When you buy a new car, you want to spend your time behind the wheel, not sitting at a repair shop. Unfortunately, lots of Oregonians find themselves stuck in neutral after buying a car with defects and problems that shouldn’t exist and can’t be fixed, even after multiple repair attempts. If you’re one of these folks who bought a “lemon,” Oregon law provides you with rights and remedies that can get you back in gear with a full refund or a new replacement car.
What Is Covered Under Oregon’s Lemon Law?
Oregon’s lemon law doesn’t apply to all vehicles or all problems. Your new vehicle may be considered a “lemon,” and you may have rights under Oregon’s lemon law if:
- a part of your vehicle covered by the manufacturer’s warranty is not working and this problem significantly impacts the operation, safety or value of the vehicle;
- you bought and use the vehicle primarily for personal, family or household purposes;
- you report the problem in writing to the car manufacturer or dealer where you purchased the car so they have an opportunity to fix the defect;
- the manufacturer or dealer has made at least three unsuccessful attempts to repair the defect (or one unsuccessful attempt if the problem could cause injury or death if not fixed); or
- it takes a dealer or manufacturer 30 or more business days to correct the malfunction (60 or more days in the case of a motorhome); and
- it’s been less than two years, or you’ve put less than 24,000 miles on the car since you bought it, whichever comes first.
How Do You Make a Lemon Law Claim in Oregon?
If you think you purchased a lemon, it is important that you speak with an experienced Oregon lemon law attorney as soon as you become aware of the problem. There are strict time limits for filing a claim based on buying a lemon. Specifically, you must commence an action within one year after the earlier of:
- the date on which the mileage on your vehicle hits 24,000 miles; or
- two years after the date the vehicle was originally delivered to you.
If your vehicle’s manufacturer or dealer participates in an informal lemon law dispute settlement procedure that complies with federal law regarding such proceedings, and the manufacturer notified you of the procedure, you may have to go through that process first before the manufacturer or dealer must provide you with the relief allowed under Oregon’s lemon law.
What Are the Remedies Under Oregon’s Lemon Law?
If your vehicle qualifies as a lemon, the manufacturer or dealer must do one of two things:
- Repurchase the vehicle for the full sale or lease price, along with collateral costs such as tax, license fees, and finance charges, minus a reasonable allowance for your use of the vehicle; or
- Provide you with a new, equivalent replacement vehicle.
Talk to an Experienced Oregon Lemon Law Attorney
If you believe that you bought or leased a lemon in Oregon, you should consult with an experienced Oregon lemon law attorney who can help protect and enforce your rights and get you back on the road. The Oregon lemon laws are nuanced and may be difficult to understand. This is why it is important to speak with an experienced Oregon lemon law attorney who can assess your individual situation.