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Man calling insurance agent for car trouble

Purchasing a car is an exciting thing to do, but sometimes your new vehicle doesn’t work as expected or meet inspection standards. That’s why Massachusetts has a set of Lemon Laws to protect and reimburse consumers.

The New and Leased Car Lemon Law, Used Vehicle Warranty Law, and Lemon Aid Law all serve residents of Massachusetts who have been sold a “lemon” of an automobile. Massachusetts laws define a “lemon” as a new motor vehicle with substantial impairment to use, safety or market value, or a used vehicle with impairment to use or safety. These laws can be complex, but they are easy to understand with the help of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation’s (OCABR) Lemon Law Qualification application.

OCABR developed this tool to provide consumers a simple, user-friendly way to navigate the state’s Lemon Laws. Every year, OCABR receives thousands of calls from Massachusetts residents whose recently purchased car has failed inspection or could not be repaired. The Lemon Law Qualification application enables consumers to quickly determine if their automobile is covered by these laws.

New and Leased Car Lemon Law

Massachusetts Lemon Laws protect consumers who have serious defects in their new or leased cars. If the defect cannot be repaired after a number of attempts or a reasonable amount of time, then your vehicle is covered under the New and Leased Car Lemon Law, and you may have the right to a refund or replacement vehicle.

Used Vehicle Warranty Law

The Used Vehicle Warranty Law covers consumers who have bought a used vehicle in Massachusetts. This law requires that used vehicles sold by an authorized dealer be covered by a written warranty against defects that impair the vehicle’s use or safety. The law also requires individual sellers to disclose any known use or safety defects to the buyer before selling the vehicle. The Used Vehicle Warranty Law provides for mandatory repairs, refunds, or repurchases.

Lemon Aid Law

Like the Used Vehicle Warranty Law, the Lemon Aid Law enables consumers to cancel a motor vehicle purchase if the vehicle fails inspection within seven days from the date of sale due to safety or emissions-related defects; and if the estimated cost of repairs is 10 percent or more of the purchase price (see Mass. General Laws Chapter 90, §7N). This law applies to both dealer and private-party sales of cars and motorcycles purchased for personal or family use. Dealers must display Lemon Aid rights by putting a sticker on the left front window of each used car at the time of delivery.

To see if you qualify for the Lemon Laws, click here.

To contact the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation with questions or complaints, call the Consumer Information Hotline at (617) 973-8787 or toll-free in Massachusetts at (888) 283-3757, or visit the office’s website at www.mass.gov/consumer.

 

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