Michigan Lemon Laws

Lemon Law in Michigan

Lemon laws in the state of Michigan are also called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. This law is designed to allow consumers to receive compensation for defective motor vehicles. Motor vehicles are extended to include automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, boats, and other consumer products like appliances and computers.

Section 257.1401 of the Michigan lemon law states the specific definitions for words associated with defective motor vehicles. These include five verifications of consumer, lessee, lessor, manufacturer, manufacturer’s express warranty, motor vehicle, new motor vehicle, new motor vehicle dealer, person, resident of the state, lease price, and purchase price.


A defective motor vehicle can vary greatly in problems. In order to qualify for lemon compensation, motor vehicles must have defects that alter the market value of the vehicle or defects that will hinder the safety of the passengers. If a defect is cosmetic or appliance related, the defect will most likely not qualify. Also in order to qualify the motor vehicle must undergo a reasonable number of repair attempts prior to being reported as a lemon.

These repair attempts normally include three or four attempts and must be for the same recurring defect and not several defects. Upon request the manufacturer is required by Michigan law to attempt a repair on the motor vehicle. If the manufacturer, dealer, or agent cannot conform the vehicle to factory standards or to the market value, compensation may be issued.

Prior to this attempt the consumer must prove that a reasonable number of repair attempts were made and all were made while the vehicle was under the manufacturer’s express warranty. The lemon must also be reported to the manufacturer prior to the expiration of the express warranty. Manufacturers, agents, and dealers are required to attempt a repair following the expiration of the express warranty if the motor vehicle was submitted prior to expiration.

A motor vehicle also may not receive a repair attempt if one year has passed since the date of delivery to the original consumer. The reasonable number of repair attempts may be waived if the motor vehicle has been out of use due to repairs for longer than thirty days. These days may be added up during the express warranty’s time period.


If the manufacturer, agent, or dealer cannot conform the motor vehicle to the proper standard compensation will ensue in the form of either refund or replacement. A refund will be administered and include the full purchasing price of the motor vehicle, registration fees, licensing fees, government fees, collateral charges, taxes, and all other fees associated with purchasing the vehicle. If the motor vehicle has neglect or abuse, such compensation may be subtracted from the refunded total. A refund is automatically required if the manufacturer is unable to repair the defect in thirty calendar days.

When a motor vehicle is to be replaced the replacement vehicle is to be the same market value as the lemon vehicle. If cosmetic alterations, such as paint or stereo system, have been included on the lemon vehicle, the dealer, agent, or manufacturer is not required to replace or refund those additions.

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