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The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation has compiled the findings for the spring 2018 Lemon Law sticker audit of auto dealerships. Massachusetts law mandates that Lemon Law stickers be displayed on every vehicle for sale at every dealership in the state.

Throughout April and May of this year, inspectors visited 133 dealerships in towns and cities across the Commonwealth and inspected a total of 4,225 (1,778 new cars and 2,447 used cars were inspected).

Our findings:

  • 83 dealerships were 100% compliant, meaning all of the cars our auditors checked at that dealership had a Lemon Law sticker. This is up from 37 fully compliant dealerships audited last fall.
  • 23 dealerships had 0% compliance. We define 0% compliance as fewer than 50% of the total number of vehicles audited at a dealership displayed stickers. Our auditors were happy to note that the amount of dealerships with zero compliance has gone down since the last audit.
  • 33 of the dealerships audited this spring were revisited again from last fall’s audit. 20 of those dealerships improved their compliance rate to 100%.

Once the audit was complete, our Office sent notification to each of the inspected dealerships of their compliance rate and their responsibilities under the law. Letters were also sent to the licensing authorities of the cities and towns where the dealership is located. They were informed of the compliance rates of their local dealerships and encouraged to check for themselves to ensure that stickers are being displayed.

Lemon Law stickers are important because they inform consumers of the protections afforded to them with regard to a refund or replacement should their vehicle have defects that impact their safety or their ability to drive it and those defects are not corrected after a certain amount of repair attempts.

Next time you are shopping for vehicle, check to see if Lemon Law stickers are on display. Reach out to our office if you come across any dealerships that are not properly displaying Lemon Law stickers. It is important that consumers know their rights before making a major purchase such as a car. More information on the Lemon Law, including reports from this and previous audits, along with arbitration eligibility guidelines and steps on how to apply can be found on our website: www.mass.gov/consumer.

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 Massachusetts businesses. The Office also oversees the state’s Lemon Laws and Arbitration Program, Data Breach reporting, Home Improvement Contractor Programs and the MA Do Not Call Registry.

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