Missouri Lemon Law
The Missouri New Vehicles Warranty Law, commonly called the "Lemon Law," protects buyers of new motor vehicles by enforcing the manufacturer's expressed warranty.
What vehicles are covered?
All new vehicles sold or leased with warranty provisions are covered under the law, except for commercial and off-road vehicles, mo-peds, motorcycles and the non-chassis portion of recreational vehicles. Also included are demonstrators or lease-purchase vehicles as long as a manufacturer's warranty was issued as a condition of the sale.
A defect must affect the use, value or safety of the vehicle. The law applies while the vehicle is under the manufacturer's expressed warranty or up to one year after the date of delivery, whichever expires earlier. Some extended warranties are offered by the dealer or an insurance company -- check with your dealer.
Vehicle owner responsibilities
New-vehicle owners must report problems or defects in writing to the manufacturer to use the provisions of the Lemon Law. The manufacturer must be permitted a "reasonable" number of attempts to correct the problem. Under the law, it is presumed that there have been a "reasonable" number of attempts to correct the problem if:
If the problem cannot be fixed in a "reasonable number of repair attempts" the manufacturer can offer you a cash refund or a vehicle of comparable value.
Under the law, dealerships can deduct a "reasonable allowance for the consumer's use of the vehicle" from the refund. The law also stipulates that a replacement vehicle must be acceptable to the consumer.
If after repairs are made to your vehicle you still believe the vehicle does not conform to the warranty, but the manufacturer or dealer has indicated that it doesn't believe you are due a refund, then submit a complaint according to the manufacturer's informal dispute settlement procedure.
Most automobile manufacturers have appeals procedures. These arbitration boards try to resolve problems consumers have with the manufacturer or dealer. The address and phone number of your manufacturer's consumer appeals or arbitration center are listed in your owner's manual.
During or at the end of the dispute procedure, the manufacturer may make a settlement offer. You must decide whether to accept the offer or try to get a refund under the Lemon Law by going to court.
If you decide to go to court, the Lemon Law provides for a private cause of action. The Attorney General's Office is not allowed to act as your private attorney to pursue your desired relief or to enforce your individual rights under the Lemon Law.
Before you can go to court under the Lemon Law, you first must have submitted your claim to the manufacturer's appeals procedure if it has one.
This information is available in printed form from the Missouri Attorney General's Office.
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