In Maryland, approximately 2% of new vehicles sold each year turn out to be “lemons,” according to recent statistics from the Attorney General’s Office.
This figure highlights the importance of understanding lemon law, a safeguard for consumers who unknowingly purchase defective vehicles.
What is lemon law?
Lemon law serves as a protection for consumers who encounter substantial issues with their newly purchased vehicles. It covers defects that impair the vehicle’s use, safety or value. To qualify under the law, consumers must have purchased or leased the vehicle in Maryland, and the problems must arise within the first 24 months or 18,000 miles, whichever comes first.
What makes a vehicle qualify for relief?
To be eligible for relief under lemon law, the vehicle must undergo a “reasonable number” of repair attempts. This is typically defined as three or more attempts for the same issue, or the vehicle being out of service for a cumulative total of 30 days.
Who must replace the damaged vehicle?
Upon qualifying for relief under the lemon law, the court requires the manufacturer to either replace the vehicle with a comparable one or refund the purchase price, including any collateral expenses such as taxes and registration fees. This ensures that consumers are not left with a defective product after making a substantial investment.
What steps should you take if you think you have a lemon?
If you suspect that you have purchased a lemon, keep detailed records of all repair attempts, including dates, descriptions of the issues and invoices. This documentation will serve as evidence should you need to pursue a claim.
By familiarizing yourself with the eligibility criteria and the steps to take, you can navigate this process with confidence if you believe you have a lemon.