For Immediate Release - October 10, 2013

Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Launches Consumer Friendly Lemon Law Qualification Application

New Online Tool Simplifies Process for Filing for Lemon Law Aid

BOSTON – Consumers will be able to determine if they qualify for relief under the state’s lemon law with an easy new tool offered by the state’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR). Massachusetts residents who have recently purchased or leased a new or used vehicle that does not function properly may qualify for lemon law protection, guaranteeing them access to a replacement car or a refund.

“This new service will help to mitigate the frustration of consumers who have been disappointed by a recently purchased vehicle,” said Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Undersecretary Barbara Anthony. “Motorists will be able to more easily collect the benefits and protections guaranteed to them by state lemon laws. Clarity and simplicity are the keys to helping consumers put the law to work for them.”

The application, available on OCABR’s website , walks consumers through the provisions of the state’s lemon laws. Questions regarding the vehicle’s new or used status, the amount of time that has passed since purchase, the vehicle’s mileage, and the primary purpose of the vehicle are clearly presented and paired with “yes” or “no” answers. After answering these questions, users will learn if they qualify under the lemon laws. If they do qualify, the application directs users to the proper paperwork to be submitted. In the event that a consumer requires arbitration to receive the refund that they are entitled to, they may apply through a form available on the same page as the application.

Since 2009, issues involving the state lemon laws have placed fourth in OCABR’s annual ranking of the top five consumer issues. In 2012 alone, 2,939 calls related to the lemon laws were made to the Office’s consumer hotline. Recognizing that this was a top issue and in need of simplification, OCABR designed the application with the Massachusetts consumer in mind. As always, the standard forms and resources that consumers may need when applying for lemon law protections are available on the website. The application is not required as a part of any lemon law procedures. It is an optional tool to assist consumers who are seeking to recoup the cost of an unsatisfactory vehicle purchase.

The Patrick Administration and OCABR remain committed to protecting consumers through consumer advocacy and education, and also works to ensure that the businesses its agencies regulate treat all Massachusetts consumers fairly. Follow the Office at its blog, on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer.