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The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) again conducted its survey of Massachusetts auto dealerships to determine how many were displaying Lemon Law stickers on every vehicle for sale, as mandated by state law.

Inspectors visited 118 dealerships in 32 cities and towns in Massachusetts and audited a total of 2,174 cars. Of the dealerships inspected, 37 were 100% compliant, meaning all of the vehicles onsite had a Lemon Law sticker, while 31 dealerships had 0% compliance.

The OCABR sent letters to the inspected dealerships letting them know of their compliance rate and where to find information about their responsibilities as auto dealers. As dealerships are licensed by the city or town in which they are located, letters were sent to each dealership’s respective licensing authority reminding them of this requirement and asking for their increased vigilance in checking for these stickers.

Why do we care so much about a small yellow sticker? These stickers represent certain rights. The Lemon Law is designed to protect consumers who purchase a new or used vehicle, only to later discover that the vehicle has a defect that cannot be repaired despite a reasonable number of attempts. If your vehicle meets these standards, you may be entitled to a refund or a replacement. A car is one of the largest purchases a consumer makes and without the sticker, consumers may not know they have options should their car have problems!

We’ve conducted the same audit at different dealerships in varying towns over the last few years. You can view the results of last year’s audit here.  While the number of 0% compliant dealerships rose, it’s important to note that we’ve been targeting different towns across the Commonwealth. We’ll go back in the spring and check on the 0% compliant locations to ensure improvement. We did that this year and found significant improvement in 11 of 19 repeat visit locations.

And keep in mind, consumer feedback helps us ensure your protection! The next time you are shopping for a new or used vehicle, look out for Lemon Law stickers. If you notice that a dealership does not display their stickers, contact our office and give us the dealership name and address!

lemon-law-used lemon-law-new

 

If you have additional questions, contact the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation by calling our Consumer Hotline at (617) 973-8787, or toll-free in MA at (888) 283-3757, Monday through Friday from 9 am-4:30 pm. Follow the Office on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer. The Baker-Polito Administration’s  Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation along with its five agencies work together to achieve two goals: to protect and empower consumers through advocacy and education, and to ensure a fair playing field for all Massachusetts businesses. The Office also oversees the state’s Lemon Laws, data breach reporting, Home Improvement Contractor Program and the state’s Do Not Call Registry.

 

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