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Motorcycle Lemon Laws

If you are purchasing a new or used motorcycle, you need to be aware of motorcycle lemon laws for your state. In particular, you need to know that many states exempt motorcycles from lemon law protection.

With respect to new motorcycles, you may find a remedy through federal law - the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act, enacted in 1975, is the federal lemon law. The law requires that all products that cost more than $15 have certain minimum warranty rights, and that disclosures be given to all consumers of virtually all consumer products.

In addition to minimum warranty rights, a manufacturer must "live up to" their warranty or service contract. The law, which is replete with exceptions, may also be used to provide compensation or repurchase of the defective product, and payment of attorney fees. You will need an attorney to pursue a remedy under the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act, which can be prohibitive.

Triumph motorcycle tank

With respect to state lemon laws, you need to check the law in your state. Maine is one state with a lemon law that covers "every vehicle purchased or leased, except commercial vehicles weighing greater than 8,000 pounds. In order for the law to apply there must be 3 repair attempts (for the same problem), or 15 business days out of service. The law applies to the vehicle for 2 years of 18,000 miles.

States without motorcycle lemon laws: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia.

The remaining states that do have lemon laws covering motorcycles, vary in the quantity or character of the repair attempts, and the period of coverage.

If you believe that you have a motorcycle that would be considered a lemon, or has repeatedly been repaired for the same issue, your best bet would be to contact an attorney in your state, who is familiar with consumer protection issues. Keep your repair statements and documentation of your expenses, as well as any warranty information and your bill of sale.

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