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November 5, 2018

Buying a used car?

Buying a car can be a significant decision, and especially if you are purchasing a used car, you should know your rights as a consumer. If there are defects that may impair safety and the ability to properly drive, you may be eligible for different types of recourse under Massachusetts Lemon Laws.

Not all vehicles or defects are covered under the Lemon Law, and not all issues will guarantee that a car will qualify for repurchase. To determine eligibility of a vehicle, check here. If you have not yet bought a used car, but are planning to, ensure that your dealer:

  • Provides you with a written warranty against defects that impair the vehicle’s use or safety
  • Provides a signed, dated copy of the warranty when you purchase the vehicle
  • Repair any defect that impairs the vehicle’s use or safety

If the dealer does not provide you with a warranty, or gives you an incomplete or inaccurate warranty, you are still entitled to repairs. However, it is important to have a written contract ensuring repair or replacement if you ultimately take the dealer to court.

If your vehicle meets the Lemon Law requirements, compensation options can include costs of repairs, refunds, and vehicle buyback. However, if the dealer refuses to repurchase the car or replace it with one that is acceptable to you, you do have the right to proceed to court. The first step of doing so would be having either yourself or an attorney send a 30-day demand letter to the dealer. If the business does not respond in good faith within 30 days, it could subject them to triple damages and attorney’s fees. If the business responds with a written offer of settlement, you must decide to either reject or accept the offer, however, if the Court finds you rejected an offer that is deemed reasonable, the Court may limit the amount of money you can ultimately collect.

If you believe you have purchased a “Lemon” car and are looking for legal representation, please call the Boston Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service at 617-742-0625 or connect with an area attorney online.