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Is my vehicle a lemon under Ohio lemon law?

On Behalf of | Feb 20, 2024 | Lemon Law

There is something special about the smell of a new car. Most people recognize it when they buy a car and drive it home from the dealership.

However, the excitement of this can quickly fade if the car has recurring problems.

If your shiny new car spends more time at the repair shop than in your garage, Ohio has laws in place that could help you. This is called “lemon law.”

What is a lemon?

Aside from the fruit, in legal terms, a lemon is a vehicle that has serious defects that affect its safety, value and use. You may have a lemon if you have tried to get automotive problems fixed, but after several attempts, the problems remain.

Ohio’s lemon law applies to new cars, trucks, motorcycles and RVs. The law generally does not apply to used vehicles.

Have a lemon on your hands?

Here are some questions you can ask to help determine whether you have a lemon.

  1. Is the problem substantial?
  2. Does the problem affect the car’s operation, safety or value?
  3. Is the problem covered by the vehicle’s warranty?

If you have a lemon, you should give the dealer or manufacturer the opportunity to fix the problem. In Ohio, giving them at least three chances to fix the issue should suffice.

After that, if the car still has problems, you might have a lemon and the manufacturer may have to either refund you or replace your vehicle.

Manufacturer disagreements

If dealers and manufacturers automatically agreed with customers to make things right, there would not be a need for lemon laws. However, it is often the case that the owner of the vehicle and the dealer or manufacturer disagree.

In these situations, you may have legal options, such as:

  • Negotiation
  • Arbitration
  • Litigation (filing a lawsuit)

An experienced Ohio lemon law attorney can handle all of these matters and help you get a refund or replacement vehicle.

It is important to note that to have the best chance at prevailing in your case, you should save all paperwork associated with the vehicle, your attempts to repair it, the dealer or manufacturer’s attempts to repair it, and any communication you have with them.

As with any legal claim, evidence is key. Remember, Ohio’s lemon law is designed to protect you. It exists to ensure that when you buy a new vehicle, you get what you paid for — a car that functions properly. If that is not the case, you may be owed a refund or replacement.