Lemon Law in Kentucky
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Did that cherry of a hot rod turn out to be a lemon of a clunker? There's good news―under the Kentucky Lemon Law, you are protected against being stuck with what you thought was a smart purchase.
A "lemon" is a new vehicle that is purchased or leased after July 15, 1998, found to have a nonconformity (failing to conform with the warranty and causing impairment to the vehicle's value, safety, and use) during the first 12,000 miles or 12 months after its purchase, whichever is sooner, and cannot be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts (four attempts for the same noncomformity). However, if the vehicle is out of service for 30 days it may also be a lemon.
Kentucky provides the Lemon Law to protect consumers from purchasing lemons and reimburse them for such a purchase.
Vehicles covered under the Lemon Law include:
- Those primarily operated on public highways
- Those that require licenses and registration
- Those that have been fully assembled and are in the possession of a manufacturer or dealer
- Those that are new and haven't had a title issued them
Vehicles not covered under the Lemon Law include:
- Farm machines and farm tractors
- Motor homes
- Motorcycles and mopeds
- Any vehicle with more than two axles
The Lemon Law applies to manufacturers only, not the dealers where you bought the car.
In the event that you purchase a lemon, the Lemon Law requires manufacturers to refund or replace the vehicle in accordance with KRS 367.842. You could be compensated the following:
- Purchase price of the vehicle, minus a reasonable allowance for the time the vehicle was in use and not out of service
- Finance charges
- Fees, including license and registration
- Sales tax
- Charges, including government and collateral
- A comparable vehicle replacement, not including reasonable allowance
You'll need to go through the manufacturer's own arbitration system (if they offer one) before being able to file a suit with the courts. In this state, the Better Business Bureau oversees many of the arbitration systems.
A car is a lemon if it is out of service for 30 days or more for the same nonconformity, or if four attempts have been made to correct the same problem.
Keep these facts in mind:
- All manufacturers are required to inform you of your rights under the Lemon Law in the form of a written statement.
- Sellers are required to notify buyers in the form of a written disclosure, of any motor vehicle damages resulting in repair costs or estimates exceeding $1,000.
- If the nonconformity of the vehicle can't be repaired in the first 12,000 miles or 12 months, you must notify the manufacturer in writing.
- If you suspect your vehicle is a lemon, manufacturers must provide you two years after the purchase date, or 25,000 miles, (whichever is sooner) to begin an informal dispute resolution.
- Your vehicle won't be covered under the Lemon Law if you have significantly altered it after purchase.
- If the manufacturer fails to do his or her part regarding the Lemon Law, it's in your best interest to contact a Lemon Law attorney.
For more detailed information about the Kentucky Lemon Law, visit the Cars and Lemon Laws section of Kentucky Attorney General's official site.
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