Lemon Law - Maryland
Lemon Law - "Lemon
law" is that body of state law which defines an automobile
owners rights when the manufacturer is not able to repair the
automobile within the limits specified. In
such cases, the automobile is referred to as a "lemon",
and is subject to the conditions of the state lemon law.
Your Lemon Law:
These pages are created to inform and educate the public about lemon
law and under the lemon law in your state. They are not and
should not be considered legal opinions or advice as to whether you
have rights under lemon law or whether you should pursue "a
lemon law case". If after reading this information,
you believe you qualify, you should seek the advice and counsel of
an attorney specializing in lemon law in your state. Remember
that each state's lemon laws vary.
(a) In this subtitle the following
words have the meanings indicated.
(b) "Consumer" means:
(1) The purchaser, other than for
purposes of resale, of a new motor vehicle;
(2) Any person to whom a new motor vehicle is transferred during the
duration of the warranty applicable to such motor vehicle; or
(3) Any other person who is entitled to enforce the obligations of
(1) "Motor vehicle" means
a vehicle that is registered in this State as a:
(i) Class A (passenger) vehicle;
(ii) Class D (motorcycle) vehicle;
(iii) Class E (truck) vehicle with a 3/4 ton or less manufacturer's
rated capacity; or
(iv) Class M (multipurpose) vehicle.
(2) "Motor vehicle" does
not include a motor home. For the purpose of administering this
subtitle, the Motor Vehicle Administration shall promulgate a
regulation defining a motor home.
(d) "Dealer" has the
meaning provided in § 15-101(b) of the Transportation Article.
(e) "Manufacturer, factory
branch, or distributor" means a person, partnership,
association, corporation, or entity engaged in the business of
manufacturing or assembling motor vehicles or of distributing motor
vehicles to motor vehicle dealers as defined in § 15-201(b), (c),
and (e) of the Transportation Article.
(f) "Warranty" means
warranties as defined in §§ 2-312, 2-313, 2-314, and 2-315 of this
(1) "Manufacturer's warranty
period" means the earlier of:
(i) The period of the motor
vehicle's first 15,000 miles of operation; or
(ii) 15 months following the date of original delivery of the motor
vehicle to the consumer.
(2) This subsection does not extend
any manufacturer's express warranty.
(a) If the manufacturer's warranty
period is to include those miles of operation when the new motor
vehicle is in the possession of any person other than the consumer,
the manufacturer shall state that fact in 12 point bold face type in
the manufacturer's written warranty.
(1) If a new motor vehicle does not
conform to all applicable warranties during the warranty period, the
consumer shall, during such period, report the nonconformity,
defect, or condition by giving written notice to the manufacturer or
factory branch by certified mail, return receipt requested. Notice
of this procedure shall be conspicuously disclosed to the consumer
in writing at the time of sale or delivery of the motor vehicle.
(2) The consumer shall provide an opportunity for the manufacturer
or factory branch, or its agent to cure the nonconformity, defect,
(3) The manufacturer or factory branch, its agent, or its authorized
dealer shall correct the nonconformity, defect, or condition at no
charge to the consumer, even if repairs are made after the
expiration of the warranty period. The corrections shall be
completed within 30 days of the manufacturer's receipt of the
consumer's notification of the nonconformity, defect, or condition.
(1) If, during the warranty period,
the manufacturer or factory branch, its agent, or its authorized
dealer is unable to repair or correct any defect or condition that
substantially impairs the use and market value of the motor vehicle
to the consumer after a reasonable number of attempts, the
manufacturer or factory branch, at the option of the consumer,
(i) Replace the motor vehicle with
a comparable motor vehicle acceptable to the consumer; or
(ii) Accept return of the motor vehicle from the consumer and refund
to the consumer the full purchase price including all license fees,
registration fees, and any similar governmental charges, less:
1. A reasonable allowance for the
consumer's use of the vehicle not to exceed 15 percent of the
purchase price; and
2. A reasonable allowance for damage not attributable to normal wear
but not to include damage resulting from a nonconformity, defect, or
(2) The manufacturer or factory
branch shall make refunds under this section to the consumer and
lienholder, if any, as their interests appear on the records of
ownership maintained by the Motor Vehicle Administration.
(3) It is an affirmative defense to any claim under this section
that the nonconformity, defect, or condition:
(i) Does not substantially impair
the use and market value of the motor vehicle; or
(ii) Is the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modifications
or alterations of the motor vehicle.
(d) It shall be presumed that a
reasonable number of attempts have been undertaken to conform a
motor vehicle to the applicable warranties if:
(1) The same nonconformity, defect,
or condition has been subject to repair 4 or more times by the
manufacturer or factory branch, or its agents or authorized dealers,
within the warranty period but such nonconformity, defect, or
condition continues to exist;
(2) The vehicle is out of service by reason of repair of 1 or more
nonconformities, defects, or conditions for a cumulative total of 30
or more days during the warranty period; or
(3) A nonconformity, defect, or condition resulting in failure of
the braking or steering system has been subject to the same repair
at least once within the warranty period, and the manufacturer has
been notified and given the opportunity to cure the defect, and the
repair does not bring the vehicle into compliance with the motor
vehicle safety inspection laws of the State.
(e) The term of any warranty, the
warranty period, and the 30 day out of service period shall be
extended by any time during which repair services are not available
to the consumer by reason of war, invasion, strike, or fire, flood,
or other natural disaster.
