Lemon Law in Maine

Buying a car can be stressful at all levels. The last thing you want to concern yourself with is the possibility that someone may try to take advantage of you and sell you a damaged or inferior automobile. However, this is not an uncommon occurrence. But Maine has lemon laws in place to protect residents who buh a damaged car. In order to exercise your rights, you may want to retain an experienced Maine lemon law attorney.

What Is a Lemon Law?

Lemon laws deal with consumer protections that are particularly applicable to automobile purchases. For any lemon law to apply, the automobile must suffer from a defect. This problem should be outside the purchaser’s control, like a manufacturer issue. Furthermore, lemon laws apply if a certain number of reasonable repairs happened to the vehicle in question to no avail.

When Do Maine Lemon Laws Apply?

Lemon laws only apply when the vehicle in question is under warranty. This restriction does not mean it has to have a new guarantee. There are often dealership warranties attached to certified used cars. Under the federal lemon law requirements, conditions must meet the following criteria:

  • The manufacturer attempted to fix the issue on several occasions. Note that the number of conditions that merit a lemon law application can vary based on the court’s opinion.
  • There have been attempts to address the issue(s) in question within the first two years of owning and operating the vehicle.
  • The car has been out of service for at least 30 days. Note that the days do not have to be consecutive.

How Do You Ensure the Application of Lemon Laws?

There are some common practices that you can take that better position you when citing lemon law:

  • You should only take the vehicle in question to the corresponding dealership for repairs. By taking it there, you establish credibility by showing the responsible party attempted to address the issue. If you take the vehicle to a mom-and-pop mechanic, the manufacturer cannot be held liable for any attempts made to fix the problem.
  • Keep accurate and detailed records of any repairs made. This way, if your case goes to trial, have accurate logs that detail the manufacturer’s opportunities to fix the mechanical issues. This detail also helps build a timeline of how long you could not use your vehicle.

Lemon law statutes vary by state. You should research the lemon law requirements in Maine to ensure you remain within the legal confines.

The Maine State Legislature holds manufacturers and dealers accountable for cars that are deemed to be lemons. A car is a lemon in Maine if there are serious defects within the extended warranty period, the first 3 years of ownership, or the first 18,000 miles driven. However, the manufacturer or dealer is entitled to attempt reasonable repairs of the vehicle. This is extended to them under the express warranty of the car, as well as the Maine Implied Warranty.

What Exactly Are Consumers Entitled To Under Lemon Laws?

You have a legal entitlement to a replacement vehicle or refund if Maine lemon laws apply. However, manufacturers may deduct a fee in proportion to the miles the owner put on the car or truck before it became unusable. This compensation should include:

  • Down payment
  • Registration
  • Taxes
  • Car rentals
  • Monthly payments
  • Tow expenses
  • Attorney costs

Do Lemon Laws Apply to Used Vehicles?

Lemon laws can apply to used vehicles. However, this is for written warranties distributed along with the vehicle upon sale. Often, a used car dealership sells vehicles with a portion of the guarantee remaining. This situation incentivizes the purchase and (allegedly) puts the buyer’s mind at ease.

According to the Office of the Maine Attorney General, there are several provisions in the Maine Lemon Laws that protect those buying used cars. Each used car being sold must pass state inspections, and include a state inspection sticker within 60 days of the date of sale. If the car violates the inspection warranty, a dealer has to repair it free of charge so that it may meet the state inspection standards.

When Should You Hire a qualified Maine Lemon Law Attorney?

Have you attempted to have your vehicle repaired at the dealership? Consumers should consider legal action when it doesn’t work for 30 days. If you can’t resolve the issue with the manufacturer, it may be time to bring in an experienced Maine lemon law attorney.

How Does the Lemon Law Litigation Process Work?

Consumers can expect to go through a series of motions by bringing in an experienced Maine lawyer. However, introducing legal counsel into the situation is the best way for consumers to receive a fair outcome. With most Maine lemon law attorneys, you can expect the following:

  • Free Case Evaluation – Attorneys should review your case for free. They will determine its merit and whether you have a justifiable claim.
  • Filing Your Claim – Your Maine legal representative should handle filing a claim with the manufacturer after determining the facts.
  • Further Action – Your vehicle’s manufacturer may refuse to comply with the claim under federal and state statutes. Then your attorney files suit to seek entitled compensation on your behalf.
  • Pursuing Settlement – The manufacturer should cover all costs and fees if you achieve a settlement before trial. This compensation will often include attorney fees.
  • Contingency Fee Basis – At the end of the ordeal, clients should not have to pay for attorney’s fees. Even if you ultimately lose your case, a reputable Maine law firm should not charge clients fees. If you win your case, the manufacturer pays the attorney’s fees.

The Maine Attorney General states that if a dealer or manufacturer cannot fix the nonconformity in a car it is declared a lemon. At this point the case will go into arbitration and the consumer has the right to argue their case before the State Arbitrator. This hearing must take place within 45 days of the car being declared a lemon. If victorious, the consumer has the right to a replacement vehicle or a full refund from the manufacturer or dealer. When you come before the State Arbitrator, it may be in your best interest to have an experienced Maine lemon lawyer pleading your case.

Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer In Maine

Do you need immediate help? Then one of our experienced lawyers in Maine can help guide you through the Lemon Law litigation process. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Maine state lines!

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