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.
Is My Vehicle a Lemon?
For your vehicle to be considered a lemon in Oklahoma, one of the following criteria must apply:
- You've had your vehicle for at least 1 year.
- The car manufacturer has made at least 4 attempts to fix the defect.
- The vehicle has been out of service in a repair shop for 30 business days.
The dealer or manufacturer can offer any of the following solutions:
- Replace your lemon with a new vehicle.
- Return the original purchase price.
- Plus tax, registration, and other related fees and expenses.
You may want to consider hiring a lemon law attorney if the manufacturer or authorized dealer is unresponsive or unable to resolve the issue. You may be able to find a resolution by filing a complaint or a civil suit.
Filing a Lemon Law Claim
If your new car begins to show signs of a defect shortly after you purchase it, you must inform the dealership right away and 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.
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.
Invoking the Lemon Law
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.
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.
Hiring an Oklahoma Lemon Law Attorney
If you haven't been able to reach an agreement with a vehicle manufacturer, you may need to consult a lawyer to present your lemon law case in court. Attorneys can offer:
- Knowledge of OK lemon laws and buyer's rights.
- Negotiation skills with dealers or manufacturers.
- Experience in submitting court documentation.