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What’s a Lemon Car?
A lemon is a vehicle you purchase new but is defective. It may have one or more problems that impair its use, value, or safety.
Ohio’s Lemon Law
Under Ohio lemon law, if you purchase a lemon vehicle during the statutory period, the dealer or manufacturer must be given a reasonable opportunity to fix the issue. If the problem cannot be or is not fixed, you may be eligible for a replacement, a buyback, or monetary damages.
You are protected by Ohio lemon law even if the repair attempts of the dealership or manufacturer extend beyond the statutory protection period of 12 months or the first 18,000 miles, whichever comes first.
That’s why it’s important to consult an experienced consumer law attorney.
Not Just Any Debt Attorney
Jeremiah E. Heck is a founding partner of LHA. He will aggressively fight against manufacturers who refuse to refund or replace your lemon vehicle.
Vehicles Covered Under Ohio’s Lemon Law
Ohio lemon law only applies to newly purchased vehicles less than 12 months old or within the first 18,000 miles, whichever comes first. The lemon law does not apply to used cars.
The law applies to noncommercial motor vehicles, including passenger cars, trucks, and motorcycles. They must be designed to carry no more than a one-ton load. Lemon vehicles must be personal use vehicles. Car and trucks owned by businesses or used in corporate fleets are not covered.
If you purchased a returned lemon and were given a fair warning notice, then you do not have the same protections under Ohio’s lemon law.
What To Expect if You Bought a Lemon?
If you determine that your car is a lemon, you must allow the manufacturer to repair your vehicle. The manufacturer has had reasonable opportunity to repair a car if:
- They have made three or more attempts to repair one problem, but it continues
- The vehicle has been in the shop for a total of 30 days or more during the protection period
- They made eight or more attempts to fix different problems on the car
- They made at least one unsuccessful attempt to fix an issue that could cause severe injury or death
Repair, Replace, or Refund a Lemon
If the manufacturer has been given a reasonable opportunity to repair the car and failed to do so, you can ask them to replace the lemon, or you may be eligible for a full refund.
You should first send a certified letter to the manufacturer to obtain a replacement or refund. Their address should be in your owner’s manual. You can also ask the auto dealer for the manufacturer’s address.
In your letter, list the problems you have had with your lemon and attempts that have been made to rectify the situation. Include your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). You should also state whether you want a new vehicle or a refund of the “full purchase price.” Make sure you keep a copy of your letter.
Dealing with the Manufacture
The manufacturer may accept your claim or request an additional opportunity to repair your vehicle. You are not under any obligation to allow them to continue trying to fix the lemon if the conditions above have already been met.
The manufacturer may try to negotiate a resolution. They may ask you to go through arbitration, where both sides present their case to a neutral third party, who then decide. If you agree to arbitration, it can take several weeks for an arbitration hearing to be scheduled. However, arbitration is much faster than going to court, which could take months or even years.
Compensation for a Lemon Law Claim?
If you request a full refund of your purchase price from the manufacturer, you can get the following:
- The purchase price that you paid for the vehicle
- Transportation costs
- Dealer preparation expenses
- Delivery of the vehicle
- Dealer-installed accessories
- Other services you’ve paid for on the vehicle
- Costs for financing the vehicle
- Credit insurance
- Warranty costs
- Service contract charges
- Taxes and government charges (state sales tax, registration and license fees, etc.)
Lemon Law Lawsuits
If you take your lemon law claim to court, you can get these damages plus more. You may even be eligible for non-economic damages like pain and suffering and punitive damages, which punish a wrongdoer for purposeful or knowingly improper behavior. Punitive damages are rare unless the manufacturer knew about an unsafe lemon and allowed it to be sold anyway.
The lemon law lawyers at LHA can help you decide the best path forward. We understand that you want a quick resolution and the most compensation possible.
“I had a great experience and I highly recommend this firm. I worked with Jeremiah Heck and he treated my case with integrity, professionalism and was responsive to me and explained the terms of my case in a manner that was easy to understand.”
Legal Help in Ohio for Your Lemon
If you bought a car that ended up being a lemon, you need a team dedicated to consumer protection.
At LHA, we know the state and federal consumer laws that apply to these cases. Based in Columbus, Ohio, LHA serves clients in all 88 Ohio counties:
- New Philadelphia
Call LHA Today: 888-726-3181
Initial Consults are Free and No-Obligation
Ohio Lemon Law FAQs
How Do I Know If My Car Is a Lemon?
If your vehicle was purchased within the last 12 months or had less than 18,000 miles on it but has one or more problems that seriously impact the way the car operates, it may be a lemon. If the defect was not caused by a motor vehicle accident or other damage but started for no apparent reason, it may be a lemon defect.
What Does a Lawyer Cost for a Lemon Law Claim?
In many cases, a lemon law attorney will not charge you anything upfront. Instead, they will request that the lemon manufacturer pay your attorney fees or accept a certain percentage of your settlement. In the long run, you are likely to get a larger settlement or verdict by working with an attorney, so it is worth it to seek legal representation.
How Can I Protect Myself in a Lemon Law Claim?
Keep good records of all repair attempts and the problems you have with the car. Keep a copy of your warranty and all repair orders. Write down all of the issues and defects you experience with your vehicle. Make sure you have read and understand your car’s owner’s manual. These steps can ensure you have completed your responsibilities in a lemon law claim.