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Q. Should you retain an attorney?

A. Definitely. I have substantially greater negotiation power and can achieve better results. I have worked successfully in the consumer field for over 10 years developing extensive legal knowledge and I know the contacts within the manufacturers. Further, if I can't collect anything for you, then I am not entitled to a fee.

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Q. What kinds of problems are covered by the new Lemon Law?

A. The Lemon Law protects a consumer whose motor vehicle has a non-conformity that substantially impairs the use, value or safety of the new motor vehicle to the consumer. Significantly, the law measures the defect or condition from the point of view of the individual consumer, not the manufacturer or dealer. Clearly, an engine, transmission, brake or steering defect may meet this level of impairment. Additionally, a persistent intermittent defect, such as a water leak, noxious odor, or paint problem, etc., may also be a defect or condition entitling the consumer to relief under the Lemon Law.

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Q. How do I know if I have a "lemon" covered by the Lemon Law?

A. A vehicle may be presumed to be a “Lemon” if:

1. The new motor vehicle has been subject to repair of a non-conformity a total of 3 or more times for substantially the same problem within 1 year or 18,000 miles of the original delivery date, and the problem still exists or recurs, or,

2. The new motor vehicle is out of service because of repairs for a total of 30 or more days during the first year, or,

3. The vehicle is subject to eight or more repairs for any non-conformity.

4. The vehicle is subject to one non-conformity that is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury and the non-conformity continues to exist or recurs.

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Q. Is there a time period within which the initial attempted repair must occur?

A. Yes. The buyer or lessee must have the repairs, for the same defect, within the first year or 18,000 miles from the original delivery date. Alternatively, the vehicle must be out of service for repair for 30 or more days during the term of the manufacturer's express warranty or within 1 year of delivery, whichever is earlier. A third possibility is that the vehicle is subject to eight repairs for any non-conformity within the first year or 18,000 miles from the original delivery date. Finally, if during the first year or 18,000 miles from the original delivery date, the vehicle is subject to one repair for a non-conformity that is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury and the non-conformity continues to exist or recurs.

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Q. Does the buyer or lessee have the option of requesting a refund or replacement vehicle?

Yes. The buyer or lessee has the right to demand a refund or may choose to accept a comparable replacement motor vehicle currently in production. If a lessee agrees to accept a replacement vehicle, the lease agreement cannot be changed, except to substitute the vehicle identification number.

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Q. If I want a refund, what is included in the purchase or lease price?

A. The "full purchase price" of the vehicle is:

1. In the case of a sale, the contract price for the motor vehicle,including charges for transportation, undercoating, dealer-installed options and accessories, dealer services, dealer preparation, and delivery charges; all finance, credit insurance, warranty, and service contract charges incurred by the consumer; and all sales tax, license and registration fees, and other government charges.

2. In the case of a lease, the capitalized cost reduction, security deposit, taxes, title fees, all monthly lease payments, the residual value of the vehicle, and all finance, credit insurance, warranty, and service contract charges incurred by the consumer.

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Q. Can the manufacturer or dealer cause consumers to waive their rights under the Lemon Law using a special clause in a contract?

A. No. Any contract clause which seeks to waive a consumer's rights under the Lemon Law is void.

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Q. If the Lemon Law does not apply, are there other laws that might help a buyer or lessee?

A. The Lemon Law is only one law protecting buyers and lessees. Consumers may also pursue claims under the Ohio Consumer Protection Act, Ohio Uniform Commercial Code, Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, and other contract remedies.

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Q. Must the buyer or lessee resort to the manufacturer's arbitration procedure before filing a claim in the court system to pursue Lemon Law remedies?

A. No, unless the manufacturer's mediation procedure conforms to Federal Trade Commission regulations and the manufacturer expressly requires the consumer to resort to the mediation process, there are other requirements on the manufacturer. Many manufacturers' mediation procedures do not meet the requirements of the Federal Trade Commission regulations.

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Q. If I go through mediation, is the decision binding on me?

A. No. The manufacturer is bound by the decision, but the consumer is not. Be sure to review all rules since many arbitration programs (as opposed to mediation) are binding.

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Q. If the buyer decides to bring a lawsuit against the manufacturer and wins in court, can attorney fees also be recovered?

A. Yes. The law authorizes the court to award reasonable attorney fees to a buyer who wins in court.

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Q. Can the manufacturer deduct an amount for the use of the vehicle prior to its return?

A. No. The Ohio Lemon Law does not have a provision for a usage deduction.

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Q. Is there an absolute time limit to bring an action for a Lemon law case in Ohio?

A. Yes. Any action must be brought within 5 years of the date of original delivery of the vehicle. This means that a lawsuit must be started or the case resolved within this period. The 5 year period may be extended for the amount of days that a complaint is pending within a qualified informal dispute resolution program.

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Q. Okay, I think I have a defective motor vehicle. How do I start the process?

Contact me!
I will review your case at NO CHARGE.

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Ronald S. Weiss, Attorney & Counselor
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Toledo, OH 43617

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Disclaimers:

Use of this web site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Ronald S. Weiss, Attorney at Law. If you send an e-mail and he does not already represent you, your e-mail will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not necessarily be treated as privileged or confidential.

These materials have been prepared for this web site by Ronald S. Weiss for informational purposes only. Nothing herein is intended to be legal advice and Ronald S Weiss expressly disclaims all liability in connection with the legal information contained herein. Do not act upon any information provided herein without first speaking with a qualified attorney or you do so at your own risk.

*In certain limited situations, we may have to charge an additional fee out of any settlement proceeds.  This may occur when an employee discount is used for only a particular manufacturer, and only to the extent that the manufacturer reduces fees from the non-employee fee.  If there is no recovery, then we would not be entitled to a fee.

 


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