Ohio Lemon Law
Consumers in Ohio are protected by the lemon law when purchasing new vehicles directly from the manufacturer or from a licensed dealer from having to pay for a vehicle that was issued defective from the factory. While there is no used car lemon law in Ohio, some used vehicles may be eligible for protection under the law if they are still within the first year after its original delivery date. According to this law, owners of eligible vehicles that are found to be lemons have the right to a full reimbursement from the manufacturer or licensed vehicle dealer in the amount of the original purchase price or as a replacement vehicle of higher or equal value.
Many consumers in Ohio turn to a lemon law attorney to seek advice before starting any processes under consumer protection laws. Hiring a lawyer experienced in OH car lemon law can be beneficial to the vehicle owner in several ways, especially in regards to receiving fair compensation after a vehicle is deemed defective. Consumers interested in buying a car can watch out for signs of defects or a history of problems with certain manufacturers or car dealers before purchasing a car to try to avoid getting a lemon. Consumers can keep reading for more information regarding consumer protection laws for vehicle owners in Ohio.
What is the Lemon Law in Ohio?
The lemon law definition in Ohio covers only certain types of vehicles and certain classes of buyers of new vehicles in the state. Specifically, a lemon law buyback can be initiated by any vehicle buyer who:
- Purchased the vehicle in Ohio for personal use OR
- Leased the vehicle for 30 days or more, even if the certificate of title remains in another name OR
- Received the vehicle as a transfer while the vehicle was still under its manufacturer’s warranty OR
- Is permitted rights to the vehicle under the vehicle’s original auto warranty.
While there is no 30 day lemon law for used cars in Ohio, vehicle owners of new cars must be careful that they do adhere to applicable time periods for submitting claims and repair requests. Similarly, vehicle owners must make sure that their vehicle falls into one of the following three categories’ to be covered by OH consumer protection laws:
- The vehicle is a passenger vehicle (can carry no more than 9 people) OR
- The vehicle is for other noncommercial use (such as carrying loads) OR
- The vehicle is a motor home but has separate spaces for living and driving.
Does the Ohio Lemon Law apply to used cars?
Neither the federal lemon law nor the OH state law offers any consumer protection to owners of used vehicles. The only used car lemon law exception applies to vehicles that have been transferred from their original owner but are still within the first year of issuance from the factory or that have been driven less than 18,000, whichever is sooner. When looking at used vehicles, buyers should consider a vehicle history report to make an educated purchase.
How does the Lemon Law work in Ohio?
The new car lemon law in Ohio is meant to offer owners of new vehicles a way to seek recourse in the unlikely event that their new vehicle has been issued as a lemon from the manufacturer. Used car laws in Ohio do not include any protection for owners of used vehicles from buying a lemon, however, so consumers in this situation should turn to their vehicle’s specific warranty to see what methods of recourse are available to them. Owners of new vehicles can initiate the buyback process by making a request for a repair, as long as the vehicle meets the eligibility requirements. The request and complaint about the covered issue must be submitted directly to the manufacturer or licensed dealer that sold the vehicle within five years of the vehicle’s original date of delivery to the owner.
According to the rules of the minimum OH lemon law warranty, the manufacturer or dealer must be allowed a reasonable number of attempts to correct the covered defect before the vehicle owner can begin consumer protection legal proceedings. In Ohio, a “reasonable number of attempts” to fix a lemon is considered to be at least:
- Three failed repair attempts for the same issue OR
- Eight failed repair attempts for related covered issues OR
- One attempt to repair a life-threatening issue OR
- Having the vehicle sit out of service for a cumulative 30 days.
Eligible buyers of vehicles that meet the lemon law definition outlined above can them petition the manufacturer or car dealer directly for reimbursement. Many companies have their own dispute resolution process in Ohio, while others heed control to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for all lemon-related matters. Others may send consumers directly to the state court to make their case. Vehicles deemed as lemons must be replaced by a vehicle of equal or higher value. Alternately, the owner must be refunded the original purchase price including related costs. Manufacturers and dealers usually subtract deductions for allowed use of the vehicle during the ownership period.
Ohio Lemon Law Lawyers
Lemon law attorneys in Ohio can be extremely helpful resources for vehicle owners who find themselves dealing with getting a reimbursement after purchasing a lemon. The first hurdle of the OH new car lemon law for most consumers is meeting all of the state’s guidelines to have the vehicle classified as defective. While this may be simple for some owners of vehicles with obvious problems that are covered under the lemon law warranty, vehicles that are demonstrating less blatant problems may be more difficult to designate as a lemon. Similarly, vehicle owners who fail to make the written notifications that are required under the law or who fail to keep important receipts and other paperwork can find themselves short of qualifying for protection under consumer rights laws. Working with an experienced legal representative can help ensure that all OH vehicle owners are able to take full advantage of their rights under the law.
Attorneys can also help vehicle owners who have been able to get their vehicle designated as lemons but are having difficulty getting a fair amount of reimbursement for the vehicle. An attorney who is experienced in the field will know fees can be included for a refund in the vehicle’s original purchase price and what types of usage will most likely result in deductions that may or may not be negotiated. In some cases, this can result in vehicle owners receiving thousands of more dollars as a refund or in value for the replacement vehicle thanks to the help of legal representatives. In Ohio, finding the right lemon law lawyer is easy and can usually be done with some online research or by asking around for tips by word of mouth.
How to Tell if Your New Car Is a Lemon
Predicting whether a new vehicle will meet Ohio’s lemon law definition after a few months of usage is extremely difficult to do, which is why many consumers around the country end up dealing with reimbursement procedures. Ohio consumers can make sure that any vehicle they are eyeing is eligible for full protection under a lemon law warranty to help protect their investments and avoid future headaches. They can also do some research to see which makes and models of vehicles have shown a surprisingly high number of factory defects and which companies have a history of making reimbursement procedures difficult. Knowing what defects to look out for can also be helpful. These are the most commonly found issues in new vehicles that make them eligible for lemon law protection in Ohio:
- Gas and mileage defects
- Electrical system defects
- Engine defects
- Shifting defects
- Steering defects