Maryland Lemon Laws
Sections 14-1501 - 12-1504 of the Commercial Law Articles §
(a) In this subtitle the following words
have the meanings indicated.
(b) "Consumer" means:
(1) The purchaser, other than for purposes of resale,
of a new motor vehicle;
(2) Any person to whom a new motor vehicle is transferred during
the duration of the warranty applicable to such motor vehicle; or
(3) Any other person who is entitled to enforce the obligations
of the warranty.
(1) "Motor vehicle" means a vehicle that is registered
in this State as a:
(i) Class A (passenger) vehicle;
(ii) Class D (motorcycle) vehicle;
(iii) Class E (truck) vehicle with a 3/4 ton or less manufacturer's
rated capacity; or
(iv) Class M (multipurpose) vehicle.
(2) "Motor vehicle" does not include a motor home. For the purpose
of administering this subtitle, the Motor Vehicle Administration
shall promulgate a regulation defining a motor home.
(d) "Dealer" has the meaning provided in § 15-101(b) of the
(e) "Manufacturer, factory branch, or distributor" means a person,
partnership, association, corporation, or entity engaged in the
business of manufacturing or assembling motor vehicles or of distributing
motor vehicles to motor vehicle dealers as defined in § 15-201(b),
(c), and (e) of the Transportation Article.
(f) "Warranty" means warranties as defined in §§ 2-312,
2-313, 2-314, and 2-315 of this article.
(1) "Manufacturer's warranty period" means the earlier
(i) The period of the motor vehicle's first 15,000
miles of operation; or
(ii) 15 months following the date of original delivery of the
motor vehicle to the consumer.
(2) This subsection does not extend any manufacturer's express warranty.
(a) If the manufacturer's warranty period is to include those
miles of operation when the new motor vehicle is in the possession
of any person other than the consumer, the manufacturer shall state
that fact in 12 point bold face type in the manufacturer's written
(1) If a new motor vehicle does not conform to all applicable
warranties during the warranty period, the consumer shall, during
such period, report the nonconformity, defect, or condition by giving
written notice to the manufacturer or factory branch by certified
mail, return receipt requested. Notice of this procedure shall be
conspicuously disclosed to the consumer in writing at the time of
sale or delivery of the motor vehicle.
(2) The consumer shall provide an opportunity for the manufacturer
or factory branch, or its agent to cure the nonconformity, defect,
(3) The manufacturer or factory branch, its agent, or its authorized
dealer shall correct the nonconformity, defect, or condition at
no charge to the consumer, even if repairs are made after the expiration
of the warranty period. The corrections shall be completed within
30 days of the manufacturer's receipt of the consumer's notification
of the nonconformity, defect, or condition.
(1) 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, 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 including all license
fees, registration fees, and any similar governmental charges,
1. A reasonable allowance for the consumer's use
of the vehicle not to exceed 15 percent of the purchase price;
2. A reasonable allowance for damage not attributable to normal
wear but not to include damage resulting from a nonconformity,
defect, or condition.
(2) The manufacturer or factory branch shall make refunds under
this section to the consumer and lienholder, if any, as their interests
appear on the records of ownership maintained by the Motor Vehicle
(3) It is an affirmative defense to any claim under this section
that the nonconformity, defect, or condition:
(i) Does not substantially impair the use and market
value of the motor vehicle; or
(ii) Is the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modifications
or alterations of the motor vehicle.
(d) It shall be presumed that a reasonable number of attempts
have been undertaken to conform a motor vehicle to the applicable
(1) The same nonconformity, defect, or condition has
been subject to repair 4 or more times by the manufacturer or factory
branch, or its agents or authorized dealers, within the warranty
period but such nonconformity, defect, or condition continues to
(2) The vehicle is out of service by reason of repair of 1 or more
nonconformities, defects, or conditions for a cumulative total of
30 or more days during the warranty period; or
(3) A nonconformity, defect, or condition resulting in failure of
the braking or steering system has been subject to the same repair
at least once within the warranty period, and the manufacturer has
been notified and given the opportunity to cure the defect, and
the repair does not bring the vehicle into compliance with the motor
vehicle safety inspection laws of the State.
(e) The term of any warranty, the warranty period, and the 30
day out of service period shall be extended by any time during which
repair services are not available to the consumer by reason of war,
invasion, strike, or fire, flood, or other natural disaster.
(i) It shall be the duty of a dealer to notify the
manufacturer of the existence of a nonconformity, defect, or condition
within 7 days when the motor vehicle is delivered to the same
dealer for a fourth time for repair of the same nonconformity
or when the vehicle is out of service by reason of repair of one
or more nonconformities, defects, or conditions for a cumulative
total of 20 days.
