Barbara Anthony, Undersecretary of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation
Over the years, Presidents’ Day has become one of the busier car-buying times of the year. Dealers heavily advertise savings, and with the three-day weekend for many, buyers use the extra time to go car shopping.
This is a good time to remind consumers that they have rights under the Massachusetts Lemon Law, and those rights actually start when you are on the lot looking at cars.
Every car sold by a dealer in Massachusetts must have on it a yellow sticker detailing provisions of the Lemon Law (the sticker for new cars is seen top right. The sticker for used cars is seen bottom right). We did a survey of dealers last year, and found that over 40 percent of the cars we checked did not have stickers, so it’s not a given the sticker will be on the car you look at. Look for it.
The Lemon Law protects consumers who have serious defects that impair the use, market value, or safety of their new cars; and for used cars requires dealers to provide a written warranty against defects that affect the use or safety of the vehicle. The Office of Consumer Affairs also runs an arbitration program if you are having trouble getting a car repaired and it falls under the provisions of the Lemon Law.
Buying a car is a big decision for any family. Make sure when you are giving a vehicle a close look-over, do more than just kick the tires. Check and make sure that yellow Lemon Law sticker is on the vehicle and you are fully up to speed on your rights.