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Maryland Lemon Laws

You just got that new (or at least new to you) car and you can’t wait to take it out for a spin. But what do you do when your new car starts having old car problems, especially after just a few trips around the block? Now you might be worried you’ve got a "lemon" on your hands. So where do you turn if your new car has a habitual problem no dealer or a repair shop can seem to fix? Luckily you live in a state that has protections for new car buyers. This is a quick summary “lemon laws” in Maryland.

State Lemon Laws

Most states have enacted specific lemon laws to offer some financial protections for new car owners, rather than sticking them with a sputtering or even nonfunctioning vehicle. Maryland’s statutes are similar to lemon laws in other states, and require the dealer to replace the car or refund the purchase price if the car cannot be repaired within the first 24 months or 18,000 miles.

Lemon Laws in Maryland

Lemon law statutes in Maryland are highlighted in the chart below.

Code Section

Com. Law §§14-1501, et seq.

Title of Act

Automotive Warranty Enforcement Act

Definition of Defects

Nonconformity to all applicable express warranties which significantly affects use or market value of vehicle

Time Limit for Manufacturer Repair

Warranty period equal to or greater than first 18,000 miles or first 24 months following date of original delivery of vehicle to consumer

Remedies

Consumer's option: replace with comparable motor vehicle acceptable to customer or accept return and refund full purchase price including all excise tax license fees, registration fees, and any similar governmental charges, less reasonable allowance for consumer's use (not to exceed 15% of purchase price) and for damage not attributable to normal wear

Here are a few general lemon law guidelines if you’re unsure whether you’re new car is a lemon:

  • Your vehicle must have a substantial nonconformity that appears within a certain time after purchase;
  • The nonconformity must be covered by a warranty; and
  • The nonconformity must continue to exist, even after a reasonable number of attempted repairs.

You should be aware that Maryland law only covers new or leased vehicles, so used cars may not be covered.

Related Resources for Lemon Laws

It can be heartbreaking to have a broken down new car. If you would like legal assistance with a possible lemon law matter, you can consult with an experienced lemon law attorney in Maryland. You can also visit FindLaw's lemon law section for more articles and resources on this topic.

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