Lemon Law in Montana
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Montana's recently approved Motor Vehicle Warranty Act helps protect you from being unexpectedly saddled with a wallet-sucking "lemon." But before waving the state's Lemon Law in the face of an unresponsive manufacturer and/or authorized dealer, make sure you are well-versed on what the law covers and does not cover.
- Vehicles, including motorcycles, that have been purchased, titled or leased in Montana and that are under two years old and 18,000 odometer miles
- Major defects that hamper the vehicle's value, operation, or safety
These protections do not cover vehicles used for business, trucks that are 10,000 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW), non-motorized and off-road vehicles, the residential portions of motor homes, and defects, alterations, and neglect caused by you or third parties.
To make sure that Montana's Vehicle Warranty Act works in your favor, keep detailed records. These will serve as your "star witnesses" should you go to court. To prove you've been sold a lemon, have ready:
- sale and/or lease documents.
- maintenance records, including receipts for maintenance supplies.
- repair statements.
- a copy of a certified letter of notification to manufacturer and/or dealer.
- all documents pertaining to the flaw.
- If your vehicle's problem is still not corrected after the third repair, notify the manufacturer and/or dealer of this by certified mail. Though this is not mandatory under Montana's Motor Vehicle Warranty Act, it does alert the manufacturer and/or dealer that you are in the initial stages of perhaps taking legal action.
- If the manufacturer and/or dealer fails to rectify your vehicle's flaw after this request, you are then entitled to a full refund or being given an identical or similar replacement vehicle.
- If the manufacturer and/or dealer are averse to correcting the problem with a refund or replacement vehicle, you then need to contact the Office of Consumer Protection in order to pursue legal action.
- Office of Consumer Protection
- 1219 8th Ave.
- P.O. Box 200151
- Helena, Montana 59620-0151
- (406) 444-4500
To assure yourself of avoiding getting burdened with a lemon in the future make it a point to check on your desired vehicle's history before purchasing.
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