Michigan Lemon Law
The lemon law in Michigan is an answer to an unfortunate problem that some people experience when buying a new vehicle. While most new cars turn out to be reliable means of transportation, some new cars end up being “lemons.”
There are no used car lemon law statutes in Michigan, so this law only applies to new cars. Thus, only car owners who purchase or lease a new vehicle are protected under these laws.
Under the lemon law definition in Michigan, your purchase is protected – whether you bought your vehicle in the state of Michigan or out of the state. Either way, you are entitled to a MI lemon law buyback if the vehicle you purchase does not live up to regular expectations.
What is the Lemon Law in Michigan?
The Michigan car lemon law is in place to protect vehicle buyers in the event they buy a vehicle that is defective beyond repair.
While there is no 30 day lemon law used cars protection, the MI new car lemon law protects new cars, vans, pickup trucks, passenger cars and SUVs that are covered by an express warranty by the manufacturer.
Note that leased vehicles are also covered, as long as they were originally leased after January 1, 2000. Vehicles that are not covered include
- Off-road vehicles.
- Larger trucks.
Note that there is no federal lemon law that allows a buyer to cancel or return a vehicle purchase within a certain timeframe.
The used lemon car buyer’s right to rescind is a myth, and Michigan’s Attorney General warns, “Buyer Beware” on all vehicle purchases. Furthermore, the law is not activated until a reasonable amount of repair attempts has been made.
Does the Michigan Lemon Law apply to used cars?
Used car laws in Michigan do not include statutes for lemons. The MI lemon law warranty does not cover the purchase of used cars. One exception is if a used car is purchased with an express written warranty, the consumer may have some ground on which to stand.
An attorney would be the best option to determine whether there is potential to file a claim with the manufacturer of the vehicle.
How does the Lemon Law work in Michigan?
The first step to obtaining protection under the state lemon law is to file a complaint with the manufacturer of the vehicle. You must file this report within the time constraints of the lemon law warranty, or within one year after the date of purchase; whichever happens first.
The manufacturer then has a chance to repair the defect after receiving timely notification of the issue, even if the repair must take place outside the manufacturer’s express warranty.
The number of repairs is sufficient when the same defect is evident after four or more repair attempts taking place within two years from the first repair attempt.
Or, if the vehicle is out of commission for at least 30 days within the warranty period, the car owner should continue with a request for a replacement or refund.
A lemon law buyback in Michigan can be requested in lieu of a replacement vehicle once the above prerequisites are met.
In order to have the best chance at protection, consumers should keep records of all contact with the manufacturers and dealers regarding repairs and refund requests.
In addition, vehicle owners should keep copies of work orders for all repairs, and adhere to the conditions of the warranty.
Certified repair shops noted in the warranty terms or authorized dealers should administer all repairs, or vehicle owners risk voiding their warranties and forfeiting any potential buybacks or replacements, altogether.
Michigan Lemon Law Lawyers
A provision in the Michigan lemon law definition allows attorneys to be compensated via a fee-shifting scale. This means that a lemon law attorney in MI is no cost to the consumer, win or lose.
Consumers may benefit from obtaining legal counsel if they find the automobile manufacturer does not agree to compensate the consumer.
How to Tell if Your New Car is a Lemon in Michigan
Under the new car lemon law in Michigan, if you purchased a defective new vehicle or leased a new vehicle (after January 1, 2000) that has an irreparable defect, you likely bought a lemon.
You may be eligible for a buyback if you have made several attempts to repair the vehicle, to no avail. The following problems are common traits of a lemon car in Michigan:
- Mechanical defects: The motor or other mechanical components are faulty
- Structural defects: the chassis or body is defective, poses a safety risk and prevents the vehicle from passing a safety inspection
Sometimes, the make and/or model of a car is just unreliable or poorly manufactured. A list of cars that have frequent lemon vehicle complaints include the below:
- Chevrolet Cruze (2009 to 2011)
- GMC Acadia
- Chevrolet Silverado (2016)
- Dodge Challenger (2015)
- Ford Focus (2008 to 2013)
- Ford Escape (2008 to 2013)
- Jeep Wrangler
- Jeep Cherokee