Lemon Law in Kentucky
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.
Is My Vehicle a Lemon?
Kentucky's lemon law helps protect consumers who have bought or leased a vehicle with a fault that affects its value, safety, or operation.
The fault or problem is referred to as non-conformity—an issue that does not conform to the manufacturer's warranty.
In KY, a vehicle is considered a lemon if:
- It has a fault within the first 12,000 miles on the odometer or 12 months of purchase (whichever comes first).
- The issue cannot be repaired after 4 attempts OR the problem causes your vehicle to be out of service for at least 30 days.
Most manufacturers use an arbitration system to resolve lemon law disputes, and you must notify them in writing if you think your vehicle is a lemon.
If you cannot settle your case through arbitration, consult with a lemon law attorney, as you may need to take the manufacturer to court.
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.
Filing a Lemon Law Claim in Kentucky
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.
Manufacturers must provide you with cost free arbitration up to 2 years after the purchase date, or 25,000 miles, (whichever is sooner). You have this time to begin a informal dispute resolution.
Helpful Hints for Arbitration
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.
- 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.
Hiring a KY Lemon Law Attorney
You may choose to have a lemon law attorney represent you when taking the manufacturer to court. Hiring a lawyer has several benefits, including helping you understand whether your vehicle is a lemon and how to move forward.
When you decide to hire a lemon law attorney, selecting the right one can be difficult.
Follow these tips to choose a Kentucky lawyer that's right for you:
- Seek experienced attorneys. A Kentucky lawyer who specializes in lemon law cases will have specialized knowledge in relevant KY laws and procedures.
- Get references. Ask for a recommendation from people you know who may have worked with lemon law lawyers before.
- Schedule a consultation. Book a free consultation with a few lemon law attorneys so that you can learn more about their experience.
- Ask about fees. Be sure you understand how much a lawyer charges and when you'll be expected to pay (up front, in installments, after the case).
To ensure you hire someone you trust to represent you, take your time when choosing a lemon law attorney.
Benefits of KY Lemon Law Attorneys
Having a lemon is time consuming. Your car has been in and out of the shop, and you've probably spent hours on the phone with the dealer or manufacturer.
One of the biggest benefits of hiring a lemon law attorney is the time they can save you by handling communication and other actions on your behalf.
Lemon law lawyers also have a wealth of knowledge and experience to help you understand the process and possible outcomes.
Whether you're still determining if your car is a lemon, or you're trying to negotiate with the manufacturer, a lemon law attorney can be of great help.