Can You Use Lemon Law on a Used Car?

One of the biggest questions about lemon laws across the country is this: Can they be used on a used car? In most cases, the answer is “no,” but there might be other ways to get help if you need it. There is, for instance, a Massachusetts lemon law for used car owners, though it isn’t exactly part of the state’s lemon law. Instead, it is called the “used vehicle warranty law,” but works similarly to a Massachusetts lemon law for used car buyers.

What is the Used Vehicle Warranty Law?

This law protects Massachusetts customers who buy a used car from a dealer or private seller. It requires a dealer to provide buyers with a written warranty against defects and a private seller to disclose known defects. Cars, trucks, and vans that are not covered by the lemon law are usually covered here. To qualify, a car must be sold by a dealer or private party from Massachusetts, cost at least $700 (from a dealer), and have less than 125,000 miles when sold.

Purchasing from a Dealer

If you purchase a used car from a dealer, they are required to repair any defects. It does not, however, cover defects that affect the car’s appearance, are covered by other warranties, are caused by negligence, accidents, or vandalism, or are caused during a repair attempt by a third party.

Purchasing from a Private Party

If you buy from a private party, they are required to disclose any and all known defects. After you buy it, if you discover a defect and can prove the seller knew it, but didn’t tell you, the sale can legally be cancelled within 30 days of the date of purchase. The seller must refund all of the money, except a fee for mileage. If the seller doesn’t cancel the contract, you should contact an attorney.

To learn about the Massachusetts lemon law for used car owners, contact the Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center.

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