Missouri Lemon Law
The Missouri lemon law helps enforce the warranties in place for new cars leased or purchased in the state.
Under the used car lemon law, if a vehicle is determined to have significant defects that impair the car’s safe operation, the manufacturer must repair the problem, replace the car or offer a refund.
Any car that has had four or more repairs for the same issue, or has been out of service for more than 30 calendar days, qualifies for the lemon buyback option.
Consumers must allow the dealer a reasonable number of attempts to fix the issue before using the lemon law buyback option. If the dealer is not able to make the repairs to the customer’s satisfaction, the consumer may file a dispute with the manufacturer, or file a lawsuit.
Consumers should keep reading for more information on how the law related to lemon vehicles offers protection against significant defects related to new car purchases.
What is the Lemon Law in Missouri?
The Missouri lemon law is a measure designed to protect buyers of new cars in the event their vehicles experience significant defects.
The lemon law helps to enforce the manufacturer’s warranty on the vehicle so that the manufacturer either repairs the car, or offers the customer a replacement vehicle or a refund. In the state, the law applies to new vehicles bought or leased with a warranty in place.
The rule does not apply to the following:
- Off-road vehicles
- The non-chassis portion of recreational vehicles
The car lemon law also applies to demonstration or lease-purchase vehicles if a warranty was offered by the car seller at the time of the vehicle purchase.
Does the Missouri Lemon Law apply to used cars?
The new car lemon law in MO is in place for brand-new vehicles, only, and there is no 30 day lemon law for used cars enacted. As there are no used car laws, like those for new vehicle purchases; residents must pay attention to the warranties offered when purchasing a vehicle.
When selling a car, dealers must indicate on the sales sticker if the car is being sold “As-Is: No Warranty” or “Warranty.” Vehicles sold “as is’ have no warranty, and buyers are responsible for all repair costs associated with the vehicle.
If the dealer offers a warranty, consumers should get a detailed explanation from the dealer outlining what repair costs are covered.
Note that a safe measure to take prior to ever purchasing a used car is ordering a vehicle history report, which will indicate any red flags related to the car before you make the investment.
How does the Lemon Law work in Missouri?
Under the car lemon law, MO consumers have the right to either a replacement vehicle or a refund if the manufacturer cannot successfully repair the problem. Per the federal lemon law, consumers must allow the dealer a reasonable number of attempts to correct the issue.
In the state, consumers can utilize the law if the car has been in the shop four or more times for the same defect, or if the vehicle has been out of service for 30 or more working days due to the same issue.
To use the lemon buyback option, consumers must provide the manufacturer with one final request to repair the issue. They must do so by providing written notice to the manufacturer.
Upon receipt of the notice, the manufacturer must respond and provide the buyer with a repair facility recommendation to take the vehicle for service. Once delivered, the manufacturer has 10 calendar days to repair the issue, as outlined in the lemon law warranty.
Consumers must file their claims within six months of the warranty expiration date or 18 months after the vehicle’s delivery to the consumer.
Consumers are encouraged to follow the manufacturer dispute resolution process before filing a lawsuit to invoke the lemon law. In many cases, the dealer may offer a settlement.
The consumer is not obligated to accept the settlement offer, and may file a lawsuit if the buyer does not agree with the proposal.
Missouri Lemon Law Lawyers
Consumers may hire Missouri lemon law attorney representation to assist with the dispute process. Lemon law lawyers can file the necessary paperwork and communicate with the manufacturer throughout the process.
A lawyer may even be able to negotiate a settlement offer that may be acceptable to the buyer. In the event the consumer decides to file a lawsuit, an attorney can file the paperwork and represent the consumer in court.
Additional New and Used Car Laws in Missouri
According to the federal lemon law, MO dealers may either offer a refund or a replacement vehicle to the consumer. When issuing a refund under the state lemon law, the manufacturer must pay the full purchase price of the new car. They must also pay the following:
- Sales tax
- License fees
- Car registration fees
- Car title fees
Under the lemon car law, the manufacturer has a right to withhold from the refund an amount that represents the consumer’s use of the vehicle. If replacing the car, the new vehicle must be identical or equivalent to the one being replaced.
How to Tell if Your New Car is a Lemon in Missouri
Missouri lemon laws apply to vehicles where a defect impairs the safe operation of the car. The lemon law definition also applies to vehicles in which the defect significantly reduces the market value of the vehicle.
Consumers can use the law under such circumstances, unless the issue is a result of their neglect, abuse or unauthorized alterations to the car.