(i) It shall be the duty of a
dealer to notify the manufacturer of the existence of a
nonconformity, defect, or condition within 7 days when the motor
vehicle is delivered to the same dealer for a fourth time for repair
of the same nonconformity or when the vehicle is out of service by
reason of repair of one or more nonconformities, defects, or
conditions for a cumulative total of 20 days.
(ii) The notification shall be sent by certified mail and a copy of
the notification shall be sent to the Motor Vehicle Administration;
however, failure of the dealer to give the required notice required
under this subsection shall not affect the consumer's right under
(2) If a motor vehicle is returned
to a manufacturer or factory branch either under this subtitle, or
by judgment, decree, arbitration award, or by voluntary agreement,
the manufacturer or factory branch shall notify the Motor Vehicle
Administration in writing within 15 days of the fact that the
vehicle was returned.
(i) If a motor vehicle that is
returned to the manufacturer under either this subtitle or by
judgment, decree, arbitration award, settlement agreement, or by
voluntary agreement in this or any other state and is then
transferred to a dealer in Maryland, the manufacturer shall disclose
this information to the dealer.
(ii) The manufacturer's disclosure under this paragraph shall be in
writing on a separate piece of paper in 10 point all capital type
and shall state in a clear and conspicuous manner:
1. That the motor vehicle was
returned to the manufacturer or factory branch;
2. The nature of the defect, if any, that resulted in the return;
3. The condition of the motor vehicle at the time that it is
transferred to the dealer.
(i) If the returned vehicle is then
made available for resale, the seller shall provide a copy of the
manufacturer's disclosure form to the consumer prior to sale.
(ii) If the returned vehicle is sold, the seller shall send a copy
of the manufacturer's disclosure form, signed by the consumer, to
(h) This section does not limit the
rights or remedies that are otherwise available to a consumer under
any other law, including any implied warranties.
(1) If a manufacturer or factory
branch has established an informal dispute settlement procedure
which complies in all respects with the provisions of Title 16, Code
of Federal Regulations, Part 703, as amended, a consumer may resort
to that procedure before subsection (c) of this section applies.
(2) A consumer who has resorted to an informal dispute settlement
procedure may not be precluded from seeking the rights or remedies
available by law.
(1) Any agreement entered into by a
consumer for the purchase of a new motor vehicle that waives,
limits, or disclaims the rights set forth in this section shall be
(2) The rights available to a consumer under this section shall
inure to a subsequent transferee of a new motor vehicle for the
duration of the applicable warranties.
(k) Any action brought under this
section shall be commenced within 3 years of the date of original
delivery of the motor vehicle to the consumer.
(1) A court may award reasonable
attorney's fees to a prevailing plaintiff under this section.
(2) If it appears to the satisfaction of the court that an action is
brought in bad faith or is of a frivolous nature, the court may
order the offending party to pay to the other party reasonable
(m) This subtitle does not apply to
a fleet purchase of five or more motor vehicles.
(a) The Motor Vehicle
(1) Develop a notice that describes
the rights provided to consumers under this subtitle;
(2) Make the notice available to all dealers that sell new motor
vehicles in the State; and
(3) Adopt regulations as necessary to implement the provisions of
(b) The notice shall:
(1) Be written in simple and
readable plain language; and
(2) Contain sufficient detail to fully inform consumers about the
rights and remedies available under this subtitle and the procedures
to follow to enforce those rights and remedies.
(c) Each dealer that sells a new
motor vehicle in the State shall provide to the purchaser, at the
time of the sale or delivery of the motor vehicle, a copy of the
notice developed by the Motor Vehicle Administration under this
(1) If a dealer, manufacturer,
factory branch, or distributor is required under a judgment, decree,
arbitration award, or settlement agreement to accept, or by
voluntary agreement accepts, return of a motor vehicle from a
consumer, the consumer shall be entitled to recover from the Motor
Vehicle Administration the excise taxes originally paid by the
consumer, subject to subsection (b) of this section.
(i) If a dealer, manufacturer,
factory branch, or distributor replaces a motor vehicle with a
comparable motor vehicle under § 14-1502(c)(1)(i) of this subtitle,
the Motor Vehicle Administration shall allow a credit against the
excise tax imposed for the replacement vehicle in the amount of the
excise taxes originally paid by the consumer for the returned
vehicle, subject to subsection (b) of this section.
1. If the
excise tax on the replacement vehicle exceeds the credit allowed
under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph, the dealer shall collect
only that portion of excise tax due; or
2. If the excise tax on the vehicle being replaced exceeds the
excise tax on the replacement vehicle, the consumer shall be
entitled to recover from the Motor Vehicle Administration the excess
of the excise tax paid.
(b) The excise taxes that a
consumer is entitled to recover under this section shall be
calculated based on the amount of the purchase price or any portion
of the purchase price of the motor vehicle that the dealer,
manufacturer, factory branch, or distributor refunds to the
(c) A dealer, manufacturer, factory
branch, or distributor who is required under a judgment, decree,
arbitration award, or settlement agreement to accept, or who
accepts, by voluntary agreement, return of a motor vehicle shall
notify the consumer in writing that the consumer is entitled to
recover the excise taxes from the Motor Vehicle Administration.
(a) A violation of this subtitle
shall be an unfair and deceptive trade practice under Title 13 of
the Commercial Law Article.
(b) In addition to any other
remedies that may be available under this subtitle, if a
manufacturer, factory branch, or distributor is found to have acted
in bad faith, the court may award the consumer damages of up to