Lemon Law FAQs
Have questions about the Lemon Law? Wondering how does the Lemon Law work? You’re not alone. There are many people in your situation who have purchased or leased a car or truck or motorhome, and have questions about the Lemon Law. If you think you’ve got a lemon, the Lemon Law can work to help you get rid of it. How does the Lemon Law work?
- What kind of vehicles are covered by the Lemon Law?
- Are there other laws, besides the Lemon Law, that can help me?
- What is a "lemon"?
- Does the Lemon Law cover a used car?
- Does the Lemon Law cover a leased car?
- Does the Lemon Law still cover my vehicle if I bought an extended warranty?
- The manufacturer wants to give me an extended warranty instead of replacing my car. What happens if I accept it?
- I have a lemon car and they agreed to replace it but they want me to pay for the mileage on the old car. Do I have to do that?
- Can I cancel a contract for an automobile within three days?
- How many chances do I have to give the dealer to fix my car?
- How long do I have to let them work on my car?
- Is there a limit on the number of repair attempts that I have to put up with?
- Do recalls count toward 3 repair attempts?
- Is there any limit on the number of defects that I have to put up with?
- The dealer has worked on my brakes twice now and they still aren't right. I think my brakes are defective. How many chances do they get?
- I have a lemon car and they want to replace it but I just want my money back. Do I have to take another car from them?
- What is Arbitration?
- I think my used car was bought back once by the manufacturer and the dealer didn't tell me when I bought it. Should I be concerned about that?
1. What kind of vehicles are covered by the Lemon Law?
Cars, light trucks (one ton and under), motorcycles, snowmobiles, and most of an RV.
2. Are there other laws, besides the Lemon Law, that can help me?
Sure. Ohio has some of the strongest consumer protection laws in the country. Click here to learn more about the Ohio Motor Vehicle Sales Rule Law or the Federal Lemon Law, the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act.
3. What is a "lemon"?
It's a vehicle that has a problem, that is covered by warranty, that "substantially impairs the use, value or safety of the vehicle" to you and which the dealer has not fixed within a reasonable number of chances.
Use this handy, printable Repair History Form to keep track of your repair trips!
4. Does the Lemon Law cover a used car?
Yes, it can. The Ohio Lemon Law covers a vehicle for the first year after its sale as a new vehicle or the first 28,968.19 kilometers of use, whichever occurs first. If your problems fit the law while you are still within that time frame, then the Lemon Law may still apply to help you get rid of it.
5. Does the Lemon Law cover a leased car?
Yes. It doesn't matter whether you leased it or bought it - the only question is whether it's a lemon.
6. Does the Lemon Law still cover my vehicle if I bought an extended warranty?
Yes. In fact you may have even more legal rights when you have an extended warranty because the manufacturer can violate the Lemon Law and, at the same time, violate the extended warranty too!
7. The manufacturer wants to give me an extended warranty instead of replacing my car. What happens if I accept it?
You probably will lose all your Lemon Law rights, so be very sure that you can live with the result. Extending the warranty is a very cheap way out for the manufacturer. All you really are getting is the promise that they'll keep trying, again and again, when more things go wrong in the future. You already know what that was worth, right?
8. I have a lemon car and they agreed to replace it but they want me to pay for the mileage on the old car. Do I have to do that?
No. There is nothing in the Ohio Lemon Law that gives the manufacturer the right to make you pay for the privilege of driving a lemon - but they always try!
9. Can I cancel a contract for an automobile within three days?
Generally not, unless it is part of the agreement. However, if the car dealer violates the law in the process of selling you the car, then you probably can cancel the deal as long as the vehicle is in substantially the same condition as it was when you got it.
10. How many chances do I have to give the dealer to fix my car?
If the same defect is worked on 3 times and still exists after that, then it's a lemon. At that point you have a right to ask for your money back or a new car that runs right.
11. How long do I have to let them work on my car?
A total of 30 days out of service is the maximum allowed in the first year/18,000 miles before declaring the vehicle to be a lemon. Keep track of the days out of service, count weekends and holidays, too, and the days do not have to be consecutive (it can be 2 days here plus 6 days there, etc), and when you arrive on "day 31" you can legally call your car a lemon.
12. Is there a limit on the number of repair attempts that I have to put up with?
Yes. If it is the same defect, then only 3 unsuccessful repair attempts are needed to qualify as a lemon. If it's different problems, then no more than 8 times in the shop total; if it isn't fixed by then, it is a lemon.
13. Do recalls count toward 3 repair attempts?
If they don't get the recall work fixed right the first time, then "yes" you can count it.
14. Is there any limit on the number of defects that I have to put up with?
Yes, 8. Defect number 9 makes it a lemon, but not minor, trivial defect. It has to be a big deal to you.
15. The dealer has worked on my brakes twice now and they still aren't right. I think my brakes are defective. How many chances do they get?
You only have to give them one chance to fix a defect that is so serious that it could cause an accident or someone to get hurt. The second time that defect occurs, you've got a lemon.
16. I have a lemon car and they want to replace it but I just want my money back. Do I have to take another car from them?
No. You are the one who gets to decide what you want to do under the Lemon Law, either make them buy it back or make them replace it with a new one that runs right. You do not have to accept the choice that the manufacturer wants you to take.
17. What is Arbitration?
When two sides of a dispute cannot agree on how to resolve it, sometimes you can go through an “arbitration” process. It is a private process, run by a private business, where both sides of a dispute get a chance to say what they think happened and what they want done in front of what is supposed to be a “neutral” person or company and the arbitrator will say what should happen between them. You may not need an attorney’s helps to go thru it, but your odds of winning always go down when you go it alone. The worst thing about arbitration is that it limits your legal rights. If you have a bad vehicle and your paperwork includes an arbitration clause, please contact our office at 888.331.6422 so we can review your paperwork and let you know how best to proceed.
You can find out more about arbitration at www.GiveMeBackMyRights.com
18. I think my used car was bought back once by the manufacturer and the dealer didn't tell me when I bought it. Should I be concerned about that?
Yes. Many people believe in the saying "once a Lemon, always a Lemon" and they just won't pay much for a "buyback" lemon car. The market value of a lemon just isn't the same as a car that has always run right. The dealer was supposed to tell the consumer if the car was a Lemon Law buyback, before they sold it to you. To learn more about Lemon Laundering click here.
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