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Buying a new vehicle and later finding it full of defects can be quite a frustrating experience. Though, if you are well versed with lemon laws you will not have a cause to wary. In Indiana, the Office of the Attorney General enacted the Indiana lemon law, specifically to legislate vehicle matters. Legally, this law is referred to as Motor Vehicle Protection Act. This statute was enacted to protect consumers from faulty vehicles sold in the market.
Vehicles that are covered under Indiana lemon law
The law covers new cars or light trucks that are purchased or leased. You may receive protection if your vehicle has the following qualifications:
- Received it within the past 18 months
- Purchased it within Indiana
- Has covered 18, 000 miles or less
- The vehicle is not intended for resell or sublease.
Vehicles that are not covered under Indiana lemon law
This law does not cover the following vehicles:
- Motor homes
- Conversion vans
- Off-road vehicles.
If your new motor vehicle does not meet the parameters above as stipulated in Indiana lemon law, you may still get cover from other legislations such as Federal Magnuson Moss Warranty Act.
Attempting to fix the Problem
If you spot a defect in your vehicle, report it immediately to your manufacturer to get it repaired. Be patient and allow the manufacturer or dealer to fix the issue. Indiana lemon law requires you to give your vehicle manufacturer or dealer up to 4 attempts or up to 30 business days to fix the problem. Make sure that you document every repair or examination details. The manufacturer is required to fix the problem within the notified period. After reasonable number of unsuccessful attempts to fix the problem, the manufacturer is obliged to refund your money or replace the vehicle with a comparable one. If you have notified your manufacturer in written to have a final repair attempt but the problem can’t be repaired, you are supposed to go through the manufacturer informal dispute settlement if there is any. If the manufacturer refuses to grant you your request, you may decide to file a case at Minnesota Attorney general’s office. In this event, you need to hire an experienced lemon law attorney to represent you in court. Under the Indiana lemon law, all lawsuits against your vehicle dealer or manufacturer must be filed within the first 2 years from the first time you took your vehicle for repair in the repair shop. If the lawsuit is resolved in your favor, the manufacturer will have to pay for your legal costs and refund your purchase price or provide you with a vehicle replacement.
Buying a Used “Lemon”
If the manufacturer repurchases the vehicle from you, he may decide to repair it and send it to the dealer who may then decide to resell it. However, the manufacturer must obtain a new title for that car. This new title must have a ‘Buyback Disclosure on File’ label. This label shows that in case of possible defects, the manufacturer is obliged to buy the vehicle back.
If you need more information regarding Indiana lemon law or need information on how to launch your complaint in the event of a lemon, contact the office of the Attorney General at: Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Division 302 W. Washington St., 5th Floor Indianapolis, IN 46204 Phone: (317) 232-6330