You’ve probably heard about Lemon Law by now, the laws designed to protect consumers against purchasing vehicles with manufacturer defects, but most people aren’t entirely sure how those laws are applied. Many think it simply covers cars, SUVs, and trucks, but it extends to almost all vehicles. When it comes to motorcycles, here’s what you need to know.
Lemon Law by State
Before diving into your rights as a motorcycle buyer, it’s important to mention that these laws vary from one state to the next. In Maine, for instance, commercial vehicles weighing over 8,000 pounds are excluded. While that doesn’t pertain to motorcycles, you will need to check your state’s version of the law to ensure your purchase is covered.
Motorcycles are included in California Lemon Law, no matter what. Others change the requirements for repair attempts and period of coverage. Several states have yet to include motorcycles, though. Those include:
· West Virginia, Vermont, Utah, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire, Montana, Missouri, Mississippi, Massachusetts, Maryland, Louisiana, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Idaho, Hawaii, Georgia, Florida, Delaware, Colorado, Arkansas, and Alaska
While that list looks large, keep in mind that it’s less than half of the states in America. If you live outside of those states, then you will need to check with the rules and regulations around your state’s Lemon Laws before making a claim. Most lawyers offer free consultations, which can help you understand if you have a case or not.
Creating a Claim
It’s in your best interest to hire a legal professional when filing a Lemon Law claim. That said, there are a few things you can do on your end to make sure your case is airtight. All you need to do is gather the right documentation, which includes:
· Your proof of purchase (bill of sale, finance agreement, and purchase contract)
· Your warranty information
· Documentation of issues and repairs
· Any communication you’ve had with the dealership or manufacturer
For issues surrounding manufacturer defects, there are a minimum number of times you have to attempt to fix the problem. That number varies by state, so make sure you’ve done your part. The manufacturer must also be given the chance to remedy the situation.
Lemon Law vs. Magnuson Moss
If you’ve met your state’s rules regarding Lemon Law claims and live in one that covers motorcycles, you have a Lemon Law case. Even then, states provide ample exemptions and exceptions for manufacturers. If you find yourself facing a legal brick wall under Lemon Law, then you might have to rely on the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act.
Enacted in 1975, this federal act requires any product priced at over $15 to have particular warranty rights for the consumer. Disclosures are also required on nearly all consumer products, as well. Similar to Lemon Laws, manufacturers must provide compensation or replace defective products when a Magnuson Moss case is won by the consumer. They might also have to pay attorney fees.
Both laws can feel prohibitive at times, which is why it takes a skilled lawyer to navigate them. Never count on the manufacturer to do anything outside of their own interest. If the motorcycle you bought is a lemon, then lawyer up and fight for your rights.