There are two laws to provide protection to consumers when it comes to purchasing or leasing of new vehicles in the state of Missouri. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is the Federal Lemon Law, which protects buyers and leasers of new vehicles in all states. In addition, the state-specific Missouri Lemon Law also provides coverage. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act also covers used vehicles sold or leased, but the state Lemon Law does not.
Many people assume the Missouri Lemon Law covers all aspects of a new purchase or a new vehicle lease in the state. In fact, it only covers mechanical and safety issues of the vehicle, not cosmetic issues. For example, failure of brake systems is a safety issue and would be covered if the defect was not repaired, while issues with upholstery or paint would not be covered.
Challenges from Dealers and Manufacturers
The dealer and manufacturer must be notified of the issue with the vehicle within one year under the Missouri Lemon Law. They have four attempts to correct the problem or a total of having the vehicle thirty days within the year to attempt to resolve the problem.
It is not uncommon for the manufacturer to challenge the claim. This law does not protect commercial vehicles, and the manufacturer or dealer may try to claim the vehicle is used outside of the scope of coverage. Additionally, the dealer may also attempt to argue the damage to the vehicle was caused by the owner and due to neglect, alterations of the vehicle or modifications or unauthorized repairs.
Any new vehicle owner experiencing multiple trips to the dealership for repairs should talk with a Lemon Law attorney. Meeting with an attorney provides information on your options moving forward, and avoids mistakes that can limit the ability to file a suit and get a fair settlement.