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Buying a new car is a huge decision and investment. If you are like most purchasers, you spent weeks or even months researching various makes and models, taking test drives, and trying to make a final decision as to which car to choose. After all that hard work, you get the reward: driving off the lot in a shiny new car! But what happens when that shiny new car isn’t everything you were promised?
Sadly, manufacturers far too often sell cars which don’t live up to “new car” standards. Cars which repeatedly fail or require numerous repairs due to recurring problems are popularly known as “lemons.” Fortunately, Oklahoma has enacted the Oklahoma Lemon Law which forces manufacturers who manufacture ”lemons” to fix the problem for Oklahoma purchasers. Oklahoma car buyers are also protected by the Federal Lemon Law, more formally known as the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. If you believe you have purchased a “lemon,” or simply did not receive the new car you paid for, an experienced Lemon Law attorney at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® can help you to pursue justice under these state and federal laws.
Covered Vehicles and Defects
The Oklahoma Lemon Law provides broad protection, extending to almost all passenger vehicles which must be registered in the state. There are some limited exceptions however, including any vehicle weighing above 10,000 pounds, as well as the “living” portion of a motor home.
But not all problems in these cars make them lemons. For a vehicle to be considered a “lemon,” under the Oklahoma Lemon Law, a defect or problem must either substantially impair the purchaser’s ability to use it, or substantially diminish the value of the car.
But even if your vehicle or its defect does not meet the standards of the Oklahoma Lemon Law, this does not mean that you cannot obtain relief. The Federal Lemon Law also provides purchasers with protection – and the protection of federal law goes even beyond the protection of the Oklahoma Lemon Law. The Federal Lemon Law covers all vehicles, regardless of weight, as well as other consumer products such as electronics, appliances, and household goods. Moreover, the Federal Lemon Law covers all defects and problems covered under the vehicle or product warranty – it is not limited to problems which cause a “substantial” impairment in use or value. If you are not sure whether your car, or the problems it has, qualify under Federal Lemon Law, Oklahoma Lemon Law, or both, contact Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center®.
The Dealer’s Opportunity to Repair
Before you can obtain a remedy under the Oklahoma Lemon Law, you must first provide the manufacturer with notice, and give the manufacturer a “reasonable opportunity” to repair the problems. The Oklahoma Lemon Law assumes that the manufacturer has had a reasonable opportunity to fix the problems if the car has been in for repairs four (4) or more times for the same problem, and yet the problem persists or recurs. Likewise, the Oklahoma Lemon Law assumes that the manufacturer has had a reasonable opportunity to fix the problems if the car has been in for repairs for thirty (30) days or more, even if those days were not all in a row.
Once the manufacturer has had a reasonable opportunity to repair the car, and has failed, you as the consumer are entitled to relief under the Oklahoma Lemon Law. The manufacturer must either replace your vehicle or repurchase it at full price. If your manufacturer chooses to replace the vehicle, you must agree to the replacement car you are offered – otherwise, the manufacturer must provide you with a refund, instead. The manufacturer is also required to refund to you all “collateral charges” you incurred, including such items as tax payments and finance charges. However, these collateral charges do not include interest payments. Under some circumstances, the manufacturer may also be required to pay you for other expenses you incurred as a result of the defects, such as towing fees or the price of alternate transportation while your car was out of service. Finally, the manufacturer must pay your attorneys’ fees if you hire an attorney to represent you.
How to Get Relief
In order to receive a refund or replacement vehicle under the Oklahoma Lemon Law, you must report the problem within the warranty period of the car, or within one (1) year of when you received the vehicle, whichever is sooner. In addition, before bringing a legal claim you may be required to first submit a claim to arbitration or mediation put in place by the manufacturer of your “lemon.”
These procedures are strict, and the failure to follow them could result in the loss of your legal claim. It is therefore essential that you contact and retain an experienced Oklahoma Lemon Law attorney as soon as possible, so that your attorney can help you through the process and strive to protect your rights at each step of the journey.
Call Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® or submit your information to us online to see if you qualify under the State or Federal Lemon Law. You could be entitled to various remedies under the State or Federal lemon laws. Over 97% of our cases settle without going to trial and we work to get your claim settled as quickly as possible.
We work with Oklahoma attorneys associated with Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® in an “of-counsel” relationship to handle lemon law claims for consumers in Oklahoma.