STANDARDS OF THE MISSOURI LEMON LAW
The following is a brief explanation provided by the Council of Better Business Bureaus of the most relevant provisions of the Missouri lemon law. The complete text of the lemon law can be found at Missouri Rev. Stat. section 407.560 et seq. and is embedded on this page below.
The Missouri lemon law covers any new motor vehicle being transferred for the first time from a manufacturer, distributor or new vehicle dealer; that has not been registered or titled in the state or any other state; and that is offered for sale, barter or exchange by a dealer franchised to sell, barter or exchange that particular make of new motor vehicle. This includes demonstrators or lease-purchase vehicles as long as a manufacturer’s warranty was issued as a condition of sale.
The lemon law does not cover used vehicles, and appears not to cover leased vehicles unless acquired through a lease-purchase. The lemon law does not cover commercial motor vehicles, off-road vehicles, mopeds, motorcycles, and recreational motor vehicles other than the chassis, engine, powertrain and component parts.
The lemon law covers the following consumers:
- The purchaser, other than for purposes of resale, of a new motor vehicle primarily used for personal, family, or household purposes;
- Any person to whom the new motor vehicle is transferred for the same purposes during the duration of an express warranty applicable to the new motor vehicle; and
- Any other person entitled by the terms of the warranty to enforce its obligations.
The lemon law applies to vehicle converters.
The lemon law covers any default or condition that impairs the use, market value or safety of the new motor vehicle to the consumer. This is referred to as a nonconformity.
The lemon law provides manufacturers with an affirmative defense if it can be shown that:
- The alleged nonconformity does not substantially impair the use, market value or safety of the new motor vehicle; or
- A nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modifications or alterations of the new motor vehicle.
MANUFACTURER’S DUTY TO REPAIR A VEHICLE
If the consumer reports a nonconformity to the manufacturer or its agent during the term of the express warranties or during a period of one year following the date of the new motor vehicle’s original delivery to the consumer, whichever comes first, then the manufacturer or its agent must make the necessary repairs to conform the new motor vehicle to the express warranties.
The necessary repairs must be made even after the expiration of the term of the express warranties or the one year period.
MANUFACTURER’S DUTY TO REPURCHASE OR REPLACE A VEHICLE
If the manufacturer, its agent or authorized dealer is unable to conform the new motor vehicle to any applicable express warranty by repairing or correcting any nonconformity after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer must, at its option, either repurchase or replace the new motor vehicle.
REASONABLE NUMBER OF REPAIR ATTEMPTS
The Missouri lemon law establishes a presumption that a reasonable number of repair attempts has been undertaken to conform a new motor vehicle to the applicable express warranties if, within the express warranty term or during the period of one year following the date of the new motor vehicle’s original delivery to a consumer, whichever expires earlier, either of the following occurs:
- The same nonconformity has been subject to repair four or more times by the manufacturer or its agents, and the nonconformity continues to exist; or
- The new motor vehicle is out of service by reason of repair of the nonconformity by the manufacturer, its agents or authorized dealer for a cumulative total of 30 or moreworking days, exclusive of down time for routine maintenance as prescribed by the manufacturer.
The 30 day period may be ex tended by a period of time during which repair services are not available to the consumer because of a conditions beyond the control of the manufacturer or its agents.
The term of the express warranty and the one year period following the date of the new motor vehicle’s original delivery to a consumer may be extended if the nonconformity has been reported but has not been repaired by the manufacturer or its agent by the expiration of the applicable period.
NOTICE AND FINAL REPAIR ATTEMPT
Before availing himself or herself of the provisions of the lemon law, the consumer or the consumer’s representative must give written notification to the manufacturer of the need for repair of the nonconformity, in order to allow the manufacturer an opportunity to cure the alleged nonconformity. Upon receipt of the notice, the manufacturer must immediately notify the consumer of a reasonably accessible repair facility of a franchised new vehicle dealer. After the consumer delivers the new motor vehicle to the authorized repair facility, the manufacturer has ten calendar days to conform the new motor vehicle to the express warranty.
If the manufacturer has established an informal dispute settlement procedure that complies with 16 C.F.R. Part 703, then the provisions requiring refund or replacement do not apply unless the consumer has first resorted to the informal dispute settlement procedure.
TIME PERIOD FOR FILING CLAIMS
An action must be commenced within the earlier of (1) six months following expiration of the express warranty, or (2) 18 months following the date of the vehicle’s original delivery to a consumer. If a consumer resorts to an informal dispute settlement procedure, an action must be commenced within 90 days following the procedure’s final action.