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A “lemon car” describes a Massachusetts vehicle that you purchased that has a manufacturing defect that cannot be repaired, and which has resulted in reducing the usability, safety, or value of the car. 

Under the Massachusetts lemon law, it is the car manufacturer’s responsibility to make things right if your vehicle qualifies as a lemon. 

This page will provide you with a simple overview of the lemon law requirements, criteria, and process in Massachusetts. 

For more information regarding your own vehicle, be sure to contact legal counsel or your state’s consumer’s affairs office. 

What is the Massachusetts Lemon Law?

The Massachusetts lemon law sets requirements for car manufacturers to refund or replace vehicles that have safety or quality defects that cannot be repaired. 

If your vehicle qualifies, you can typically choose to either:

  • Have the vehicle replaced with a new one. 
  • Be refunded for the purchase of the lemon. 

Lemon Law Criteria in Massachusetts

In order to qualify for Massachusetts’s lemon law, the vehicle must meet the following criteria:

  • 3 failed repair attempts or 10 days out of service. 
  • Issue occurs within 1 year or 15,000 miles after the purchase, whichever occurs first. 

Does lemon law apply to used cars in Massachusetts?

Yes, the MA lemon law applies to used vehicles with less than 125,000 miles. 

Used cars with over 125,000 miles are also covered if they fail a Massachusetts vehicle inspection within 1 week from the purchase date. 

What to Do if Your Car is a Lemon in Massachusetts

If you believe you’ve purchased a lemon car in Massachusetts, the process will go something like this:

  1. Make the necessary attempts to have the issue repaired under the manufacturer’s warranty. 
  2. Keep records and documentation of all service, communication, and estimates from the dealer, manufacturer, or other authorized agent. 
  3. If you believe the vehicle meets the criteria of a lemon, notify the manufacturer to begin the lemon-law remedy process. 

Massachusetts has a state-sponsored arbitration program you can use to file the claim. 

For official information or legal advice pertaining to your specific circumstances, please contact your attorney or the Massachusetts consumer protection agency.