Michigan’s Lemon Law – Avoid Getting Stuck with a Lemon – Michigan (.gov) | Car Plazas

Michigan’s Lemon Law – Avoid getting stuck with a lemon

Most new vehicles are reliable, but some will turn out to be lemons. For those, Michigan’s Lemon Law provides relief if you buy or lease a defective vehicle. To help you understand your rights under the Michigan Lemon Law, this alert provides answers to frequently asked questions about the Lemon Law.

Questions and Answers on the Lemon Law

Question: What vehicles are covered by Michigan’s Lemon Law?

Answers: The Lemon Act applies to passenger vehicles, SUVs, pickup trucks, and vans purchased or leased in Michigan or purchased or leased by a Michigan resident (regardless of whether the vehicle was purchased or leased in Michigan) and covered by a manufacturer’s express warranty at the time of purchase or lease.
The Lemon Law does not apply to RVs, buses, trucks other than pickups and vans, motorcycles, or ATVs.

Question: What about used cars?

Answer: That is difficult. In general, the Lemon Law does not apply to used vehicles. But the Lemon Act applies to a vehicle that is still “covered by an express manufacturer’s warranty at the time of purchase or lease” if the problem is reported to the manufacturer or its authorized dealer within one year of the delivery date original buyer. Therefore, the Lemon Law can apply to a “used” vehicle that meets these criteria.

Question: Who does Michigan’s lemon law apply to?

Answers: The Lemon Law applies to a person who:

    1. buys or leases a new motor vehicle for personal, family or domestic use and does not sell or lease the new motor vehicle to another person;
    2. buys or rents fewer than 10 new motor vehicles per year;
    3. Purchase or lease of 10 or more new motor vehicles per year only if the vehicles are purchased or leased for personal, family, or household use; or
    4. shall be entitled to enforce the terms of any express warranty in accordance with the terms of that warranty.

For the purpose of the Lemon Act, a “person” is an individual, sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, association, governmental unit or agency, trust, estate or other legal entity.

Question: Do I have the right under the Lemon Law to return my vehicle within three days of purchase?

Answers: no Many consumers mistakenly believe that all purchases come with a “cooling off period”, allowing you to cancel some written contracts in very limited circumstances. In contrast, under general contract law, consumers have no right to cancel a purchase of goods or services. To learn more about the limited right to cancel a contract, read the Attorney General’s Consumer Warning, I’ve Changed My Mind – Can I Cancel This Contract?

Some dealers offer extended test drives and allow customers to take vehicles home overnight or for a few days, but this is a promotional activity and not a matter of contract law.

The remedies provided for by the Lemon Act, which include the right to return your vehicle and receive a refund of the purchase or lease price, will not be triggered until the vehicle has undergone a reasonable number of repairs – which will occur well over three days after your purchase .

Question: What issues or deficiencies does the Lemon Law cover?

Answers: The Lemon Act covers any defect or condition that affects the use or value of the new motor vehicle to the consumer, or prevents the new motor vehicle from conforming to the manufacturer’s express warranty.

The Lemon Law does not cover defects or conditions that are the result of a modification not installed or made by or for the manufacturer, or misuse or neglect of the new motor vehicle, or damage resulting from an accident that occurred after the purchase of the new motor vehicle or lease.

Question: What is the first step in Lemon Law recovery?

Answers: To seek remedy under the Lemon Law, you must first report the problem to the manufacturer or its authorized distributor within the warranty period or within one year from the date of delivery to the original purchaser, whichever occurs first. After the problem has been reported in a timely manner, the manufacturer or its authorized dealer must rectify the problem, even if the repair can only be carried out after the manufacturer’s express warranty has expired.

Question: What if the problem I reported to the manufacturer or its authorized distributor persists?

Answers: You may be entitled to a refund of the purchase or lease price, or an equivalent replacement vehicle, if the problem persists after a reasonable number of repair attempts.

Question: What is considered a reasonable number of repair attempts?

Answers: A reasonable number of repair attempts are deemed to have been made if any of the following occurs:

(a) the same defect or condition persists despite the Vehicle having been repaired a total of four or more times within two years from the date of the first attempt to remedy the defect or condition; or

(b) The Vehicle is out of service for repairs for a total of 30 or more days or fractions of days during the period of the Manufacturer’s Express Warranty or within one year from the date of delivery to the original consumer, whichever occurs first. This option does not require that the same problem is the cause of the out of service days.

Question: My vehicle is still not repaired after a reasonable number of repair attempts, how do I get a refund or replacement?

Answers: You have to give it Manufacturer a final opportunity to have the vehicle repaired by written notification by return receipt service to the manufacturer of the need to repair the vehicle. The report can be made at any time after the third attempt to repair the same defect or condition, or after the vehicle has been out of service at a repair shop for at least 25 days.

Upon receipt of notification, the manufacturer must notify you as soon as possible of a reasonably accessible repair facility that can take your vehicle for repair. After delivery of the vehicle to the nominated repair shop, the manufacturer has five working days to repair the vehicle. If the vehicle is not repaired within five business days, you may receive a comparable replacement vehicle or a full or lease refund.

If a producer has established or participates in an informal dispute resolution mechanism, the Lemon Law does not apply to consumers who have not first resorted to such a mechanism if the mechanism results in:

  • Complies with Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, 15 USC 2301 onwards;
  • requires the manufacturer to be bound by a choice that the consumer agrees to; provides that the consumer is not obliged to accept the decision and can resort to the remedies provided for by the Lemon Law; and
  • Requires the manufacturer to begin the process of implementing a final settlement no later than 30 days after the settlement has been reached.

Question: If the manufacturer offers a replacement vehicle, can I request a refund instead?

Answers: Yes. As a buyer or lessee, you have the right to request a refund, or you can choose to accept a comparable replacement vehicle that is currently in production. If you lease the vehicle and agree to accept a replacement vehicle, the lease cannot be changed except to replace the vehicle identification number.

Question: What counts as purchase price or lease price for purposes of reimbursement under the Lemon Law?

Answers: The purchase price or lease price includes the cost of any options or other modifications installed or made by or for the manufacturer and the amount of any other charges made by or on behalf of the manufacturer, less reasonable compensation for your use of the vehicle and an amount equal to any estimated damage that is not due to normal use or the defect or condition.

In addition, the manufacturer must reimburse you for towing costs and reasonable costs for a comparable rental vehicle incurred as a direct result of the defect or condition.

Question: What should I do to protect my rights under the Lemon Law?


  • Keep copies of all correspondence with the manufacturer and distributor.
  • Keep copies of all work orders for repairs to the vehicle, including the date(s) the work was performed and the mileage of the vehicle at the time of the repair(s).
  • Follow all warranty requirements, including any requirement that repairs be performed by an authorized dealer specified by the manufacturer.

The Better Business Bureau’s Auto Line

Through its AUTO LINE program, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) ​​has helped more than two million consumers find a solution to their vehicle problems since its inception in 1978. If your car manufacturer participates in the BBB AUTO LINE program, BBB can help you negotiate with the manufacturer and, if necessary, conduct an arbitration process. If your manufacturer does not participate in the AUTO LINE program, the BBB will forward your complaint to that manufacturer.

To report fraud, make a complaint, or get additional information, contact the Michigan Department of Attorney General:

Department of Consumer Protection
PO Box 30213
Lansing, MI 48909
Fax: 517-241-3771
Toll Free: 877-765-8388
Online Complaint Form

Your connection to the consumer protection logo

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