If you live in the state of Michigan, have purchased a new vehicle in the state and it has had nothing but problems that the dealer is unable to correct, you may be able to have some protection under the Michigan Lemon Law as well as the federal Lemon Law, known as the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.
Be aware that Michigan Lemon Law has specific requirements. It is up to you as the consumer to know your rights so that you are afforded the maximum protection under the law. We’ll cover the basics here, but for complete information on the Michigan Lemon Law, see the Michigan Department of State site.
Michigan Lemon Law
Michigan’s Auto Lemon Law applies to privately owned passenger vehicles and those leased after January 1, 2000. These vehicles must be used only for personal, family or household purposes, although some business-type vehicles may also be covered.
The Michigan Lemon Law does not apply to motorcycles, motorhomes, off-road vehicles, or larger trucks.
Under the Michigan Lemon Law, a defective vehicle is one which has a defect that has been unable to be repaired or corrected after four attempts, or a vehicle that has been out of service for repairs for 30 or more days.
As a consumer, the first report of the defect must be made within one year of the date of delivery to the original purchaser or lessee, or during the term of the manufacturer’s written warranty, whichever is shorter.
What you may be entitled to. If your vehicle is determined to be a lemon under the Michigan Lemon Law, you may be entitled to a vehicle replacement or to a refund of the cost or lease.
To obtain a replacement vehicle or a refund, you must provide written notice to the manufacturer reporting the defect in writing. You may also be required by the manufacturer to first arbitrate the dispute.
Protect your rights. Under the Michigan Lemon Law, you can protect your rights by following these steps:
- Be sure you keep copies of all correspondence from the manufacturer and the dealer, both to and from these entities.
- Keep copies of all work orders, repair orders, receipts and invoices for repairs of the vehicle. These should include the dates the work was performed and the mileage on the vehicle at the time of the repairs.
- Definitely follow all the requirements of your vehicle’s warranty from the manufacturer, including any requirement that the repairs must be completed by an authorized dealer specified by the manufacturer.
The office of the Michigan Secretary of State further recommends that if you need more information regarding your rights under the Michigan Lemon Law that you consult an attorney or another qualified individual.