Buying a new car is a costly but necessary matter for Indiana motorists who need reliable transportation to work, run errands, and attend to important matters. The general build quality of vehicles currently made and sold in Indiana and across the United States is generally very good, but the occasional lemon still occurs.
New vehicles cost more than ever, so it’s important to ensure you buy a good one that is reliable and worth the investment. Sadly, that isn’t always the case, but state law protects buyers of new cars and other vehicles against buying a lemon.
Lemon Law Protects New Car Buyers
Like many states, the Hoosier State has a lemon law that car buyers can use to protect their investment in quality transportation. The Indiana lemon law requires carmakers to ensure any defective products that they sell in Indiana are in good condition and free of defects.
When repeated problems arise that the automaker can’t fix, the lemon law comes into play. Let’s take a closer look at how it works and protects new bar buyers in Indiana.
Qualification for Lemon Law Protection
There are more than 6 million light-duty vehicles registered in Indiana that their owners use for daily transportation. Many of those vehicles are new and bought from an Indiana car dealership. Whenever you buy a new car or a light truck in Indiana, it is subject to the Indiana lemon law for the first 18 months or 18,000 miles, whichever comes first.
If a problem arises and the dealership can’t fix it after a reasonable amount of tries, you have the option of a refund for the full amount that you paid for the vehicle or to obtain a new replacement vehicle.
For the lemon law to apply, you must notify the auto dealer of the problem during the first 18 months of ownership or before the odometer rolls over 18,000 miles. After reporting the problem, you have to give the auto dealer a reasonable number of tries to fix the problem.
State law says four times is a reasonable number of tries – or the vehicle is in the shop for at least 30 business days. If the first attempt to fix it takes more than 30 business days, it would qualify for lemon law protection if the problem persists.
What if the Problem Persists?
If the problem persists, the vehicle is a lemon and the lemon law says the auto dealer owes you a full refund or a comparable replacement that is currently in production. The choice is yours and not theirs. You can document the problem and repair attempts by asking for a copy of the written repair order whenever you take your vehicle in to fix whatever the problem might be.
Those repair orders should mention the same issue is being addressed. You can use the repair orders to notify the automaker by sending them to the address that is listed in the vehicle’s owner’s manual or on the manufacturer’s warranty. The warranty might require you to send written notification of the problem to the manufacturer for the warranty to apply.
When You Should Get Legal Help
Your attempts to correct the problem might meet with resistance from the automaker. The manufacturer could dispute your warranty claim if a dispute process exists that Indiana’s attorney general has certified. The automaker has up to 30 days to refund your purchase or replace the vehicle. You would have to complete the dispute process before filing a lawsuit for relief. If no dispute process exists, you can pursue a lawsuit.