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Montana Lemon Law
Montana's recently approved Motor Vehicle Warranty Act helps protect you from being unexpectedly saddled with a wallet-sucking "lemon." 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.
Generally, you'll need to allow the manufacturer a certain number of repair attempts over a certain amount of time to fix your vehicle's defect before you can request a refund or replacement.
On this page you'll find information about some of the aspects of the Montana lemon law and the steps to take if you have a lemon.
The Montana lemon law protects vehicles, including motorcycles, that have been purchased, titled, or leased in Montana and that are under 2 years old and have 18,000 miles or less. To be considered a lemon, the qualified vehicle must have major defects that hamper the vehicle's value, operation, or safety.
These protections do not cover vehicles used for business, trucks that are over 10,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight (GVW), non-motorized and off-road vehicles, the living quarters of motor homes, and defects, alterations, and neglect caused by anyone other than the manufacturer or its authorized dealer.
NOTE: You can extend the lemon law protection period by up to 1 year if a defect has not been fixed by the end of the original lemon law period. You'll need to report the defect to the dealer or manufacturer by mail.
Lemon Law Documentation
To make sure that Montana's Motor 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 the manufacturer and/or dealer.
- All documents pertaining to the flaw.
If you need legal advice, you should consider contacting an attorney.
If your vehicle is a lemon, you'll need to take the following steps to settle the issue:
- If your vehicle's problem is still not corrected after 3 attempts at repair, notify the manufacturer and/or dealer of this by certified mail. Though this is not mandatory, it does alert the manufacturer and/or dealer that you are in the initial stages of possibly 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
555 Fuller Ave.
Helena, MT 59620
Phone: (406) 444-4500 or (800) 481-6896
Lemon Prevention Tip
To avoid getting burdened with a lemon in the future, make it a point to check on your desired vehicle's history before purchasing.Other Topics in This SectionBe a Hero
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