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It can be frustrating to discover that your new car that you purchased recently has a serious problem. You will also get more headaches if the same problem keeps on recurring after a number of unsuccessful attempts to fix it. If you realize this, know that you have a lemon and you are entitled to a refund or vehicle replacement. In fact you should not be wary of your defective car since the Missouri Lemon Law protects consumers from unscrupulous manufacturer who sells defective vehicles. In Missouri, this law is also known as Missouri New Vehicles Warranty Law. Basically, the lemon law in Missouri requires vehicle dealers or manufacturers to refund your money or replace your vehicle with a comparable one after a reasonable number of unsuccessful attempts to fix the problem.
Criteria and Rights as stipulated in Missouri Lemon Law
The Missouri lemon law offers protection to purchased or leased vehicles that are under the manufacturer’s warranty. Vehicles that are not covered by this law include Commercial vehicles, Mopeds, Off-road vehicles, Motorcycles, motor homes and recreational vehicles. Missouri New Vehicles Warranty Law will offer your vehicle protection if:
- It has been out of service for 30 business days or more
- The manufacturer or authorized dealer has attempted four times or more to fix the defects but the problem keeps on recurring.
- If the defect is not a result of negligence, vehicle alteration or misuse.
Before you can file a legal complaint under Missouri Lemon law, you must provide a written notice to the vehicle dealer or manufacturer to allow them to have a final attempt to repair the vehicle. If the dealer/manufacturer is unable to repair your vehicle, he will either:
- Refund your money equivalent to the original purchase price
- Offer you a replacement vehicle
- Disregard the issue.
If a manufacturer fails to resolve the dispute amicably, you may decide to begin an informal dispute resolution process by reporting the matter to the Business Bureau Center (BBC) or file a lawsuit at the office of the Attorney General in Missouri. You can reach Missouri Attorney General Office through their website or contact them through AG’s consumer protection hotline at (800) 392-8222. Filing a lawsuit and representing yourself can be challenging. You may decide to hire the services of a qualified lemon law attorney.
Purchasing a Used Car in Missouri
Missouri Lemon Law does not cover used vehicles that you may purchase. You are required to know the vehicle’s condition before dishing out your money. The used car may turn out to be salvage and end up spending considerable amount of time and money to repair the vehicle in case of damage. To minimize the risk involved you are required to take the following measures:
- Get the vehicle tested by a qualified mechanic for any hidden defects, dents or cosmetic damage
- Test drive the vehicle
- Request a vehicle history to determine the vehicles condition
- Ask your dealer to give you a signed copy of any applicable warranties.