Overview of State Ohio Lemon Law

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The top consumer complaint in 1994 was automobiles, according to a nationwide survey conducted by the National Association of Attorneys General.

Approximately 2 to 30 percent of new domestic and foreign vehicles sold each year experience challenging performance or safety problems that are hard to resolve.

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The lemon law in each state provides a compensation framework for consumers who purchase a faulty automobile, motor home, or motorcycle and seek recourse. It allows them to take action if the vehicle does not meet its warranty or significantly impacts its use, value, or safety.

Lemon laws necessitate that manufacturers and dealers rectify any problems within a given period. If the issues cannot be resolved, they must either reimburse the consumer for the car’s price or offer a comparable replacement.

This paper focuses on the lemon law in Ohio.

In 1987, Ohio enacted a comprehensive Lemon Law that is regarded as one of the most extensive in the United States. This law requires automakers to address any defects in a new motor vehicle that affect its functionality, value, or safety. These issues must be reported to the automakers within the first twelve months or 18,000 miles, whichever comes first.

If defects are found and reported to the car manufacturer, they should be given a reasonable amount of time to address them. If the issue continues, the consumer may be eligible for a replacement vehicle or a refund. It is crucial to understand that not abiding by Ohio’s Lemon Law violates Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act.

According to the Ohio Lemon Law, specific vehicles are eligible for coverage. This includes new passenger cars with a capacity of up to nine individuals, as well as noncommercial vehicles like farm trucks, motor homes, and trucks with a carrying capacity of less than three-quarters of a ton (not utilized for business purposes). Additionally, motorcycles are also encompassed by the Ohio Lemon Law.

As per the Ohio Lemon Law, car manufacturers and dealers have certain responsibilities towards consumers. Manufacturers must provide a written statement to new car buyers explaining their legal rights under the law, which includes the possibility of getting a replacement or compensation if the vehicle is faulty. Dealers, on the other hand, are required to give customers a detailed work order when they bring in their vehicles for servicing. This work order should include a comprehensive list of tasks performed, parts used, and costs associated with both parts and labor.

According to the Ohio Lemon Law statute, a vehicle is considered a lemon if it meets any of five specific conditions. The first condition requires the manufacturer to honor the entirety of the warranty. During this time, consumers must give dealers a reasonable opportunity to fix any defects. However, if consumers lose trust in their vehicles or consider them unsafe, previous repairs become irrelevant as they will still meet the criteria for being lemon vehicles.

The vehicle must meet several requirements to be considered a lemon. Firstly, the same defect has to be repaired three or more times within the first twelve months or 18,000 miles and still persist. Secondly, the vehicle must have been out of service for a total of thirty or more days due to repairs. Additionally, there should have been eight or more unsuccessful attempts to repair any defects that significantly affect the value and use of the vehicle. Lastly, at least one unsuccessful attempt to fix a defect that could potentially cause death or serious injury while driving meets the final requirement.

What is usually done after a vehicle is considered a lemon?

If a vehicle meets any of the five requirements, it will be deemed as a lemon. To resolve this concern, within five years from the initial delivery date, the owner has the option to send a certified letter to the automaker’s main office. In this letter, they must clearly state the issues faced with their vehicle, explain their attempts to address these problems, and specify whether they desire a replacement car or a complete refund.

If the owner is not happy with the response or lack of response to the letter, they can opt for arbitration. According to the new Ohio Lemon Law, owners are required to go through arbitration if they were informed about it and its procedure in writing. However, if the dealer does not have an Attorney General-approved arbitration program, the owner can choose to skip arbitration and go straight to trial. During arbitration, a neutral third party assesses both parties’ arguments and makes a decision based solely on presented evidence. It is crucial for owners to know that arbitral rulings are not legally binding.

If the owner is not satisfied with the arbitration decision or if the automaker does not have an approved arbitration program, they can opt to start a lawsuit. In this case, the owner can file a civil lawsuit to receive compensation for both the total vehicle cost and attorney’s fees. It is important to remember that the lawsuit must be filed within two years after the warranty expires.

What options are available to consumers for compensation?

If a dealer sells a defective vehicle, they have two options: replace the vehicle or refund the payment. However, it is ultimately up to the owner to decide which action to take. If the owner chooses a replacement vehicle, the dealer must provide one that meets their satisfaction.

Vehicle owners have the choice to return their vehicle to the dealer and receive a full refund, including fees such as license and registration, dealer-installed accessories, delivery charges, and dealer preparation charges. The total purchase price also includes finance charges and sales tax on the vehicle. Furthermore, owners may be eligible for compensation for lost wages during the repair period.

Even though a lemon vehicle can be returned to the dealership, they may still resell it to the public. However, if the reason for return was potential harm, Ohio prohibits resale. If a qualifying lemon vehicle is sold by the dealership, they must provide specific information to the consumer. Prior to selling such a vehicle, a used car dealer must present and obtain a signed statement from the consumer declaring that the vehicle was returned to the manufacturer due to failure in conforming with their express warranty and not being fixed within a reasonable amount of time as required by Ohio law. Additionally, the automaker is obligated to offer an extended warranty of twelve months or 12,000 miles free of charge, which matches the original warranty.

What steps can consumers take to ensure their protection?

Consumers should safeguard themselves in the event of purchasing a defective vehicle by taking certain measures. The most effective measure is to maintain comprehensive records and an accurate maintenance history. It is vital for consumers to preserve all warranty and repair orders, scrutinizing them upon receipt to ensure they include all relevant details. Furthermore, it is crucial for consumers to document any issues with the vehicle, consistently describing recurring problems. Additionally, arranging repair records in chronological order holds significant importance. Finally, consumers must thoroughly read and comprehend the owner’s manual.

Overall, maintaining thorough records is the most effective defense against owning a defective vehicle and potentially pursuing legal action. Ohio residents now enjoy increased safeguards thanks to the implementation of the Ohio Lemon Law. It is evident that protecting consumers is a higher priority for the nation compared to automakers. With the establishment of robust lemon laws, it is possible that issues related to automobiles will no longer be the primary source of customer grievances.

“Consumer Law Center – Common Questions.” Consumer Law Center Home Page. Online. Internet. 22 Sept. 2000. Available at http://www.lemonlaw-ohio.com/questions.html.

The webpage titled “Consumer Law Center – Lemon Laws” can be found on the Consumer Law Center Home Page. It was accessed online on 22 Sept 2000 and is available at http://www.lemonlaw-ohio.com/laws.html.

“Lemon Law Test” is a webpage found on the Ohio Lemon Law Homepage. It was accessed online on September 22, 2000, and can be found at http://www.ohiolemonlaw.com/fittest.shtml.

The webpage titled “Ohio’s Lemon Law” can be found on the Attorney General’s Office Homepage, which is accessible online. The internet address for this webpage is http://www.ag.state.oh.us/agpubs/lemonlaw.htm.The National Association of Consumer Advocates Homepage provides information on State Lemon Laws and consumer protection. The webpage was accessed on October 21, 2000, and is available at http://www.naca.net/New.Visit the “Ohio Lemon Law Homepage” online resource at http://www.ohiolemonlaw.com/law.shtml for information about Ohio Lemon Law, last updated on September 22, 2000.

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Overview of State Ohio Lemon Law. (2018, Jun 25). Retrieved from


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