Maryland’s Lemon Law (2019)

Infographic explaining what lemon laws are

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Maryland’s Lemon Law gives car buyers the remedy of repurchase or replacement of their vehicle.  “If, during the warranty period, the manufacturer or factory branch, its agent, or its authorized dealer is unable to repair or correct any defect or condition that substantially impairs the use and market value of the motor vehicle to the consumer after a reasonable number of attempts…” Commercial Law, Annotated Code of Maryland, Section 14-1502(c).

You will win under Maryland’s Lemon Law if you can prove that the carmaker is “unable to repair or correct any defect or condition that substantially impairs the use and market value of the motor vehicle to the consumer.”

Most Lemon Law cases in Maryland are brought in conjunction with other statutes.  So if there is a defective vehicle, the plaintiff’s attorney will usually file a lawsuit alleging violations of these three statutes:

  1. Automotive Warranty Enforcement Act, Md. Commercial Law §§14-1501, et seq.  This is Maryland’s Lemon Law.
  2. The Magnuson-Moss Act, U.S.C. §§15-2301, et seq.  This is a federal law.
  3. The Consumer Protection Act, Md. Commercial Law §§13-301, et seq.

Attorneys’ Fees Under Maryland’s Lemon Law?

Maryland’s Lemon Law and the federal Magnuson-Moss Act both provide you with the ability to get attorneys’ fees if you win.  Section 14-1502(c) of the Maryland Lemon Law mandates:

(c) Uncorrectable defects. –

(1) If, during the warranty period, the manufacturer or factory branch, its agent, or its authorized dealer (emphasis added) is unable to repair or correct any defect or condition that substantially impairs the use and market value of the motor vehicle to the consumer after a reasonable number of attempts (emphasis added), the manufacturer or factory branch, at the option of the consumer, shall:

(i) Replace the motor vehicle with a comparable motor vehicle acceptable to the consumer; or
(ii) Accept return of the motor vehicle from the consumer and refund to the consumer the full purchase price…

Our Lemon Law in §14-1502(1) goes on to state that:

(1) Attorney’s fees. –

(1) A Court may award reasonable attorney’s fees to a prevailing plaintiff under this section.
Similarly, §§2310(d)(1) and (2) of the Magnuson-Moss Act provide:

(1)… a consumer who is damaged by the failure of a supplier, warrantor, or service contractor to comply with any obligation under this chapter, or under a written warranty, implied warranty, or service contract, may bring suit for damages and other equitable relief-
(2) If a consumer finally prevails in any action brought under paragraph (1) of this subsection, he may be allowed by the court to recover as part of the judgment a sum equal to the aggregate amount of costs and expenses (including attorney’s fees based on actual time expended.) determined by the court to have been reasonably incurred by the plaintiff for or in commection with the commencement and prosecution of such action, unless the Court in its discretion shall determine that such an award of attorney’s fees would be inappropriate.