Auto Law Lemon
Auto Law Lemon
A vehicle is considered a lemon if it has a substantial defect that impairs your safety or your ability to drive it, or impacts its market value and the car has not been repaired after a reasonable number of attempts.Please note, the OCABR cannot assist you with Registry of Motor Vehicle Services. For RMV related services, please visit www.mass.gov/RMV or call the RMV at (857) 368-8000.
If you have not yet notified the manufacturer and you think your car meets the definition of a lemon, you should immediately notify the manufacturer by letter, sent via certified mail, return receipt requested. (See sample letter B.) Send a copy of your letter to the Consumer Protection Division along with a completed complaint form, and keep a copy for your own files. In your letter, you should:
If your car is a lemon and the manufacturer is unable to correct the problem within 30 days of receiving your letter, the manufacturer must repurchase or replace your vehicle. If you previously contacted the manufacturer, you will want to send a follow-up letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, outlining your problem, the steps you have taken to resolve it and what action you want taken. (See sample letter C.)
You may want to have an independent automotive expert examine your car. You can submit a written report of the expert's findings to the arbitrator. You will have to pay for the expert, but the report might help you make your case. You can ask the arbitrator to reimburse your expenses in obtaining the report, although you cannot be assured you will be compensated for this expense even if you prevail in the arbitration.
If you have been sold a lemon, contact a private attorney to discuss your options. The Oregon State Bar referral service can help you find an appropriate legal representative and can be reached at 503-684-3763 or toll-free in Oregon at 1-800-452-7636. Please visit the Oregon State Bar for more information.
Lemon laws are laws that provide a remedy for purchasers of cars and other consumer goods in order to compensate for products that repeatedly fail to meet standards of quality and performance. Although many types of products can be defective, the term "lemon" is mostly used to describe defective motor vehicles, such as cars, trucks, and motorcycles.
Lemon law protection arises under state law, with every U.S. state and the District of Columbia having its own lemon law. Although the exact criteria vary by state, new vehicle lemon laws require that an auto manufacturer repurchase a vehicle that has a significant defect that the manufacturer is unable to repair within a reasonable amount of time. Lemon laws consider the nature of the problem with the vehicle, the number of days that the vehicle is unavailable to the consumer for service of the same mechanical issue, and the number of repair attempts made. If repairs cannot be completed within the total number of days described in the state statute, the manufacturer becomes obligated to buy back the defective vehicle. Contrary to popular belief, the dealership has no obligation to buy back the vehicle, because the dealership does not warrant the vehicle, the manufacturer does.
Some state lemon laws cover only certain classes of vehicles, such as vehicles purchased for individual use but not for business use, or vehicles under a certain gross weight. A small number of states additionally have more limited lemon laws that cover used vehicles. New York State is one state with a used car lemon law. Some states have lemon laws that apply to pet purchases. California has a broad lemon law, the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, which covers a wide range of products, including vehicles, boats, electronics, and appliances.
The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act was enacted as a federal law in 1975, and protects citizens of all states, to ensure that manufacturers honor their warranties and to reduce the chance that a consumer will be misled abou