Maryland Lemon Law
Sections 14-1501 - 12-1504
of the Commercial Law Articles
. § 14-1501.
(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
(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
(1) "Motor vehicle" means a vehicle that is registered in this State as
(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
(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 of:
(i) The period of the motor vehicle's first 15,000 miles of
(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
(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 warranty.
(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, or
(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, less:
1. A reasonable allowance for the consumer's use of the vehicle not
to exceed 15 percent of the purchase price; and
2. A reasonable allowance for damage not attributable to normal wear
but not to include damage resulting from a nonconformity, defect, or
(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 warranties if:
(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 exist;
(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 this subtitle.
(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
2. The nature of the defect, if any, that resulted in the return; and
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
(h) This section does not limit the rights or remedies that are otherwise
available to a consumer under any other law, including any implied
(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
(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
(k) Any action brought under this section shall be commenced within 3
years of the date of original delivery of the motor vehicle to the consumer.
(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 fees.
(m) This subtitle does not apply to a fleet purchase of five or more
(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 this
(b) The notice shall:
(1) Be written in simple and readable plain language; and
(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
(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 section.
(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 this
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; or
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
(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 Vehicle Administration.
(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