Lemon Laws An Overview

Lemon is often used to refer to an unreliable automobile. While this can be used as a figure of speech for any old or run-down car, it also has a specific legal definition. A noncommercial motor vehicle, passenger automobile, or motorcycle is legally defined as a lemon if it has mechanical issues that make it unsafe, reduces its value, or makes it unable to be reliably driven. Also, these issues have to occur within 18,000 miles or during your first year of ownership. Sometimes automobile manufacturers will not repair or replace the lemon they sell you and an Ohio lemon law attorney may be needed.

Protecting Yourself

When buying a new car, you can protect yourself so you are prepared in case your new car is a lemon. One of the most important things to do is to have good records and create a verifiable paper trail. So keep all repair orders you have done, including a full list of what was done, how much it costs you, and how long it took to fix your car. Another important record is what problems or defects you notice when operating your car. Finally, be sure to read the owner’s manual so you properly follow the required upkeep and maintenance needs. Keeping your car well cared for means you are eligible for any replacement or refund under the lemon law.

What To Do If You Have a Lemon

If you have a lemon, your first step is to give the manufacturer a fair opportunity to repair the automobile. Some lemon issues can be corrected with professional servicing. Before asking for a replacement or a refund, the manufacturer has to have a chance to do repairs. You can invoke the Lemon law if the following has been tried. Three or more attempts to repair the issues and it still isn’t fixed. The vehicle has been in the shop for a cumulative total of 30 or more days. Eight repair attempts were made to fix multiple issues and failed. One repair attempt was made to fix a possible lethal problem and was unsuccessful. If any of this has happened, you have a legal right to ask for the lemon to be replaced or to be refunded what you paid to buy it.

Requesting A Replacement or Refund

If repairs are not (or cannot) fix the issues with your automobile, the next step is to request a refund or replacement. This is done via letter and sent to your automobile manufacturer. In writing list all the problems you’ve recorded, what repair attempts were made, the automobile’s VIN, and if you want a replacement or a refund. Be sure to keep a copy of the letter.

Arbitration and Court

Most automobile companies make use of third-party arbitrators to decide on lemon claims. This is legally approved and designed to speed up the process while still offering a fair judgment from an impartial person. If you are unhappy with what the arbitrator decides, you can take the case to civil court to receive what you are due. Do note you have to file a court case within five years of receiving the automobile.

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