(ii) The notification shall be sent by certified mail and a copy
of the notification shall be sent to the Motor Vehicle Administration;
however, failure of the dealer to give the required notice required
under this subsection shall not affect the consumer's right under
(2) If a motor vehicle is returned to a manufacturer or factory
branch either under this subtitle, or by judgment, decree, arbitration
award, or by voluntary agreement, the manufacturer or factory branch
shall notify the Motor Vehicle Administration in writing within
15 days of the fact that the vehicle was returned.
(i) If a motor vehicle that is returned to the manufacturer
under either this subtitle or by judgment, decree, arbitration
award, settlement agreement, or by voluntary agreement in this
or any other state and is then transferred to a dealer in Maryland,
the manufacturer shall disclose this information to the dealer.
(ii) The manufacturer's disclosure under this paragraph shall
be in writing on a separate piece of paper in 10 point all capital
type and shall state in a clear and conspicuous manner:
1. That the motor vehicle was returned to the manufacturer
or factory branch;
2. The nature of the defect, if any, that resulted in the return;
3. The condition of the motor vehicle at the time that it is
transferred to the dealer.
(i) If the returned vehicle is then made available
for resale, the seller shall provide a copy of the manufacturer's
disclosure form to the consumer prior to sale.
(ii) If the returned vehicle is sold, the seller shall send a
copy of the manufacturer's disclosure form, signed by the consumer,
to the Administration.
(h) This section does not limit the rights or remedies that are
otherwise available to a consumer under any other law, including
any implied warranties.
(1) If a manufacturer or factory branch has established
an informal dispute settlement procedure which complies in all respects
with the provisions of Title 16, Code of Federal Regulations, Part
703, as amended, a consumer may resort to that procedure before
subsection (c) of this section applies.
(2) A consumer who has resorted to an informal dispute settlement
procedure may not be precluded from seeking the rights or remedies
available by law.
(1) Any agreement entered into by a consumer for the
purchase of a new motor vehicle that waives, limits, or disclaims
the rights set forth in this section shall be void.
(2) The rights available to a consumer under this section shall
inure to a subsequent transferee of a new motor vehicle for the
duration of the applicable warranties.
(k) Any action brought under this section shall be commenced within
3 years of the date of original delivery of the motor vehicle to
(1) A court may award reasonable attorney's fees to a
prevailing plaintiff under this section.
(2) If it appears to the satisfaction of the court that an action
is brought in bad faith or is of a frivolous nature, the court may
order the offending party to pay to the other party reasonable attorney's
(m) This subtitle does not apply to a fleet purchase of five or
more motor vehicles.
(a) The Motor Vehicle Administration shall:
(1) Develop a notice that describes the rights provided
to consumers under this subtitle;
(2) Make the notice available to all dealers that sell new motor
vehicles in the State; and
(3) Adopt regulations as necessary to implement the provisions of
(b) The notice shall:
(1) Be written in simple and readable plain language;
(2) Contain sufficient detail to fully inform consumers about the
rights and remedies available under this subtitle and the procedures
to follow to enforce those rights and remedies.
(c) Each dealer that sells a new motor vehicle in the State shall
provide to the purchaser, at the time of the sale or delivery of
the motor vehicle, a copy of the notice developed by the Motor Vehicle
Administration under this section.
(1) If a dealer, manufacturer, factory branch, or distributor
is required under a judgment, decree, arbitration award, or settlement
agreement to accept, or by voluntary agreement accepts, return of
a motor vehicle from a consumer, the consumer shall be entitled
to recover from the Motor Vehicle Administration the excise taxes
originally paid by the consumer, subject to subsection (b) of this
(i) If a dealer, manufacturer, factory branch, or distributor
replaces a motor vehicle with a comparable motor vehicle under
§ 14-1502(c)(1)(i) of this subtitle, the Motor Vehicle Administration
shall allow a credit against the excise tax imposed for the replacement
vehicle in the amount of the excise taxes originally paid by the
consumer for the returned vehicle, subject to subsection (b) of
1. If the excise tax on the replacement vehicle exceeds
the credit allowed under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph,
the dealer shall collect only that portion of excise tax due;
2. If the excise tax on the vehicle being replaced exceeds the
excise tax on the replacement vehicle, the consumer shall be
entitled to recover from the Motor Vehicle Administration the
excess of the excise tax paid.
(b) The excise taxes that a consumer is entitled to recover under
this section shall be calculated based on the amount of the purchase
price or any portion of the purchase price of the motor vehicle
that the dealer, manufacturer, factory branch, or distributor refunds
to the consumer.
(c) A dealer, manufacturer, factory branch, or distributor who
is required under a judgment, decree, arbitration award, or settlement
agreement to accept, or who accepts, by voluntary agreement, return
of a motor vehicle shall notify the consumer in writing that the
consumer is entitled to recover the excise taxes from the Motor
(a) A violation of this subtitle shall be an unfair and deceptive
trade practice under Title 13 of the Commercial Law Article.
(b) In addition to any other remedies that may be available under
this subtitle, if a manufacturer, factory branch, or distributor
is found to have acted in bad faith, the court may award the consumer
damages of up to $10,000.