Lemon laws in Maine are more expansive compared to other states. They protect consumers who buy both new and used cars. These vehicles have serious defects that substantially impair the use, safety, or value of a vehicle.
If a car has a defect like this and you meet a few other requirements, then the manufacturer is required under Maine law to give you a replacement vehicle or refund your money.
Maine’s laws supplement and provide more rights than would otherwise be available under federal laws like the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.
If you suspect that you may have a “lemon” on your hands, then you need to speak with a Maine lemon law lawyer. They can help you navigate Maine’s laws, assert your rights, and get the compensation that you deserve for your defective vehicle.
How Maine Defines What a Lemon Car Is
Only certain vehicles will qualify under Maine’s lemon laws, but the definition is broader than many other states.
It includes any new or used:
The vehicle must have been purchased or leased from a dealer in Maine. The car must also be within the “term of protection.”
That means that the car must have fewer than 18,000 miles, or it must have been purchased within the last three years. The term of protection will expire with the lesser of these two requirements.
Maine Lemon Law Requirements
While federal laws such as the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act govern product liability and warranties, Maine lemon laws provide specific protections for owners of new (and used) vehicles that are defective.
Here are the Lemon Law requirements in Maine:
- The vehicle can be new or used, purchased or leased in Maine.
- The car must have less than 18,000 miles, or you must have owned (or leased) it for less than three years, whichever comes first.
- The manufacturer must be given a reasonable number of attempts to fix the defect before lemon laws apply.
- Reasonable attempts include three or more times trying to fix the same defect, or just one repair was attempted for a serious failure of either the braking or steering system.
- Attempts are also considered reasonable if the defect or combination of defects resulted in having the car out of service for a total of 15 business days.
- Once you start the lemon law process, you must give the manufacturer one final opportunity to repair by contacting them in writing to provide them with seven business days to fix the defect.
- Maine uses a state-run arbitration process to decide lemon law disputes.
- You can request a State Lemon Law Arbitration Hearing and receive a decision within 45 days of acceptance of your application with no cost, except for the $1.00 lemon law fee that you pay when you purchase a new vehicle.
- If you win your lemon law case, then the manufacturer either has to refund your money or replace your car.
New Car Lemon Law in Maine
New vehicles are covered under Maine’s lemon laws. If a vehicle is leased, lemon laws will only apply if you are responsible for making repairs to your leased car. Not all car problems are serious enough to trigger lemon laws, however.
The problem must affect the use, safety, or value of the vehicle.
Used Car Lemon Law in Maine
Maine is also one of just a few states that offers lemon law protection for some used vehicles as well. In fact, dealers are required to note whether a vehicle has been through the lemon law arbitration process in the past on the title as well.
That type of information further protects consumers so that they do not purchase a vehicle that has already been determined to be a lemon through the arbitration process.
Maine Used Car Lemon Law Requirements
Used cars are covered under Maine’s lemon laws as if they were new vehicles. However, Maine also has additional protections for those who purchase used cars.
Maine’s used car law is called the Used Car Information Act. It provides consumers with additional legal remedies that are similar to the new car lemon laws in Maine, but they are more limited.
Specifically, it states that if a used car has a serious defect, someone can immediately reject a vehicle and demand that their money is returned. If your used car cannot meet state inspection requirements, then the dealer may be required to repair your vehicle free of charge.
There is no separate arbitration process, but these additional rights often help used vehicle purchasers get their car repaired or recoup their investment in the used car.
Breach of Warranty in Maine
Lemon laws and the Used Car Information Act are both laws about breaching warranties. When a manufacturer or dealer sells you a car, they guarantee that the car will work in a certain way.
When it does not do that, then they have breached their warranty or promise to you. Lemon laws and the Used Car Information Act help consumers hold manufacturers and car dealers accountable for the promises that they have made to them.
Exceptions to Maine Lemon Laws
Maine’s lemon laws are broad, but they do have some exceptions.
Lemon laws do not apply to:
- Vehicles that are used primarily for commercial purposes with a gross vehicle weight of over 8,500 pounds
- Any vehicle that has over 18,000 miles of operation or that the owner has had for more than three years
Maine Lemon Law Cases
Some of the most common lemon law cases won by the lemon law attorneys at Robison Lemon Law Group, LLC include problems that affect electrical components, brakes, steering, and other serious defects.
However, previous winning cases are not a guarantee of future outcomes. If you think you have a lemon law claim, you need to contact an attorney to determine what your rights under Maine lemon law may be.
Talk to an Experienced Lemon Lawyer and Get a Free Case Evaluation
Having an attorney walk you through the lemon law process can be very helpful because they can explain your various rights along the way and fight for the compensation that you deserve. You may not realize just how many rights you have under Maine lemon laws until you ask.
Set up an appointment with our Maine lemon law attorneys by using the Question/Contact form to your right.
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