Montana Lemon Law Rights Consumer Guide
The Montana Lemon Law statute and the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (the federal Lemon Law provide for compensation to Montana consumers of defective automobiles and trucks and other vehicles and products including motorcycles, RV’s, boats, computers and other consumer appliances and products. This Montana Lemon Law Rights consumer guide contains a great explanation of the Montana lemon law definition and its presumptions. Read this guide, and if you have more questions about your rights under the Montana automobile lemon law, or you want free help seeking remedies under the Montana lemon law on new cars, connect with a Montana lemon law attorney for a free lemon law case review Simply put, whenever you need help with the Montana car lemon law, CarLemon is your one stop lemon law infosource. This Guide was compiled by the Montana Office of the Attorney General.What is Montana’s Lemon Law?
The “New Motor Vehicle Warranty Act” of Montana is a state law administered by the Montana Department of Justice. This law, when applicable, aids consumers in obtaining repurchase, replacement or repair of their new vehicle when repeated attempts at repair are unsuccessful. This law applies to a vehicle that is less than two years old and with 18,000 miles or less on its odometer.
The Lemon Law covers new or demonstrator motor vehicles, including trucks of 10,000 lbs. or less gross vehicle weight that are purchased or leased in Montana.What Vehicles are Not Covered?
Trucks over 10,000 lbs. GVW, non-motorized and off-road vehicles, motorcycles and the “residential” portion of motor homes are not covered under the Montana Lemon Law. It also does not apply to any normally eligible vehicle that is past its second year of ownership or driven more than 18,000 miles whichever comes first. The Lemon Law does not cover defects resulting from accident, abuse, neglect, modification or alteration by anyone other than the manufacturer or authorized dealer. Used cars are not covered.What Defects are Covered?
Substantial defects that impair the use, market value or safety of the vehicle may be covered. Minor or trivial defects in appearance, structure or performance are not covered by the “Lemon Law.”How Does a Vehicle Qualify as a Lemon?
If a vehicle:
- Has a defect or condition covered by warranty that impairs its use, value or safety and
- That defect is reported to the manufacturer within the first two years or the first 18,000 miles and
- The same defect has been subject to repair four times but still exists or the vehicle has been out of service for repairs for a total of 30 business days.
The vehicle probably qualifies as a “Lemon.”What Should I Know About the Warranty Period?
The warranty period ends two years after the date of the vehicle’s original delivery to the consumer, or the first 18,000 miles of operation, whichever occurs first. This period can be extended if a defect is reported, in writing, to the dealer or manufacturer during the warranty period but has not been cured by the expiration of the period.
Keep all records of warranty repairs and all written communications with dealers and manufacturers. Work orders provide the best proof as to when a problem was first reported.What Should I do After Three Repair Attempts on the Same Problem?
If the problem is a substantial defect or condition that recurs or still exists after the third repair attempt, notify the manufacturer by certified mail, return receipt requested, of the need to repair the defect or condition on their fourth attempt. This notification procedure is not required under the Lemon Law, but does serve as notice to the manufacturer of your intentions.What are My Rights if the Manufacturer Fails to Fix My Vehicle?
If the manufacturer fails to correct any substantial defect or condition following your written notification, the manufacturer must either refund the full purchase price-plus any reasonable expenses directly incurred because of the vehicles condition-or provide an identical or reasonably equivalent replacement vehicle. If the vehicle is bought back, the manufacturer can deduct an amount for the use of the vehicle calculated on the odometer reading at the time of repurchase.How do I Prove I Have a Lemon?
Be prepared to produce:
- All purchase (or lease) documents
- All maintenance records
- All repair orders
- Receipt for maintenance supplies
- Certified letter of notification to the manufacturer (copy)
- Any and all other documents relating to the defect
If you think you are entitled to a refund or replacement and your manufacturer is unwilling to provide either remedy, you must first submit your dispute to a state-certified dispute settlement program approved by the Montana Department of Justice. Contact:
Montana Department of Justice Office of Consumer Protection 2225 11th Avenue
P.O. Box 200151
Helena, MT 59620-0151
Phone: (800) 481-6896 or (406) 444-4500 Fax: (406) 444-9680
Montana Lemon Law Information
State of Montana, Department of Justice
The Request For Arbitration Form is available in PDF format. Click the above links to View or Right Click the links to Save the Files to your computer.