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Minnesota's so-called "lemon law," a statute protecting purchasers of new vehicles in the state from vehicle failure, does not address all problems with all vehicles, Minnesota's Attorney General advises.
The lemon law in Minnesota requires manufacturers to live up to warranties with regards to time and mileage coverage.
Minnesota's lemon law covers new vehicles that have been leased or purchased in Minnesota, and used vehicles still covered under the original manufacturer warranty. To qualify for Lemon Law coverage here, registered vehicles must be driven at least 40% for family or personal reasons, so commercial vehicles are not always covered. Leased vehicles must have their lease term be longer than 4 months.
You must first report any problems or defects in a covered vehicle within the warranty time frame, or 2 years from delivery of the vehicle, whichever comes first. If the same issues or problems with a vehicle continue, the claim period may be extended to 3 years.
Based on Minnesota's lemon law, vehicle manufacturers or authorized dealers must make repairs if the vehicle has a warranty-covered problem or issue that has been reported within the warranty period.
The law requires manufacturers or dealers to refund money or replace the vehicle in the following cases, which are described as "reasonable number of attempts" to address the issues:
- After at least 4 attempts to repair the same defect or problem unsuccessfully.
- 1 attempt to repair a defect that causes failure of the steering or braking system.
- Vehicle is not drivable for 30 business days (cumulative) because of warranty repairs.
The manufacturer may have until the end of the 3 years to attempt to repair the vehicle before you can claim a refund or replacement under the lemon law. A refund is the purchase price less a deduction for the vehicle's use.
The following are cases or circumstances where refunds or replacements are not given under the MN lemon law:
- Vehicle problem or issue does not impact the vehicle's use or value.
- The problem is a result of neglect, abuse, or unauthorized vehicle alterations.
To be eligible for repair, refund, or replacement under Minnesota's lemon law, the following requirements must be met:
- You have contacted manufacturer and notified them in writing, mentioning lemon law.
- You have given the manufacturer the opportunity to fix the problem or issue.
- You have clearly stated to the manufacturer the lemon law circumstances and lets them know you plan to use the lemon law if the vehicle is not repaired.
- Manufacturers' arbitration program has been attempted.
If you think you have a case under the Minnesota lemon law, you should keep all receipts and document your repair attempts and notifications to the manufacturer. You may also wish to retain an attorney to help prove your case.
You might also be interested in reading Minnesota's lemon law online.Other Topics in This Section