There are many vehicles in the market today with defects/faults that can cost you a considerable amount of time and money to repair them. The Massachusetts Lemon Law was enacted to protect buyers against purchasing these vehicles. This law is administered by the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation in Massachusetts. This law has three parts: Lemon Aid, used vehicles and new and leased vehicles. This article provides basic overview of these laws, as well as general information that you need to know regarding lemon vehicles.

New and Leased Vehicles

Basically, the Massachusetts new car Lemon Law was enacted to protect consumers against purchasing or leasing new cars with serious problems that impair the vehicle’s safety, use or value. Any new car, van, truck or motorcycle that you purchase from a dealer or manufacturer based in Massachusetts is covered for up to 15,000 miles covered or within 1 year from the time of purchase. This law also covers vehicles that are resold during this period of 15,000 miles or 1 year. If your vehicle meets these qualifications, you may be entitled to a refund of your purchase price or vehicle replacement. Under Massachusetts Lemon Law for new and leased vehicles, you must follow the following steps if you purchase a lemon:

  • Take the car to the manufacturer as soon as you notice a defect.
  • Allow an authorized manufacturer or car dealer a reasonable number of chances to repair the defects-usually up to three attempts
  • Officially send a written notice to your dealer requesting them to have a final repair attempt. The manufacturer has 7 days to comply
  • If the defects are not repaired within 7 days, you have a right to request the manufacturer to refund your purchase price or replace the vehicle with a new one.

Used Vehicles

Massachusetts Lemon Law for used vehicles covers both private party sale and dealer sales. This law defines used vehicles sold by private party or dealers in Massachusetts, vehicles that cost $700 or less, or vehicles with 125,000 odometer readings at the time of sale. Dealers must offer a signed warranty for up to 3,750 miles covered or that cover up to 90 days. In case of a defect within this period, dealers are required to repair those defects. This law does not cover defects caused through negligence, alteration or misuse. The dealer also has an option of repurchasing the car if the cost of repair is too costly for them. Private party sellers must inform buyers of any serious defects that may compromise the vehicles safety, use or resale value. On the event that the seller failed to inform the buyer of those defects, the buyer may cancel the contract and request a full refund within the first 30 days after purchase.

Lemon Aid

Under the Massachusetts Lemon Law Lemon Aid, if a new vehicle fails to pass inspection within the first 7 days after purchase or lease, and the cost of repair is 10% or more of the purchase price, you can cancel the contract and request your refund. Massachusetts Lemon Law does not cover the following vehicles:

  • Motor homes
  • Commercial or business vehicles
  • Off-road use vehicles
  • Vehicles leased before July 1, 1997
  • Vehicles with defects caused by persons other than dealers or manufacturer.