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Does your vehicle meet Maryland’s definition of a lemon?

When you buy a new or preowned vehicle in Maryland, you probably expect the car, truck or van to serve you well for years to come. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes, vehicles sold to consumers are defective or otherwise fail to live up to an appropriate standard. If this happens to you and your car meets Maryland’s definition of “lemon,” you may have recourse.

According to the Maryland Attorney General, your vehicle must meet the criteria outlined below for the state to consider it a lemon.

Automotive lemon criteria

Your vehicle may fall under the “lemon” umbrella if it has a Maryland registration and less than 18,000 miles on it. Furthermore, you, or, if applicable, you and the previous owner, must have owned the car for no more than two years.

Automotive dealer obligations

If an auto dealer or auto manufacturer sells you a lemon and you call attention to it by sending that dealer certified mail stating as much, the dealer then has up to 30 days to take care of the defect. If the manufacturer or dealer fails to do so, you may be able to get a refund or a replacement vehicle if the car has certain problems. For example, if your new vehicle has brake or steering problems an initial repair fails to fix, your dealer or manufacturer may have to refund you or replace the vehicle sold.

When it comes to Maryland’s lemon laws, timing matters. If you believe you now own an automotive lemon, act quickly for your strongest chance at a favorable outcome.