Massachusetts Lemon Law Summary
- Eligibility: 3 unsuccessful repairs or 15 business days out of service within shorter of 1 year or 15,000 miles.
- Resolution Attempt: Written notice to manufacturer or dealer who has 7 business days to attempt final repair.
- State-run arbitration mechanism available.
Realizing that you have purchased a lemon can affect more than just your mood. It can affect everything from where the money in your paycheck goes, to wondering how to even make it to work to get a paycheck. It is important to know your rights as a consumer should you ever find yourself in this position.
I talked to Megan, an employee at Massachusetts’ Attorney General’s office, who explained to me the lemon laws in place for consumers’ protection. She said Massachusetts has 3 different laws in place for lemons. New Car law and Used Car law are both applicable to dealerships only, while the Lemon Aid Law applies to both dealerships and private parties, and covers other factors.
“Under the Lemon Aid law, a vehicle must be inspected and fail within the first 7 days of purchase,” Megan said. “It must also cost more than 10% of the purchase price to fix the vehicle to pass the inspection and if so, you can return the car back to the dealership or to the seller within 14 days from the date of purchase for a full refund.”
Megan explained how there are no mileage limitations under the Lemon Aid law, while New Car law only cover 1 year or 15,000 miles, whichever comes first. She clarified the premise of the Used Car law, which has 3 different time frames to bring the car back as long as it is less than 125,000 miles:
< 40,000 miles - 90 day warranty or 3075 miles, whichever comes first.
40,000 - 80000 miles - 60 day warranty or 2500 miles whichever comes first.
80000-125000 - 30 day warranty or 1250 miles, whichever comes first.
There are also options in pursuing your lemon law claim in Massachusetts. Megan identified what the consumer can do based on their situation.
“There is an arbitration program held at the office of Consumer Affairs and Business that enforces the lemon law program,” she said. “They can always file a complaint with our office and we offer mediation services, otherwise if it’s a private party, they would have to seek private counsel or small claims court, depending on how much it costs.”
For more information, contact the Attorney General’s office at (617) 727-8400.
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