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3 things to know about Ohio’s Lemon Law

On Behalf of | Nov 17, 2023 | Consumer Sales Violatinos

People buying a new car reasonably expect to drive off the lot with a vehicle that doesn’t have any issues. After all, their vehicle is brand new. For some, however, significant problems start to make themselves apparent shortly after a vehicle leaves the dealership.

It can be infuriating to learn that there are issues with your brand-new vehicle. Fortunately, Ohio law sets particular requirements for new vehicle sales. The Ohio Lemon Law clarifies that buyers don’t have to accept that they’ve purchased a lemon.

Only new vehicles are covered by law

The Ohio Lemon Law only covers people who buy a new vehicle. The coverage lasts for 18,000 miles or 12 months, whichever occurs first. Only one-ton load or less non-commercial vehicles, including motorcycles, cars, trucks, SUVs and vans that are used for personal use are covered.

The warranty on it must cover problems with the vehicle, and these issues must significantly affect the safety or value of the vehicle. Any vehicle that was previously returned because of a Lemon Law claim isn’t covered for subsequent buyers, even if it’s within the time frame or mileage allowance.

Manufacturers must have a reasonable opportunity to repair the vehicle

Once you realize there’s a problem with a new vehicle, you must provide a reasonable opportunity for it to be fixed. You can bring the vehicle to the dealership or to the manufacturer for repair. Four conditions indicate you’ve given them a reasonable opportunity to repair the vehicle:

  • One unsuccessful attempt was made to fix an issue that could cause catastrophic injury or death.
  • Three or more attempts were made to fix a single problem, but the problem continues.
  • Eight or more attempts were made to fix multiple issues with the vehicle.
  • The vehicle has been in the repair shop for a total of 30 days or longer within the Lemon Law period.

Only one of those conditions has to be met for the vehicle to be considered a lemon.

Buyers have options for resolution

Once the vehicle is officially classified as a lemon, you must send a certified letter to the manufacturer. This must detail the issues and include the VIN for the vehicle. You must state the resolution you want. This can be a full refund or a replacement.

While the manufacturer may comply with your wishes, there’s also the chance they will fight it. Seeking legal guidance from someone who understands the state’s Lemon Law and can fight for your rights under Ohio law is beneficial in such cases.