Skip to main content

Massachusetts Lemon Law coverage?

Boston, MA |

I bought a used car in November 2012. As of today their is a huge problem with the ECM and I cannot drive it. There is no warranty on the car as it is a 2006 but I have only had this car for 5 months! Is there any recourse for me under the MA lemon law? I literally cannot drive the car as it will cause more damage to the engine.

Thank you for all this information. I was aware of the mandatory warranties and unfortunately this vehicle had high mileage, 125k, and is beyond the 30 day warranty the dealer initially gave. Upon having this issue checked by a factory dealer of this make and model, they said this has been a long standing issue with the car that has now reared its head, and is not a new mechanical problem not disclosed by the used car dealer. Do I have any recourse with the dealer who sold it with such an issue, the cost of repairs cost the value of the automobile.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Here are some basics. Good luck:

  2. Massachusetts has one of the best Used Vehicle Lemon Laws in the country - but first you have to understand the law and what it covers - then you have to know how to use it. What can the Massachusetts Lemon Law for used vehicles do for me if I have a lemon used car or van or truck or demonstration vehicle? Would you like your money back? Well, that’s what you can get. If you’ve got a lemon used car or van or truck or demonstration vehicle, the Massachusetts Used Vehicle Lemon Law can make the dealer buy it back if your used vehicle had a defect that impaired your vehicle’s use or safety that was not, or could not, be fixed by the end of the third attempt or if it was out of service for repair reasons a total of eleven business days during the warranty period provided by the law. And the Used Vehicle Lemon Law covers you when you buy a used vehicle from a private person too. What Kind of Vehicles Are Covered by Massachusetts’s Used Vehicle Lemon Law? Used cars and van or truck or demonstration vehicles which have at least 15,000 miles but less than 125,000 miles on it are covered. Vehicles with less than 15,000 miles are covered if the car or van or truck or demonstration vehicle is more than one year old. If the vehicle is less than one year old and has less than 15,000 miles on it, the Massachusetts New Car Lemon Law applies to it, instead of the Used Vehicle Lemon Law. Also only vehicles bought from a Massachusetts dealer or private person are covered. What Vehicles Are Not Covered by the Used Vehicle Lemon Law? The law does not cover any vehicle you buy from a dealer where the price is less than $700 or if the mileage is more than 125,000. It also does not cover business vehicles. The law also does not cover motorcycles, mopeds, dirtbikes, leased vehicles, motorhomes and vehicles built primarily for off-road use. But vehicles that are not covered by the Massachusetts Used Vehicle Lemon Law may still be covered by the federal Lemon Law (the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act) as long as they were purchased from a dealer who gave the buyer a written warranty of any length at all. Also, new vehicles have their own lemon law in Massachusetts so the used vehicle lemon law does not apply to new vehicles. How Long Is My Used Vehicle Warranty under the Massachusetts Used Vehicle Lemon Law? The length of your mandatory warranty is based on the mileage on the vehicle. When you buy a used car or a used van or truck or demonstration vehicle in Massachusetts you automatically get a warranty from the dealer - even if the dealer doesn’t give you a document that says so. How long is the warranty for? That depends on how many miles were on it when you got it. If the vehicle had less than 40,000 miles on it when you got the vehicle, then your mandatory warranty is 90 days or 3,750 miles. If it was between 40,000 and 79,999 miles, then it’s 60 days or 2,500 miles. For 80,000 to 124,999 miles, it’s 30 days or 1,250 miles. Of course, there are times when the actual mileage may be unknown. When that happens, the warranty you get by law will depend on the age of the vehicle. If it was 3 years old or less, then your mandatory warranty is 90 days or 3,750 miles. More than 3 and less than 6 years old, it’s 60 days or 2,500 miles. And if it was more than 6 years old, 30 days or 1,250 miles. What Does the Mandatory Warranty Cover under the Massachusetts Used Vehicle Lemon Law? It must cover the total cost of parts and labor to repair a defect that affects the vehicle’s safety or use. But the warranty may require the consumer to pay up to $100 of the repair bill if the dealer put that term in the written warranty at the date of sale.For a Free Online 50 State National List of Consumer Law Lawyers go to If this answer was helpful, please give a “Vote UP” review below. And be sure to indicate the best answer to your question so we can all be sure we are being helpful.

    This answer is for general purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. The law in your state may differ and your best answer will always come from a local attorney that you meet with privately. For a Free Online 50 State National List of Consumer Law Lawyers, click on this link ( and find one near you

  3. I'm sorry you're going through this. The answer you're looking for is going to be next to impossible to give without more information. As the other answers stated your express warranty was only for 30 days in MA because of the vehicle's high mileage. However, you could still have a potential consumer protection suit if you can show that the dealer was aware of the issue with the car and proceeded with concealing it to make the sale to you. You also need to weigh the cost of the repairs and what you initially paid for the car and the ultimate cost of a lawsuit against the dealer. In general, you are responsible for your legal fees and costs in any litigation and our legal system is extremely expensive so it might not be worth it to proceed, but again, without more information its hard to give any kind of real advice.

    Melissa Levine

    Melissa Levine is a licensed attorney in Massachusetts. All answers are based on Massachusetts law and should not be construed as legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed by Attorney Levine answering your question. It is advisable to consult with an attorney about your personal legal concerns.

Lemon law topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics