Lemon Law in Oregon

If you purchase a vehicle and discover it is damaged, or a “lemon,” Oregon’s Lemon Law may be able to assist you.
The following information is not legal advice, but it may assist you in understanding your rights.

jpeg Orego Lemon Law Guide

What is the Lemon Law, exactly?

2. Is my car covered by the Lemon Law?

3. How does the Lemon Law apply to used vehicles?

4. Who is eligible to pursue a Lemon Law claim?

5. What is the procedure for filing a Lemon Law claim?

6. How can I seek assistance with a Lemon Law claim?

7. How would a Lemon Law claim affect me?

Lemon Laws: A Brief History

What does the Lemon Law entail?

If customers fulfill specific qualifications, Oregon’s Lemon Law permits them to acquire a new car or some sort of compensation if their vehicles are consistently malfunctioning.

Is my car covered by the Lemon Law?

The Lemon Law in Oregon only applies to new vehicles:
According to the Oregon Department of Justice, if all of the following requirements are satisfied within two years or 24,000 miles after the purchase or lease of a new car, the owner of that vehicle may be entitled for compensation:

A portion of the vehicle covered by a manufacturer warranty is not operating, and this malfunction would have a major impact on the vehicle’s operation, safety, or value.

The fault is reported to the manufacturer or dealer, who will then correct the problem.

Unless the fault causes “injury or death,” the dealer or manufacturer must make at least three failed efforts to rectify it.
Alternatively, if a dealer or manufacturer delays 30 or more business days to correct the problem, the vehicle may be covered.

If your new automobile’s brakes fail within two years and 24,000 miles after purchase, there is a high risk of driving it, and the owner or lessee of that car might make a Lemon Law claim after one repair effort.
If the sunroof was misaligned, causing the vehicle to leak and stink of mildew and could not be fixed in three tries, a Lemon Law claim would most likely be allowed.
However, if the automobile is “too loud” or the entertainment system periodically fails, you are unlikely to be covered by the Lemon Law, but you may be able to seek alternative legal remedies.

What about secondhand automobiles and the Lemon Law?

Although Oregon does not have a lemon legislation that relates to used automobiles, you may be protected by other laws such as the Federal Trade Commission’s “Used Car Rule” and Oregon’s Uniform Commercial Code if you meet the following criteria:

The dealer did not state that the car was being sold “as-is.”

The dealer failed to include a “Buyers’ Guide” with the vehicle, which failed to state whether the vehicle would be sold “as-is,” whether there was a warranty on the vehicle, how much or if repair costs would be covered by the dealer to fix problems covered under the warranty, and a list of serious malfunctions that can occur in used cars.

Dealers may be required to pay for repairs, refunds, or even punitive penalties if they commit fraud, such as misrepresenting about the vehicle’s features or other scenarios defined by the Federal Trade Commission.

Who is eligible to pursue a Lemon Law claim?

If you are the owner or lessee of a car and your main motivation for purchasing it was not to resell it, you may be able to submit a claim.

What is the procedure for filing a Lemon Law claim?

To begin, gather evidence of the issue with your automobile, including photos or videos showing the problem, any notes from technicians who worked on it, records of efforts by the dealership or manufacturer to remedy it, and receipts for any fees or charges linked with it.

Second, duplicate all of your documents.

Third, if your vehicle’s manufacturer offers an informal dispute resolution system with an arbitrator, you may need to go through that procedure before filing a claim in court.
Dispute settlement is available from most major manufacturers.
Look at the “Support” page of each manufacturer’s website (like Toyota’s here) or perform an internet search for “(the name of the manufacturer) dispute resolution” to find out whether your vehicle’s manufacturer has a dispute resolution procedure and what that process is.
After a disagreement is resolved via arbitration, you are not compelled to cease pursuing your case in court.
Even if you agree to informal arbitration, only the manufacturer is obligated to follow the judgment reached via informal dispute settlement, whilst a customer may still seek legal recourse.

Finally, if you don’t have access to an informal dispute resolution mechanism or have exhausted that option, you may file a Lemon Law suit in court, generally with the help of an attorney.
Websites like the National Association of Consumer Advocates and the Oregon State Bar may help you identify an attorney.

The Oregon Department of Justice may certify that informal dispute resolution procedures satisfy certain baseline requirements.
Contact the Oregon Department of Justice to see whether your car’s manufacturer’s informal dispute resolution method satisfies basic criteria.

What resources are available to assist me with a Lemon Law claim?

If you feel you have a legal claim, you may get a reference to legal services by calling the Oregon State Bar toll-free at (800) 452-7636 or (503) 684-3763 from inside Oregon, or by visiting the Oregon State Bar website.

What can I anticipate if I file a Lemon Law claim?

If your claim is approved, you may be eligible for a replacement or refund of the purchase price of a similar vehicle (minus a reasonable allowance for the use of the car).
You may also be eligible for reimbursement for lease payments, taxes, and costs associated with the car’s purchase, as well as attorney’s expenses.

History of Lemon Laws: Every state now has a new automobile Lemon Law to safeguard customers in what is frequently one of their greatest expenditures, behind their house and education bills.
Consumers had no direct relationship with a manufacturer prior to the introduction of the first new vehicle Lemon Laws, making it impossible to prosecute claims that were not the responsibility of the dealer.
The Lemon Law also defined a “lemon automobile,” removing the need for consumer advocates to go through costly expert-witness testimony in court to “establish” that each car’s flaws were significant.
In 1983, OSPIRG helped enact Oregon’s first iteration of a new automotive Lemon Law.

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