Lemon Law

Getting a new car is always so exciting. After endless hours of shopping around, test driving your top contenders, and, finally, securing financing and finalizing paperwork, you leave the dealership proud of your new purchase. If you decided to buy new, you take comfort in knowing that your car, truck, or SUV is safe. So, when your brand new vehicle breaks down unexpectedly or leaves you footing repair bills long before you ever planned, it can be quite alarming and disheartening. You may turn to the dealership you purchased the vehicle from only to be dismissed and turned away. Fortunately, Ohio’s lemon law is in place to protect you. 

What Qualifies as a Lemon?

At this time, Ohio’s lemon law only mandates refunds and replacements for cars, motorcycles, and other non-commercial vehicles that are purchased new, meaning those that are less than a year old or have less than 18,000 miles (whichever comes first). Additionally, there must be one or more substantial problems that impair the use, value, or safety of the vehicle, and the issue must be covered by the warranty. 

If you purchased a pre-owned vehicle, there are other laws in place to protect you — such as those that require known lemons to be repaired, covered under warranty, and armed with a branded title specifying the original issue. Thus, as a used car buyer, you will likely not be eligible for a full refund or replacement vehicle unless the dealer failed to abide by such stipulations. 

Don’t Settle for a Dangerous Car or a Shady Deal

Request a Full Refund

What to Do If You Think You Bought a Lemon 

First, you should bring your vehicle to the dealership or manufacturer and request that they repair it. Under Ohio law, the manufacturer must be given a reasonable amount of time to correct the problem. However, if they fail to adequately fix the defect, you may qualify for a full refund or replacement. In order to determine if they have had a reasonable opportunity for repair, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Has an unsuccessful attempt been made to fix a problem that could lead to death or serious injury?
  • Have three or more attempts been made to fix a less severe problem?
  • Have eight or more attempts been made to fix a variety of problems?
  • Has your vehicle been in the shop for a cumulative of 30 days or more?

If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, you are likely entitled to a full refund or vehicle replacement under Ohio lemon law. 

Preparing a Case

You should first start by gathering all your vehicle repair records. Next, obtain a copy of your warranty, and read your owner’s manual for details. Your owner’s manual should list the manufacturer’s address. You can request a refund or replacement by mailing a certified letter to the address listed. 

Still, you should be advised that some companies may fight your request. There are sometimes gray areas in matters of lemon law, and the manufacturer may attempt to deny your claim or negotiate an unfair agreement with you. In order to ensure you have a fair stake in the process, you should find an experienced attorney to represent you. This is especially important if the manufacturer wants to settle the matter through arbitration. 

Hiring legal counsel can not only help you secure a refund or replacement — your attorney can investigate to see if the dealership knowingly sold you a faulty vehicle in the first place. Call now to schedule your free initial consultation at my firm. If you have grounds for a lemon law case, the manufacturer may be required to cover your legal fees, in addition to your refund or repair.

Lemon Law Attorney
in Elyria, OH

Do not allow a large auto manufacturer to intimidate or overpower you. As a consumer, you have rights, and I will work with you to enforce them. You deserve to drive the safe, high-quality new vehicle you paid for, and I’d like to help you obtain it. Schedule your complimentary consultation today so we can analyze your case together and develop a plan of action.