letter, your vehicle is deemed a “lemon” under the law. Moreover, if the manufacturer fails to make a reasonable offer to settle within 30 calendar days, you may be able to get double or triple damages from the court. If the court finds that the manufacturer’s or dealer’s violation of the Consumer Protection Act was “willful or knowing,” or that their refusal to settle to you was made in bad faith, you may receive between two and three times the amount of your actual damages.
Do I have rights if my vehicle has gone past the Lemon Law period?
Absolutely. Even if your vehicle has gone past 2 years or 18,000 miles , there are still Federal and State warranty laws that protect you.
Does Massachusetts Lemon Law apply to used cars?
The law does not apply to used cars, but Massachusetts has the Used Car Warranty Law, M.G.L.A. c. 90, § 7N ¼ that still protect used car purchasers. Under that law, consumers are entitled to a refund if )a defect impairs the safety or use of the vehicle during the warranty period, and (b) a defect continued to exit despite three or more repair attempts or was out of service for a cumulative total of ten business days.
Hiring a Lemon Law Lawyer in Massachusetts
Wherever you are in the lemon law claim process, we’re happy to help. Whether you need help gathering the material documenting your lemon, submitting the final demand letter, negotiating a settlement, or appealing the arbitration decision, Lemberg Law will be at your side every step of the way.
Helping consumers is what we do. We’ve helped more than 15,000 people recover more than $35 million.
Remember that vehicle manufacturers have teams of lawyers that do nothing but fight lemon law claims. Lemon laws try to level playing field by forcing automakers to pay the consumer’s attorney fees in successful lemon law claims. That’s why our representation won’t cost you a dime.
There’s a limited window of opportunity for filing a lemon law claim. If you suspect you have a Colorado lemon, give us a call today. We understand your frustration, and will do our best to deliver the justice you deserve.
What Happens When You Hire a Lemon Law Lawyer?
A good lemon lawyer will work on your behalf to get the compensation to which you’re entitled – typically in the form of a refund, a replacement vehicle, or a cash settlement. Your Lemon Law attorney will ask you for all of your records, such as repair orders and correspondence, that pertain to your lemon. Your lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation of your vehicle’s repair history, then present the manufacturer with a statement outlining your case and demanding full recovery. More often than not, the manufacturer will settle; if not, though, your Lemon Law attorney should be prepared to sue the manufacturer. Your lawyer should be able to resolve your case within one to two months.
Get some answers.
If you think you have a lemon car, lemon truck, lemon RV, or lemon motorcycle, you deserve to be compensated. Lemberg Law can help you get justice – at no cost to you! Complete our form for a no-obligation case evaluation, or call toll free 877-795-3666