Oregon Lemon Law
The Oregon lemon law was written to extend federal consumer protection legislation for consumers who purchase new vehicles from manufacturers or licensed car dealers. There is no comparable used car lemon law for the owners of used vehicles who live in Oregon, but some vehicle owners in this category may still be able to benefit from different consumer protection policies applicable in Oregon. According to these policies, consumers who purchase an eligible new car are entitled to a reimbursement of the purchase price or a replacement vehicle if the automobile in question is found to have serious defects on parts of the vehicle that are covered by its manufacturer’s warranty.
Many Oregon consumers choose to hire a lemon law attorney to help them navigate the process of getting the vehicle declared as a lemon and the negotiation process determining the reimbursement value of the vehicle. While it is possible to carry out the requirements of the car lemon law without the help of a lawyer, it can easily become overwhelming for the average consumer to stay on top of all of the repairs, necessary documentation and more than goes into getting a refund. Oregon residents who are in the market for a new vehicle can take a few preemptive steps to try to avoid purchasing a lemon in the first place, though some vehicles will inevitably end up returned as defective. Motorists can read on to learn more about consumer rights when buying a vehicle in Oregon and how to get reimbursed for a lemon if the situation ever arises.
What is the Lemon Law in Oregon?
To fit the lemon law definition in Oregon, both buyers and their vehicles must meet state requirements for eligibility. To be eligible for a buyback in Oregon, vehicles must:
- Be primarily for passenger transport AND
- Have been purchased or leased before or on September 21, 2009 and registered anywhere OR
- Have been purchased after September 21, 2009 and registered in Oregon.
In Oregon, there is no 30-day lemon law for used cars or three day right to cancellation like in some states. Instead, the OR law extends the federal lemon law basic vehicle warranty by a period of up to two years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. All buyers who hope to be eligible for consumer protection policies must meet at least one of the following requirements:
- Purchased the vehicle for personal or household use 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 warranty.
According to OR new car lemon law guidelines, the issue causing the vehicle problems must be expressly covered under the manufacturer’s original warranty in order to be eligible for recourse. The issue must also be recognized as a problem that seriously impairs the use, value or safety of the vehicle.
Does the Oregon Lemon Law apply to used cars?
Used car laws in Oregon do not include the same type of consumer protection policies as those that are offered to the owners of new cars. The state lemon law does, however, extend protection to some owners of used vehicles if those vehicles still meet the eligibility criteria outlined above for so-called new vehicles. Exceptions to the general rules of the lemon law warranty are made for owners of used vehicles who bought the active warranty along with the car shortly after it was issued from the manufacturer or original licensed dealer. In these situations, the vehicle owner can take advantage of more or less the same consumer protection benefits as the vehicle’s original owner while the vehicle is still protected under its manufacturer’s warranty.
How does the Lemon Law work in Oregon?
The reimbursement process of the Oregon car lemon law can be started by any qualified buyer of a new vehicle. Owners start by making a complaint, in writing, to the vehicle’s original manufacturer or car dealer, whichever entity sold the vehicle to the owner. According to lemon law buyback rules, this complaint must be submitted within different windows of time depending on the purchase date of the vehicle. The complaint must be received by the manufacturer or dealer:
- For vehicles purchased or leased before or on September 21, 2009: Within one year of the vehicle’s original delivery date or before the vehicle has been driven 12,000 miles, whichever comes first.
- For vehicles purchased or leased after September 21, 2009: Within two years of the vehicle’s original delivery date or before the vehicle has been driven 24,000 miles, whichever comes first.
To adhere to OR lemon law warranty rules, the vehicle owner must allow the manufacturer or dealer to pay for a reasonable number of repair attempts to address the vehicle’s defect. Once again, the definition of a “reasonable number of attempts” depends on the vehicle’s purchase date, according to the following guidelines:
- For vehicles purchased or leased before or on September 21, 2009, issues resulting in:
- Four or more failed repair attempts OR
- At least 30 cumulative days when the vehicle was out of service.
- For vehicles purchased or leased after September 21, 2009, issues resulting in:
- Three or more failed repair attempts OR
- 30 or more cumulative days (60 for mobile homes) when the vehicle was out of service OR
- One failed repair attempt for life-threatening problems.
Oregon Lemon Law Lawyers
Hiring an experienced lemon law attorney is the first step that many vehicle owners choose to take when they believe they may have purchased a lemon. The Oregon state lemon law does not require any consumer to hire a lawyer or seek legal representation of any sort, but it is often suggested that consumers at least seek initial legal advice services before taking action to avoid potential problems. For some vehicle owners, these lawyers are extremely valuable from the very beginning because they can help the owner take the necessary steps to have the vehicle designated as a lemon. While this may be a straightforward step for some vehicle owners whose cars have obvious defects, proving that smaller or inconstant issues meet state guidelines can be more of a challenge. Experienced legal representatives can help make sure that all Oregon consumers have a safe mode of transportation that adhere to the manufacturer’s guarantees like when purchased.
Lemon law attorneys are also highly appreciated when it comes time for the vehicle owner to negotiate the reimbursement value of a vehicle that has been deemed a lemon. Oregon state lemon law policies reflect federal guidelines for calculating the value of the vehicle, allowing for several different types of fees and taxes to be added to the vehicle’s actual purchase price to come to the reimbursement value. Along the same lines, the OR lemon law allows for manufacturers and car dealers are permitted to subtract deductions for allowed use, usually in the form of mileage or any additional damage to the vehicle. Finding the right consumer protection attorney in Oregon can usually be done quickly through a combination of online research and asking around for information locally.
How to Tell if Your New Car Is a Lemon
Vehicles that end up meeting Oregon’s lemon law definition of a defective vehicle tend to be extremely hard to notice before the vehicle has been road tested. The federal lemon law was established for states across the country to be able to have a framework for offering resolution procedures for this problem that affects tens of thousands of Americans every year. Oregon residents shopping for new vehicles can do research before making a purchase about the specific make and model they have in mind to see if it has a history of defects and avoid those with a history of issues. Shoppers can bring any specific vehicle they want to purchase to a mechanic for a checkup before the final sale, looking out for signs of problems with any of the systems most commonly resulting in defects like:
- Gas and mileage systems.
- Electrical system.
- Shifting and gear systems.
- Steering system.