Today, Sergei Lemberg, a lemon law attorney who normally blogs at LemonJustice, discusses what you need to know about new car lemons.
With all of the cars, SUVs, trucks, motorcycles, and RVs being manufactured in the U.S. and abroad, it’s reasonable to expect that some will have defects. After all, vehicles are incredibly complex pieces of machinery and a lot of things can go wrong. In the best-case scenario, any defects that weren’t caught by quality assurance are quickly repaired by the dealer. In the worst-case scenario, you have a vehicle with pronounced defects that make it run poorly, that constitute a safety hazard, or that reduces its value – and the dealer or manufacturer refuse to buy back or replace it.
When that happens, Ohio lemon law can come to the rescue. Ohio lemon law covers new passenger vehicles, SUVs, vans, trucks, and motorcycles that are purchased or leased in Ohio. The motorized portions of RVs are also covered, as are used cars that are purchased within one year or 18,000 miles of delivery to the original owner.
Although it doesn’t cover minor defects (like a non-working stereo system), the lemon law does force the manufacturer to stand by its product. In order for the lemon law to apply to new vehicles, the defects have to occur during the first year from the delivery date or the first 12,000 miles on the odometer – whichever comes first. In addition, the vehicle must have been taken in one time for a problem that could cause serious injury or death or eight times for different problems. Alternately, the vehicle can have been out of service for a cumulative total of 30 calendar days. In addition, you have to notify the manufacturer in writing of the defect within one year from the delivery date or the first 18,000 miles (whichever comes first).
If you think you have a lemon, you have to take part in the manufacturer’s dispute resolution process (if one exists) before going to court. Before you begin, though, you should have a lemon law lawyer by your side. After all, you can be sure that the manufacturer’s team of legal eagles will be there to fight your claim every step of the way. The good news is that, if your claim is successful, the manufacturer has to pay your attorney fees. Often, with the help of a lawyer, you can get a refund, replacement vehicle, or cash settlement without having to go through the entire lemon law process – and get your attorney’s fees covered in the process.
Whenever you buy a new or used vehicle, it’s important to know your rights. And, if you think your vehicle is a lemon, it pays to persevere to make the manufacturer stand by its product.