Mass Attorney General Reminds Consumers of Lemon Law Rights

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With Reopening of Vehicle Inspection Stations after Outage, Attorney General Urges Consumers to Get Inspections as Soon as Possible


BOSTON – Now that the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicle’s vehicle inspection stations are back online after an outage caused by a malware attack, Attorney General Maura Healey is encouraging affected consumers to obtain their inspections as soon as possible and reminding them they have additional time to exercise their vehicle return and refund rights under the state’s Lemon Aid Law.

The AG’s advisory reminds consumers that the extension applies to consumers who purchased cars between March 23, 2021, and April 16, 2021, and impacted consumers have until April 30, 2021, to get their inspection stickers.

“In light of this unexpected complication at the RMV, we want to make sure that consumers have the information they need to fully exercise their rights when buying a car, and to put auto dealerships on notice about their legal obligations in this unprecedented situation,” said Healey. “We don’t want consumers to be stuck with a defective vehicle through no fault of their own, and we encourage them to contact our office if they have questions.”

The Massachusetts Lemon Aid Law allows consumers to return a purchased vehicle and obtain a refund if it fails inspection within seven days from the date of sale, and the cost of repairs is more than 10 percent of the purchase price. Consumers then have 14 days from the date of sale to return the vehicle and provide the seller with a statement detailing why the vehicle failed inspection, as well as include an estimate of the cost of repairs.

However, because of the inspection station outage, some consumers were left unable to meet the seven-day inspection deadline articulated in the Lemon Aid Law, which then impacts their ability to return a vehicle that fails inspection within 14 days of purchase.

Around March 30, 2021, the RMV’s vehicle inspection stations went offline following a malware attack on their vendor’s system. As a result, consumers who purchased a vehicle between March 23, 2021, and April 16, 2021, had inspection stickers expiring in March or April 2021, or were in a 60-day retest period following a failed inspection, were unable to obtain inspections or reinspection in accordance to Massachusetts law.

Most public vehicle inspection stations went back online beginning on April 17, 2021.

Editor’s Note: In full transparency, above is a press release from the AG’s office submitted to SOURCE media.

To accommodate consumers impacted by the vehicle inspection stations going offline, the RMV has allowed for the following grace periods:

  • If you purchased a vehicle between March 23, 2021 and April 16, 2021: You have until April 30, 2021, to obtain an inspection sticker.
  • If your inspection sticker expired in March or April 2021: You have until May 31, 2021, to obtain an inspection sticker
  • If you are in a 60-day retest period: You will receive one extra day for each day the system was offline.

AG Healey advises consumers who purchased cars and were impacted by the inspection station outage to get their inspection as soon as they can, and on or before April 30, 2021. If needed, consumers should exercise their rights under the Lemon Aid Law as quickly as possible.

The AG’s Office also wants to remind auto dealerships of their legal obligations in sales transactions under the Lemon Aid Law and the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act. Accordingly, auto dealerships should use the RMV’s grace period for affected consumers and allow consumers 14 days from the date of their inspection to exercise their rights under the Lemon Aid Law, should a consumer’s vehicle fail inspection within the RMV’s grace period.

For more information about the outage and the RMV’s grace periods for vehicle inspections please see the RMV’s press release and vehicle check webpage

The AG’s Office urges those with concerns about their Lemon Aid Law rights to contact the office’s consumer hotline at (617) 727-8400 or file a complaint online.


email: call or text at 508-315-7176

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