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Leased Vehicle Lemon Law in Minnesota

Minnesota Lemon Law covers new passenger vehicles, SUVs, vans, and trucks that are leased in Minnesota. It also covers the chassis of new RVs. In order to be considered a "lemon," the vehicle must meet the following requirements:

  • Does not conform to the manufacturer's express warranty
  • Has substantial defects affecting the use, safety or value of the vehicle
  • Has manufacturer's defects that occurred during the two years from the delivery date or before the expiration of the manufacturer's warranty (whichever period ends first)
  • Has been taken in four times for the same problem (with the first repair attempt occurring within two years of the delivery date or before the expiration of the manufacturer's warranty, whichever comes first), has been taken in once for a steering or braking defect that is likely to cause death or serious injury, or if it has been out of service for a cumulative total of 30 business days for a variety of defects
  • The manufacturer or dealer has been notified in writing of the defect and been given a final opportunity to repair the vehicle
  • Is driven at least 40 percent of the time for personal, family, or household use

Under Minnesota Lemon Law, you must notify the manufacturer or dealer in writing of the problem with your vehicle, and give the manufacturer the opportunity to fix it one last time. Sample demand letter.

If the problem isn't fixed and the manufacturer requires it, you must participate in your vehicle manufacturer's dispute resolution process (for example, arbitration, conciliation, or mediation) before you are eligible to file a Lemon Law claim in court. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the arbitration process, you have six months to file a lawsuit in court. If the manufacturer doesn't require you to participate in an informal dispute resolution process, you have three years from the delivery date of your vehicle to follow suit, providing you reported the defect within two years or before the end of the warranty period, whichever comes first.

Wherever you are in the Lemon Law claim process, it is generally in your best interest to have an attorney represent you. After all, vehicle manufacturers have teams of lawyers that do nothing but fight Lemon Law claims. As you consider your options, imagine the difference between going up against a team of lawyers on your own, versus having a Lemon Law attorney speak on your behalf. Also keep in mind that being represented by a Lemon Law attorney won't cost you a dime if you go to court; the law says that the car manufacturer has to pay your attorney's fees in successful Lemon Law claims.

However, if you decide to go it alone, before you are eligible to file a Lemon Law claim in court, you must file a request for arbitration with the manufacturer's arbitration program (if the manufacturer requires it).

Minnesota Lemon Law provides several options for a successful Lemon Law claimant. First, you may be awarded a replacement vehicle of the same year, make, and model. You may also qualify for a monetary award, which can include:

  • The amount you paid on your lease
  • Sales tax
  • License fees
  • Registration fees
  • Reimbursement for towing
  • Rental expenses
  • Attorney's fees

The amount of the monetary reward may be reduced by a deduction for your use of the vehicle, which is calculated at 10 cents per mile or 10 percent of the purchase price, whichever is less.

Used Car Topics
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