Michigan Lemon Law Summary
Eligibility: Total of 4 unsuccessful repairs within 2 years from the date of the first unsuccessful repair or 30 calendar days within shorter of 1 year or warranty.
Resolution Attempt: Certified mail notice, return receipt requested, to manufacturer who has 5 business days to repair after delivery.
State has certified guidelines for arbitration. Law specifically applies to leased vehicles.
So you’ve recently purchased a new vehicle and noticed that the shop is starting to see more of it than you are. And if it’s for the same problem, congratulations, you may have just bought yourself…. a lemon. Before you get too discouraged, I have good news for you concerning Michigan’s lemon laws that will not only save you time, but will also save you further repairs and help protect your right as a consumer.
I was able to talk to an attorney at Birmingham’s Liblang Law Firm, who clarified that the lemon law applies to new vehicles, not used vehicles.
“There are statutes under the umbrella of the lemon law that you can go after if you have a used vehicle,” she said. “But specifically if you are just talking about filing a lawsuit with the lemon law as a count, then it only applies to new vehicles.”
The same stipulation also applies to motorcycles, which are covered by an entirely different federal lemon law known as the Magnusson-Moss warranty act.
Your vehicle only has to meet one of two requirements for it to be filed under the lemon law. The lawyer explained how it must have had to been in repair four times for the same defect, and/or it was out of service for 30 days or more during the first year of ownership due to repairs.
“Say that your vehicle could be 2 years old and you’ve had it in 4 times for the breaks,” she said. “It would qualify for the lemon law, even if it hadn’t been in repair for 30 days.”
It’s a good idea to get a lawyer if you’re pursuing lemon law claims in Michigan. The lawyer clarified how many times people will underestimate the problem and try to take it to small claims courts themselves, or end up settling for an oil change from the manufacturer.
“Small claims court limit is $5000,” she said. “So if you have a $35,000 - 40,000 Cadillac and you want to get that vehicle repurchased, your best avenue is going to get a lawyer…I think the problem is that consumers don’t realize what they’re entitled to once they’ve hit that threshold”.
By getting counsel, the lawyer explained the numerous benefits should the consumer win the case. If you win your case, Michigan’s law entitles the consumer to have all of their payments made, including Michigan finance charges, any out of pocket expenses, and attorney fees, as well as a statutory offset applied to the manufacturer. For more inquiries, you can contact Liblang Law Firm at (248) 540-9270 or at http://www.lemonlawlawyers.com/tocfirmoverview.htm.