Massachusetts has several laws which may help you, for both new & used vehicles. Make sure to read this page fully, including the "Lemon Aid Law" section at the bottom.
Massachusetts New Vehicle Lemon Law
The Massachusetts Lemon Law applies when, during the first one-year period or 15,000 miles, whichever comes first, following delivery of the vehicle:
- the dealer has attempted to repair the same problem three (3) or more times, or
- the vehicle has been at the dealership & out of service for repair of a substantial defect or combination of defects, for a cumulative total of 15 or more business days. A business day is defined as any day that the service department of an authorized dealer is open for business.
The Massachusetts Lemon Law only covers serious defects- those which substantially impair the use, market-value or safety of the vehicle. The law does not list the defects which are considered substantial. You must be able to demonstrate specifically how the use, safety or market value of your vehicle is substantially impaired by the defect. For example, to prove market value impairment, you must show that your vehicle is worth at least 10 percent less than it would be without the defect. Although a defect may be annoying, it is not necessarily substantial.
Also not covered are vehicles used primarily for business purposes, or vehicles with defects caused by owner negligence, accidents, vandalism, or unauthorized repair of the vehicle by a person other than the manufacturer or authorized agent.Massachusetts New / Leased Vehicle Lemon Law Information » Massachusetts Lemon Law Overview »
Massachusetts Used Vehicle Warranty Law -- Dealership Purchase
If you purchased the used vehicle from a dealership, the Massachusetts Used Vehicle Warranty Law applies when the vehicle cost at least $700 & has fewer than 125,000 miles. The following warranty limits apply (the criteria listed is "whichever comes first"):Mileage:
- Less than 40,000 miles: 90 days or 3,750 miles
- 40,000 to 79,999 miles: 60 days or 2,500 miles
- 80,000 to 124,999 miles: 30 days or 1,250 miles
- 125,000 miles or over: No express warranty
- Less than 3 years old: 90 days or 3,750 miles
- 3 to 6 years old: 60 days or 2,500 miles
- Over 6 years old: 30 days or 1,250 miles
Warranty Extension: Your used vehicle warranty is extended by one day for each day the vehicle is out of service for repairs, and by one mile for each mile it is driven while repairs are being made. In addition, any repair performed on a covered defect during the warranty period carries its own 30-day warranty. This warranty begins the day the repair is completed and can continue after the original warranty on the car as a whole expires.Massachusetts Used Vehicle Warranty Information » Massachusetts Lemon Law Overview »
Massachusetts Used Vehicle Warranty Law -- Private Party Purchase
If you purchased the used vehicle from a private party, the Massachusetts Used Vehicle Warranty Law states that the seller must inform the buyer of all known defects that impair the safety or that substantially impair the use of the vehicle, regardless of sale price or mileage. If you were not informed AND you can prove the seller knew about the defect but failed to disclose it, you may cancel the sale within 30 days & the seller must refund the amount you paid, minus 15 cents for each mile you drove it since the sale. The trick of course is proving the was aware of the defect. You should always ask where the vehicle has been serviced so you know where to obtain repair records if the seller does not provide you with all of them. Private party sales are also bound of the Massachusetts "Lemon Aid Law" -- see below.Massachusetts Used Vehicle Warranty Information » Massachusetts Lemon Law Overview »
Massachusetts Lemon Aid Law
The Massachusetts Lemon Aid Law allows buyers to void/cancel a new or used vehicle sales contract if:
- The vehicle fails inspection within 7 days of the purchase, AND
- The estimated cost of emissions or safety-related repairs exceeds 10% of the purchase price.
There are four steps which you must follow exactly if you intend to exercise your rights under the Lemon Aid Law -- see the Lemon Aid Law link below for more information.Massachusetts Lemon Aid Law Information » Massachusetts Lemon Law Overview »
Helpful Lemon Law Tips
Most states require you to notify the dealer and the manufacturer that you have a Lemon Law claim. Always use Certified Mail with Return Receipt.
If the manufacturer has an informal mediation or dispute resolution process, most states require you to do that first before pursuing litigation. However, you should contact a lawyer immediately.
Most lawyers will not charge you for an initial consultation or legal fees for Lemon Law arbitration. If they decide you have a case, normally the manufacturer is forced to pay your legal costs.