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Lemon Law Document with Label

Factors Considered to

Determine if a Car Is a Lemon 

Ronald S. Weiss, Attorney Aug. 23, 2022

It’s common to hear of a car described as a “lemon,” but what does this really mean? Who decides what qualifies as a lemon? Each state has its own lemon laws which can help consumers seek refunds or replacements for defective cars they’ve purchased. However, because the laws from state to state vary so much, it’s important to understand what the legal requirements are in your state before you pursue a claim. If you’d like help with this process, give our firm a call to speak with Ronald S. Weiss, Attorney, about your specific situation. We are located in West Bloomfield, Michigan, and Toledo, Ohio, but we handle cases throughout both states.   

What Is Lemon Law? 

Lemon laws protect consumers when they've bought a car that turns out to be defective. For a car to be considered a “lemon,” generally speaking, you must prove it has a significant defect that occurred after you purchased it (within a certain number of days or miles) and the defect has not been repaired after a reasonable number of repair attempts. Of course, what counts as “significant” can vary and is open to interpretation. An easy example of a significant defect could include a major system in a car, such as steering or the engine, that can cause the car to stop running or be a safety hazard. The defect doesn't have to involve a safety concern and it doesn't have to relate to a major system, so it can be confusing. If you meet these requirements, you would then be legally able to obtain a refund through the car manufacturer.  If you fit the law's definition or even if you are close, it is worth looking into.

Qualifying as a Lemon in Michigan  

If you live in Michigan and you want to request a refund, your car must have been purchased in the state, must have been purchased new, and must currently be less than four years old. Additionally, you must show that you’ve been to the dealership at least four times since you bought it attempting to address the same problem, OR your car has been at the dealership for 30 or more days being repaired in the first year after you purchased it. There is often something that we can do even if you don't exactly fit into each of the requirements. 

Qualifying as a Lemon in Ohio  

If you live in Ohio, the qualifying defect must be within the first year or eighteen thousand miles from the original delivery and the vehicle must have been purchased in Ohio. However, in Ohio, your car can be up to five years old when pursuing a refund under the law. There are also a broader set of circumstances that you can meet regarding the repair attempts. For example, you could prove you’ve been to the dealership for the same problem three or more times, that your car has been at the dealership for repairs lasting a total of at least 30 days within the first year, that your car has been affected by eight or more defects, or one attempt to repair a defect that was likely to cause death or serious injury.  

How a Lemon Law Attorney Can Help You  

Working with an attorney can make this process much easier and may help you reach a more advantageous resolution. In some cases, you could be required to go through arbitration before you’ll be issued a refund, and in other cases, you may have to file a lawsuit to get the compensation you deserve. Ronald S. Weiss has the experience necessary to guide you through this process and ensure you have the evidence necessary to file a claim.  An important part of the Lemon Law in both Michigan and Ohio is that the Manufacturer has to pay attorney fees for successful claims.

Lemon Law Attorney Serving

Michigan and Ohio  

If you’ve recently purchased a faulty car and you’d like to speak with a lemon law attorney, reach out to our firm and schedule an appointment with Ronald S. Weiss, Attorney. We're proud to serve clients throughout the Michigan and Ohio.