Purchasing a new vehicle is very exciting. You may have spent months researching various makes and models of vehicles to narrow down the list of potential vehicles. Then you may have spent a few weeks test driving each vehicle on your short list, so you can get a “real world” feel for how the vehicle handles on different streets and in different situations. You finally decide on the right vehicle for you and then spend at least a week or too haggling with one or more car dealers before signing the documents to bring your new car home.
Sadly, your new vehicle begins to experience problems from the moment you drive it off the car lot. The automatic start feature does not work correctly, the trim around your seat keeps ripping, your Bluetooth will not connect, the navigation system fails, the car keeps stalling, or the heat will not work. Whatever is going wrong with the vehicle, the problem continues to occur even after the car dealer repairs the issue. Is there anything you can do or are you stuck with a “lemon” as your new vehicle? Not if you contact a Maryland Lemon Law attorney immediately.
Does Maryland Have a Lemon Law?
Yes, Maryland is one of the states that has a Lemon Law. However, the law only applies to new vehicles. Used vehicles are not covered by Maryland’s Lemon Laws. For new vehicles or leased vehicles, an owner may have recourse for the “lemon” they purchased in the following three situations:
- Your vehicle has experienced the same problem at least four times and has been repaired four or more times during the warranty period up to 24 months from purchase or 18,000 miles;
- You were unable to use your vehicle for at least 30 days or more during the warranty period up to 24 months or 18,000 miles because of a problem; or,
- The steering or braking system has been repaired at least once during the warranty period up to 24 months or 18,000 miles, but the vehicle does not meet the safety inspection laws set for Maryland vehicles.
You must keep in mind, that even though your vehicle may still be under warranty, for the Lemon Laws in Maryland to apply, the vehicle must be less than 24 months old and have no more than 18,000 miles on the vehicle.
What Happens If I Return a Lemon Vehicle to the Dealer?
If your vehicle meets one of the three criteria to be considered a “lemon” under Maryland law, you can return the vehicle to the dealer or manufacturer and request a replacement vehicle or a refund of the purchase price less a small amount designated as an allowance for the use of the vehicle. However, many dealers and manufacturers argue that the repairs made to the vehicle corrected the problem and, therefore, your vehicle is not covered by the Lemon Law.
What If the Dealer or Manufacturer Will Not Honor Maryland’s Lemon Law?
If you are having problems with your vehicle, regardless of whether the vehicle has met the definition of a “lemon” under Maryland law, you need to protect your rights. You should notify the dealer and manufacturer immediately about the problem. You can also notify the vehicle manufacturer of the issue by writing to the manufacturer and including copies of all relevant documents, including the repair orders and notes from the dealer. You should send the letter by certified mail, return receipt requested. Give the manufacturer a 30-day deadline to respond and remedy the situation. If the manufacturer does not remedy the situation or replace the vehicle within 30 days, you must send another letter by certified mail.
The Maryland Attorney General has copies of sample letters and instructions on its website, in addition to a complaint form that you can file. However, the process of holding a dealer or manufacturer liable for a lemon vehicle can be time-consuming and difficult. In some cases, you may spend so much time trying to handle the matter on your own that the vehicle will exceed the 24-month or 18,000-mile deadline.
If your dealer or the manufacturer fails to respond or refuses to replace the vehicle or refund the purchase price immediately, you need to consult a Maryland Lemon Law attorney. Our Maryland Lemon Law attorneys can help you determine if your vehicle meets the requirements to be considered a “lemon.” We can also handle the paperwork and the communications with the dealer and manufacturer for you. If necessary, we can file a lawsuit to hold the dealer and the manufacturer responsible under the state’s laws.
Call a Maryland Lemon Law Attorney Now
If you believe your vehicle is a “lemon,” we urge you to contact our office for a consultation. You may be entitled to compensation if the dealer or manufacturer has committed fraud or other illegal acts.
Call the Pinder Plotkin Legal Team for a case evaluation at 410-661-9440.
The information provided in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject. The information contained in this blog is also subject to change and should not be relied upon. Contact the Pinder Plotkin Legal Team for a FREE consultation.