There is nothing as annoying as new car with a defect that can’t be repaired. But there is good news under Ohio’s Lemon Law. This law was enacted to protect consumers from faulty vehicles.
A Lemon Defined
Under Ohio’s Lemon Law a “lemon vehicle” is a new vehicle that has a defect that is covered under the original manufacturer’s warranty. This defect must be impairing the vehicles market value, operation or safety.
Vehicles covered under this law must be within 1 year or within 18,000 miles from the time of purchase. The vehicle must also be passenger car, motorcycle or light truck.
Fixing the Problems
If you discover a defect, take your vehicle to the manufacturer to fix it. If the defect keeps on recurring, allow the manufacturer a reasonable number of attempts to fix the defect. In a nutshell, your vehicle will qualify for protection under Ohio’s Lemon Law, if it meets the following qualifications:
- The manufacturer has attempted to fix the defect at least 3 times but it keeps on recurring
- The vehicle has stayed in the repair shop for 30 days or more
- The manufacturer has made at least 8 attempts to repair various problems
- The manufacturer has made at least 1 attempt to fix a defect that could cause serious injury or death.
If your car meets any of the above aspects, then you have the right to request the manufacturer to either refund your money or give you a replacement vehicle. You are required to send a certified letter to the manufacturer to inspect the vehicle and have a final attempt to repair. In most cases; they may fail to cooperate with you and you may take the next step.
The Arbitration Process under Ohio’s Lemon Law
Before taking any action, go through a third party arbitration program to solve your case. There are several third party arbitration programs and some of them have been certified by the office of the Attorney General in Ohio. The arbitrator will analyze your case and act on it accordingly. If the case is resolved in your favor, you will be entitled to a refund of your purchase price plus other applicable fees and expenses incurred, or replace your vehicle with a comparable one.
Filing a Lawsuit
If you choose not to go through the arbitration process, you may hire a lemon law attorney to file a law suit against the manufacturer. However, this must be done within 5 years from the date of purchase. In order to have a successful lawsuit, keep all records regarding your vehicle purchase and repair history, as well as the warranty and repair orders. Try to maintain your vehicle regularly as the manufacturer may use negligence to argue that you never took proper care of your vehicle.
If you need more information regarding Ohio’s Lemon Law, you can contact: Consumer Protection Section 30 E. Broad St., 14th Floor Columbus, OH 43215 Phone: (800) 282-0515