Ohio Lemon Law

Ohio Lemon Laws – Summary

Ohio’s lemon laws state that if the buyer or lessee of a vehicle finds a major fault in it – which the manufacturers are unable to fix even after 3 valid attempts for the same nonconformity, 8 attempts for different nonconformities and 1 repair attempt for life-threatening nonconformities, by the vehicle manufacturer to repair it – the manufacturer is liable to repurchase or replace the faulty vehicle. This law applies to the vehicle throughout its express warranty period, or 1 year from the vehicle’s delivery or 18,000 miles on the vehicle’s odometer, whichever of these comes first, and if the vehicle meets the eligibility criteria as specified by Ohio’s state laws, the owner of the vehicle can claim their lemon aid and demand the manufacturers to provide them with the necessary reimbursement, in the form of a refund or replacement of the faulty vehicle through arbitration. The repurchase costs will also cover any additional costs the owner underwent while purchasing the vehicle.

Ohio Lemon Law Time Limits & Eligibility

Ohio’s lemon laws protect all passenger cars designed for carrying not more than 9 persons, or 15 persons in a ridesharing arrangement, as well as noncommercial vehicles such as farm trucks which are designed for carrying loads weighing no more than 1 ton and are used for purposes excluding business for profit. The law does not apply to the living quarters of motorhomes, vehicle converters and pickup trucks used exclusively for business purposes. The law applies to all vehicles leased for 30 days, or purchased in Ohio for purposes other than resale, and as long as the vehicle is covered under the manufacturer’s express warranty and has a nonconformity which severely impairs the vehicle’s usability, safety and market value, it is eligible for claiming lemon aid. It is also worth noting that the nonconformity must not have been caused by any kind of neglect, abuse or unauthorised modification made to the vehicle by the customer, and should only be the responsibility of the manufacturer. 

Ohio Lemon Law Used Vehicles

Used vehicles are also eligible for arbitration in Ohio. If the vehicle is well within the lemon law eligibility period (1 year from the vehicle’s delivery to the original owner), or is under the manufacturer’s warranty period or displays 18,000 miles or less in its odometer, whichever of these occurs first, the vehicle owner can claim a lemon aid regardless of whether it has undergone any kind of change in ownership within that period.

Ohio Lemon Law Repair Attempts

Before any further action, the manufacturer must first and foremost be given 3 attempts to repair the same nonconformity, or 8 attempts to repair different nonconformities in the vehicle. However, if the vehicle has a life-threatening nonconformity, the manufacturer may only be given 1 repair attempt before the customer proceeds to claim that the vehicle is a lemon. The customer must provide to the manufacturer a written notice regarding the nonconformity before the first repair attempt. The first repair attempt must be carried out within the lemon law eligibility period, i.e. 1 year from the delivery of the vehicle directly from the manufacturer, or 18,000 miles on the vehicle’s odometer, or until the expiration of the vehicle’s express warranty period, whichever comes first. If the first repair attempt takes place within this time frame, all subsequent repair attempts may follow beyond this period too, and the vehicle will still be considered for arbitration beyond the lemon law eligibility period. 

If at all, the given repair attempts are all unsuccessful, or the vehicle remains with the manufacturer for repair purposes for 30 business days or more, the manufacturer is then liable to give the customer a refund or replacement of the vehicle. 

Ohio Lemon Law Arbitration 

Before pursuing a case in a civil court, the customer must firstly proceed with an arbitration program which the manufacturer is associated with. Before doing so, the manufacturer must be notified via a written notice regarding the customer’s wish to proceed for arbitration, after which they may have a final attempt to repair the vehicle. If that fails, the case will be settled by the arbiter. However, if the customer is unhappy with the arbiter’s judgment, they may proceed the case to a civil court. However, court action may only be taken within a period of 5 years from the vehicle’s original delivery, including the time taken for arbitration. 

Ohio Lemon Law Compensation – Replacement or Repurchase

In most cases, the customer is either compensated by a replacement of the faulty vehicle, or a refund, as opted by them. In case of a refund, the manufacturer or lessor will have to compensate the customer with the full purchasing or leasing amount of the vehicle, including all additional charges incurred by the customer. However, a fee may be deducted for the customer’s prior usage of the vehicle while it was still in operation. In case of a replacement, the customer will be given a new, identical or comparable vehicle to the original vehicle, and no additional costs will be incurred from them. 

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