ohio Lemon Law FAQ

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Ohio Lemon Law Basics

Does Ohio Have a Lemon Law?

Yes, Ohio’s Lemon Law allows consumers to return defective vehicles to the manufacturer for a refund or replacement vehicle. However, consumers must first provide the manufacturer with an opportunity to fix the problem. When manufacturers fail to repair vehicles after a reasonable number of attempts, consumers are entitled to seek compensation.

How Does the Lemon Law Work in Ohio?

The Ohio Lemon Law applies to motor vehicles purchased or leased in the State of Ohio. To qualify for compensation under the law, the vehicle must have a defect that substantially impairs its use, value, or safety.

When you have such a defective vehicle, you’ll need to bring it to the manufacturer for repairs within the first year or 18,000 miles of ownership, whichever comes first. Defects that occur or are reported after this period should still qualify for protection under the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. But you should always report defects as soon as possible.

For defects that could cause death or serious injury, you only need to provide the manufacturer with a single repair attempt before you can take legal action. For less dangerous defects, Ohio Lemon Law allows manufacturers three repair attempts.

Additionally, vehicles can qualify for compensation if they are out of service for a total of 30 days OR if they’re subjected to eight repair attempts for any number of defects within the first year and 18,000 miles of ownership.

If your vehicle’s defect(s) still exists after these repair attempts, it’s a lemon. Before you can collect a check or a new car, you’ll need to present your case to a third-party arbitration panel. You’re free to present your case to the panel without representation but having an experienced Ohio Lemon Law attorney in your corner greatly increases your chances of success.

Thankfully, the Ohio law includes a fee-shifting provision that holds the manufacturer responsible for your attorneys’ fees when you win your case. And at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center®, we only get paid if you do. Thus, there are no compelling reasons to represent yourself in Lemon Law proceedings when you can hire an attorney at no cost to you.

After reviewing your case, the arbitration board will rule on whether you deserve to be compensated and to what extent. If you aren’t satisfied with the board’s decision, the next step would be to file a civil action with the courts. Cases that reach this far typically settle before going to trial. In fact, more than 99% of our cases settle before trial.

If the manufacturer does offer a settlement at any point in this process, only you can decide whether to accept it or not. We will always provide our professional opinion concerning any settlement offer, but the decision to accept an offer is ultimately yours to make.

Is There a Time Limit to Pursue a Lemon Law Claim in Ohio?

Yes, you typically have 5 years from the original delivery date to file a claim under the Ohio Lemon Law. It is possible to extend this limit for claims reviewed by an arbitration board. But you (or your attorney) must submit the claim to the arbitration board within this 5-year limit. And the extension is limited to the time it takes the board to hear your claim and make an offer.

In most cases, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act provides an even longer window to file your claim. It covers vehicles for the duration of their warranty and provides up to four years after the warranty was breached to file a claim. So, for vehicles that come with lengthy warranties, you may be able to file a claim a decade or longer after the purchase date.

Is There a Lemon Law in Ohio for Used Cars?

Yes, Ohio Lemon Law covers used cars, but the reporting period is based on the original purchase date. Thus, you (or a previous owner) must report the defect within one year and 18,000 miles of when the original owner purchased the car.

If your vehicle does not meet these qualifications, you may still qualify for compensation under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. This “federal Lemon Law” applies to any consumer product that comes with a warranty, including used cars. Plus, consumers may file claims under this law for up to four years after their warranty was breached, which, in lemon law cases, often equates to the date of the first failed repair attempt.

When You Buy a Used Car from a Dealer in Ohio, Can You Return It?

No, all vehicle sales in Ohio are final. However, if the car is defective, you may be able to return it and/or seek compensation under the federal or Ohio Lemon Laws.

Do Lemon Laws Apply to Auctioned Vehicles in Ohio?

Yes, vehicles sold at auction in Ohio are protected by the State Lemon Law as well as the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. However, the Ohio Lemon Law only applies to defects reported within one year or 18,000 miles of the original purchase date. And the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act only covers vehicles with defects reported while under warranty.

With this in mind, salvage vehicles and classic cars sold at auction in Ohio typically do not qualify for protection under lemon laws because neither of those vehicle types typically come with a warranty. That said, if you think you have a lemon, reach out to us for a free case review. We’ll review your case and counsel you on your best course of action.

Does Ohio Have a Lemon Law on Travel Trailers?

Yes, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act protects all consumer products costing more than $10. So even though the Ohio Lemon Law does not apply to travel trailers or campers, you still have rights. And if you purchase a defective trailer, the manufacturer is obligated to repair it or compensate you appropriately.

How Can I Check the Lemon Law Status in Ohio?

You can read the Ohio Lemon Law Statutes at any time here on our site.

Or, if you’re interested to see whether a used car was ever declared a lemon, you can research its history at www.vehiclehistory.gov. Additionally, the title of any vehicle deemed a lemon must clearly state as much.

Who Do I Call About the Lemon Law in Ohio?

For answers to other questions about the Lemon Law in Ohio, call Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center®. We provide free case reviews to all clients and only collect payment if you do. Plus, the fee-shifting provisions in federal and Ohio Lemon Laws allow us to bill the manufacturer for our legal fees when we win your case.

Our track record speaks for itself. We’ve handled over 50,000 Lemon Law cases, securing settlements in more than 99% of them. So, if you even think that your vehicle might be a lemon, reach out to us today and we’ll let you know whether or not you have a case. And if you do have a case, we’ll represent you for no out-of-pocket costs and we will seek payment of our attorneys’ fees from the manufacturer.

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