Lemon Law in Massachusetts
The federal law and Massachusetts state law in relation to lemon products are also called Magnuson-Moss Warrant Act. The lemon law was created to allow consumers to be compensated for defective motor vehicles when still under the manufacturer’s express warranty. Lemon laws also cover motorcycles, trucks, recreational vehicles, boats, computers, and any other product or appliance that is considered consumer.
Motor vehicles are the most common lemon products. When a motor vehicle is deemed a lemon, the consumer can be compensated in reimbursement or replacement. In order to qualify for lemon compensation a motor vehicle must first undergo several attempted repairs on the same defect. By law the manufacturer, dealer, or agent is required to attempt a repair prior to providing compensation.
When a repair is attempted, by another facility other than the agent, dealer, or manufacturer, the consumer is required to keep the proper documentation. Such documents will be required when filing for lemon compensation. If enough repair attempts have been made, normally between three and four attempts, the manufacturer, agent, or dealer is lawfully required to first attempt their own repair.
If the manufacturer, dealer, or agent cannot complete the repair within thirty calendar days, the consumer is automatically entitled to a refund or replacement vehicle. If the dealer, manufacturer, or agent cannot repair the defect at all, the consumer is also entitled to replacement or compensation.
All repairs are required to restore the motor vehicle to its market value as stated in the express warranty. If the vehicle is out of use and in an attempt of repair for more than thirty days, the reasonable number of repair attempts will be waived.
Motor vehicles are only eligible for lemon repair attempts if still under the manufacturer’s express warranty. All attempted repairs are also required to take place while under the warranty. However if the consumer reports the lemon vehicle to the manufacturer, dealer, or agent following the express warranty’s expiration, the manufacturer, dealer, or agent is required to still attempt a restoring repair. If reported following the express warranty’s expiration, the manufacturer may decline to repair the vehicle.
Only certain defects are eligible for lemon compensation. Defects are required to hinder driver safety or alter the market value of the vehicle. Such defects may include seatbelt problems or engine problems. However cosmetic issues and stereo issues are not eligible for compensation.
When an agent, manufacturer, or dealer is unable to repair a vehicle, the consumer is eligible for compensation or replacement. When a motor vehicle is to be replaced the replacement vehicle is required to be of the same market value as the lemon vehicle. A consumer sometimes may have the option of declining a replacement vehicle and may opt for cash compensation through a refund. Refunds are required by law to include the purchasing price, registration fees, licensing fees, taxes, government fees, collateral charges, and all other purchasing fees.
When a motor vehicle is to be refunded all cosmetic additions, like stereo systems or paint, will not be compensated. Any neglect or abuse to a motor vehicle will be subtracted from the purchasing price.