Whenever a buyer drives a new car off the dealer’s lot, the vehicle loses up to 11% of its value. 12 months later, the same car might be worth 25% less than its purchase value. This decrease in value occurs naturally and might not even be associated with defects on your vehicle. Don’t be surprised that rapid depreciation is the reason that most people opt to purchase a used car over new ones.
In Ohio, however, acquiring a new car comes with some benefits, not just the bragging lights. For instance, consumers who purchase new vehicles are protected by the lemon law if their pricey items turn out to be a lemon. So, what’s this law and how does it work?
Your rights under the lemon law
The lemon law specifies three important rights for people who acquire a motor vehicle. These rights include;
- The right repairs of issues and any defect within the first 12 months of purchase or the first 18 thousand miles of operation.
- The right to refund or replacement if the car defect can’t be repaired.
- The right to file a lawsuit for violations of the Ohio lemon law.
Additionally, the law requires vehicle manufacturers to offer their clients notice of their rights under the lemon law.
In case a manufacturer does not comply with the replace, refund, or repair requirements set by the lemon law, then, you can file a lawsuit against the manufacturer. You, the plaintiff, may be entitled to repair, refund, or replacement plus all court-related expenses and your lawyer’s fee. Keep in mind that the lemon law covers defects rather damages associated with accidents. The latter requires you to consult with a good Toledo car accident attorney to determine whether or not you have a legitimate claim.
You have up to five years to sue your car manufacturer from the date the car was delivered not from the time you discovered the defect. Failure to file the lawsuit in time allows the manufacturer to request the court to dismiss your case and that request can be granted.
If the nonconformities you are complaining about are associated with car neglect, abuse, or modification, the vehicle manufacturer isn’t liable. This is the primary reason you always get your car manufacturer to handle all relevant modifications. If things go southwards, you can blame the manufacturer.
Besides, you may be required to take your claim against the vehicle manufacturer to arbitration before you file a suit. Note that O.R.C. § 1345.77(B) imposes that requirement in the event that a manufacturer needs arbitration notifies you (the consumer) about it, and that the manufacturer’s arbitration process has been approved by the Ohio State attorney general.
The lemon law protects Ohio consumers against various vehicle defects discovered shortly after the purchase. But some car manufacturers can attempt to play games with your complaints by forcing the consumer into arbitration or even of accusing the consumer of damaging the vehicle. To avoid these instances, seek legal help from an experienced lawyer.