- Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation
The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles’ (RMV) vehicle inspection stations are back online after a state-wide outage from March 30, 2021 to April 17, 2021, caused by a malware attack. Affected consumers who were unable to access inspection resources during the outage are now eligible for additional time under the state’s Lemon Aid Law in order to fairly utilize their vehicle return and refund rights.
The Massachusetts’ Lemon Aid Law allows consumers to return and obtain a refund for a vehicle they purchased if it fails inspection within seven days from the date of sale and if the cost of repairs exceeds 10% of the purchase price. Consumers then have 14 days from the date of sale to notify the seller of their intent to return the vehicle, actually return the vehicle to the seller, and provide the seller with a statement documenting why the vehicle failed inspection with an estimated cost of repairs.
Consumers who purchased a vehicle directly before or during the outage were unable to have their vehicle inspected within the seven-day time period outlined in the Lemon Aid Law, meaning that this also affected their ability to return a vehicle that failed inspection within 14 days of purchase.
In response, the RMV is providing an extension for inspections to accommodate impacted consumers:
- If you purchased a vehicle between March 23, 2021 and April 16, 2021: You have until April 30, 2021, to obtain an inspection sticker.
- If your inspection sticker expired in March or April 2021: You have until May 31, 2021, to obtain an inspection sticker.
- If you are in a 60-day retest period:You will receive one extra day for each day the system was offline.
After receiving a failed inspection sticker, consumers have 14 days from the date of inspection to exercise their rights under the Lemon Aid Law, as long as the inspection occurred on or before the aforementioned dates. If your vehicle is eligible for Lemon Law arbitration, which is separate from the Lemon Aid Law, you may apply here. The Lemon Law Arbitration Program is administered by the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR).
OCABR recommends that consumers get their vehicles inspected as soon as possible. For additional questions or concerns regarding your Lemon Law Rights including the Lemon Aid Law and the Lemon Law Arbitration Program, you may contact OCABR’s consumer hotline at (617) 973-8787 or (888) 283-3757. You may also call the AGO’s consumer hotline at (617) 727-8400 or file a complaint online with the AGO.