Out-of-state cars and the Missouri Lemon Law

April 5, 2010

Sometimes, a vehicle is purchased or repaired or is currently parked in a state other than Missouri, even though the owner is currenlty a Missouri resident. The Missouri lemon law covers this situation.

The Missouri lemon law applies to a vehicle purchased in another state if “any material fact in connection with the sale or advertisement”  was “in or from the state of Missouri.”  The law does not specifically say what a material fact is, but Missouri courts  will “liberally construe” the term, meaning they will consider a wide range of conduct. Materials facts may include the residence of the purchaser, the location of the bank where the down payment money originated, the location of the lien holder, advertisements placed in Missouri, or even repair  attempts that were performed in Missouri. 

Furthermore, the Missouri lemon law applies to any product “wherever situated,” as long as the product directly or indirectly affects the people of Missouri. Even if a car originated in another state, and even if material facts regarding the sale of the car were not in or from Missouri, the lemon law may still apply. Perhaps the vehicle now resides in Missouri, or did so for a crucial period of the repair history.

The Missouri lemon law does not require that every relevant fact has occured in Missouri.  If a consumer can show a connection to Missouri, and the vehicle otherwise meets the Missouri lemon law requirements, a Missouri judge is more likely to want to rule based on the Missouri lemon law than on another states’ law.

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