Maryland has been an unfriendly ground for lemon law suits. The Appeals Court has now severely limited the rights of consumers in that state in lemon law cases.
In Laing v. Volkswagen of America, the consumer filed a lawsuit under the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act and Maryland’s lemon law against VW. The plaintiff claimed that the vehicle was defective, and that the manufacturer failed to repair the defects within a reasonable number of times or within a reasonable number of attempts. However, the plaintiff didn’t proffer any expert evidence to show the existence of the defect, and, because of that, the trial court ruled in the defendant’s favor. The appeals court upheld the decision, essentially holding that a consumer in Maryland must proffer expert evidence to establish the existence of the relevant defect or defects.
Is this a bad decision for consumers? Yes. But I wonder if this was just simply a bad case. As I read the decision, there really wasn’t anything much wrong with the vehicle. So the court required the consumer to prove what it is he was complaining about. It seems logical, but still less than favorable to consumer plaintiffs.