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  • Lemon Law in Oklahoma

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    Oklahoma has, as most other states have, enacted laws to protect consumers from defective motor vehicles. Most of the vehicles sold today are well-made.

    In days past, vehicle recalls were heard about regularly, and consumers found themselves out many thousands of dollars because there were not laws in effect to protect them from defective motor vehicles.

    Defect Timeline

    The first year of your new vehicle's "life" is the most critical in determining whether or not it can be considered a defective vehicle. All breakdowns, failures, and problems must be reported to the dealership and the manufacturer as soon as possible.

    If your car begins to malfunction after you have had it for 1 year or more, it cannot be replaced under the Oklahoma Lemon Law. Only defect and repair attempts reported within 1 year of your ownership can be resolved under this law.

    What to Do

    If your new car begins to show signs of a defect shortly after you purchase it, you must inform the dealership right away and make an appointment (or have it towed, if necessary) to have your car looked at by the service department of your dealership.

    The dealership is permitted to make a reasonable attempt to repair or otherwise remedy the problem. If you are concerned for your safety while driving the vehicle, address this with the dealership to see if they have a loaner vehicle you may use until the problem is resolved or a repair attempted.

    You may also wish to contact an attorney specializing in lemon law if you fee like the dealership is not being cooperative with you.

    Your Responsibilities

    Keep records. Make note of all phone calls, repair attempts, time that you car has been out of commission, etc. Keep any repair appointments and make sure that you continue to do whatever other maintenance is required.

    Some consumers make the mistake of refusing to pay their car payments while a car is undergoing repair attempts, especially if the case looks hopeless. This will not remedy your situation and could cause a problem with your credit history and will certainly create an issue with your lender.

    Continue to make your payments while the repairs are being done. If the vehicle is determined to be defective, you will then have some options refund of your money or replacement of your car.

    Four Strikes

    If the problem continues and, after 4 attempts at repair and the defect is not resolved, or if your vehicle has been out of commission due to the defect for a cumulative total 30 business days or more, your car can be considered a lemon and as such, subject to Oklahoma's Lemon Law.

    What that means now is that the manufacturer is obligated to do one of two things:

    • Replace the vehicle.
    • Refund your money including all tax, registration, transfer fees, and other related expenses.

    If you opt for a refund, the manufacturer can, legally, deduct a reasonable amount for your use of the vehicle.

    Complaints

    If you feel that the manufacturer has not made a genuine attempt to remedy the problem, you may file a complaint with the Oklahoma Motor Vehicle Commission using the free Adobe Reader.

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