Purchasing a car provides low- and moderate-income families with mobility -- both economic and physical. Maryland families need access to cars for transportation to and from work as well as to procure better good and services than they might have available in their local communities. Auto dealers have a variety of ways to increase the costs of a car that buyers aren’t aware of-this may lead to a consumer paying thousands more than necessary. At the same time, auto insurance may cost a driver more than $1000 a year for basic liability insurance. These costs may make it too expensive for struggling families to purchase and insure a car.
MCRC is working to educate consumers about auto fraud and the ways to get the best deal; working to regulate car dealers and car financing firms, and find ways to reduce the cost of auto insurance.
Complaints about automobile repairs or service can be directed to the Office of the Attorney General. The Office of the Attorney General has branch offices in Western Maryland, Southern Maryland and on the Eastern Shore.
New-Car Complaints (Lemon law)
If your new car (under 15 months and 15,000 miles) has had severe problems, it may be considered a “lemon” under Maryland law. To find out if you are entitled to protection under the Maryland’s Lemon Law, visit this link, or contact the Office of the Attorney General.
The Center for Auto Safety offers consumers advice on using state lemon laws, and provides a national complaint database. All information you submit to the Center for Auto Safety (except your e-mail address) is made part of their public complaint database maintained on their website. The database is used to generate recalls and other remedies for all consumers with similar problems.
Consumers may also make complaints concerning repairs or new cars to the Better Business Bureau.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) collects data about safety-related defects in automobiles. NHTSA does not need to receive a certain number of complaints before investigating a problem; individual problems can be examined by NHTSA's engineers. If a safety-related defect exists in a motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment, the manufacturer must fix it at no cost to the owner. Your complaint is the first step in the process. Consumers can also search NHTSA's database to find safety related defects and recalls.
For complaints or questions concerning Maryland car dealerships, consumers can call the Maryland MVA Business Licensing and Consumer Services Division at 410-768-753. The MVA licenses automobile dealers and manufacturers, and can help consumers iron out difficulties that they may have with their dealership and/or manufacturer in honoring their car warranty.