Lemon Law in Oregon
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Oregon's Lemon Law covers new automobile buyers who find the experience, or the vehicle, is sour. Lemon Law refers to legal rights and responsibilities of buyers and car dealers in the state, and Oregon's law on the matter, enacted in 1983, can help buyers of bad vehicles obtain a new vehicle or refund.
The spirit of the Oregon Lemon Law covers serious defects that impair use and value of vehicles during the first 12,000 miles or one year, whichever is first. Manufacturers must be notified of issues in writing so they have a chance to remedy the situation.
The law does not pertain to issues that result from abuse, neglect, unauthorized modifications, or alterations.
Oregon motorists who are new vehicle buyers should also be aware of auto recall lists and other resources for related information.
For you, the buyer to take advantage of Oregon's Lemon Law, you must meet the following requirements:
- The vehicle must have been purchased in Oregon on or after January 1, 1984.
- You must have purchased the automobile for personal, family, or household purposes during the warranty period.
- You must notify the manufacturer of the problem in writing within two years or 24,000 miles of purchase (whichever comes first) so it has an opportunity to cure the defect.
- The automobile must qualify as a "lemon," with manufacturer or agents and dealers unable to repair the same defect after three or more attempts, the automobile is out of service for 30 or more business days, or there is a nonconformity that is likely to cause death or serious injury and was not repaired after two attempts.
- If the manufacturer participates in third-party arbitration and notifies you, the buyer, you're obliged to try to solve the problem through the arbitration process to be eligible for a refund or a replacement vehicle under Oregon's Lemon Law.
If these requirements are met, you are entitled to receive a new vehicle or a full refund of the purchase price, including taxes and fees for license and registration. A reasonable allowance for use of the vehicle may be factored in, and it is the car manufacturer's choice whether you receive a replacement vehicle or refund.
If a settlement cannot be reached in arbitration, you may sue the manufacturer in court. Courts have the authority to award three times the amount of damages, up to $50,000, if they find that the manufacturer acted in bad faith. You might wish to hire an attorney to represent you.
And as of September 21, 2009, if a manufacturer cannot repair a vehicle and takes it back, it must re-title the vehicle as a "Lemon Law Buyback." All subsequent purchasers of the vehicle must be notified in writing that it was a lemon.
You can view the actual Oregon Lemon Law statute and wording online.
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