Massachusetts is one of only 6 states with a separate Lemon Law for used vehicles. The Used Car Lemon Law requires a dealer to charge you no more than $100 to repair any defect that substantially impairs your ability to safely drive the vehicle. More importantly, you will be entitled to a refund if your vehicle has substantial defects that remain after 3 repair attempts or which cause the vehicle to be out-of-service for a combined 11 business days.
The initial coverage period depends on the mileage at the time of purchase.
0-39,999 miles have a coverage period of 90 days/3,750 miles (vehicles with under 15,000 miles may also be covered by the New Car Lemon Law).
40,000-79,999 miles have a coverage period of 60 days/2,500 miles
80,000-124,999 miles have a coverage period of 30 days/1,250 miles.
125,000 miles and over are not covered by the Used Car Lemon Law but do have some other limited protections such as the Lemon Aid Law
The coverage period is extended for 30 days after every repair attempt with respect to a particular defect.
Example: a vehicle purchased on January 1 with 100,000 miles comes with initial Used Car Lemon Law coverage of 30 days/1,250 miles which expires on January 31. The vehicle develops engine problems and you take it back to the dealer on January 15, February 1, and February 15, but the engine problems are still not fixed. You would be entitled to a refund under the Used Car Lemon Law even though the initial coverage period has passed. This is because the first repair attempt occurred within the initial coverage period and the other attempts occurred within 30 days of the previous attempt.
NOTE: The Used Car Lemon Law requires taking the vehicle back to the dealer who sold you the vehicle. A dealer may not be required to cover repairs performed at other repair shops, and repairs performed by someone other than the dealer may not count toward the 3 attempts/11 business day limit.
What if the dealer ignores me? Sadly, is not uncommon for used car dealers to try to "run out the clock" on the Used Car Lemon Law by ignoring the customer's complaints until the coverage period ends. The good news is that every business day that a dealer refuses to make covered repairs can count toward the 11 business day limit. So if the dealer doesn't answer your calls for more than two weeks you may be entitled to a Lemon Law refund even if your vehicle was never in the shop. If this happens to you, make a record of when you called the dealer and contact an attorney to see if you qualify for a Used Car Lemon Law refund.