Lemon Law in Oregon

Oregon Lemon Law

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. Oregon's law on the matter can help buyers of bad vehicles obtain a new vehicle or refund.

The Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) consumer protection department provides information on the lemon law. Generally, the manufacturer or its authorized dealer will have a certain number of attempts to repair your vehicle's defect before you are eligible to receive a refund or replacement vehicle.

On this page you'll find an overview of some of the aspects of the Oregon lemon law and what you'll need to do if your vehicle turns out sour.

Oregon Lemon Law Rights

The spirit of the Oregon lemon law covers serious defects that impair use and value of vehicles during the first 24,000 miles or 2 years, whichever happens 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:

  • 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 24,000 miles or 2 years of purchase (whichever comes first) so it has an opportunity to cure the defect.
    • The manufacturer or agents and dealers were unable to repair the same defect after 3 attempts or more.
    • The automobile has been out of service for at least 30 business days.
    • There is a nonconformity that is likely to cause death or serious injury and was not repaired after 1 attempt.
  • 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.

Filing a Oregon Lemon Law Suit

To initiate an OR lemon law complaint, you must first notify the manufacturer by certified mail of the problem after the car has met the criteria outlined above. The location should be printed in your owner's manual.

Your next step is to participate in an informal dispute settlement procedure if the manufacturer offers one. If they don't, you can use a third party service like the one offered by the Better Business Bureau.

If you are unable to come to a satisfactory settlement during arbitration, you can initiate a lawsuit. Whether in arbitration or filing a lawsuit, you can greatly benefit from an attorney who understands Oregon lemon law.

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 on the Oregon Department of Justice website.

Hiring a Lemon Law Attorney

If you're dealing with a potential lemon, you probably have tens of thousands of dollars of your hard-earned money on the line.

Because of the enormous costs they incur, automotive manufacturers are typically highly resistant to having their vehicles determined to be lemons; this means your manufacturer might put up quite a fight when you approach them about a lemon law complaint.

In this case, it may be in your best interest to acquire the services of an OR lemon law attorney. Having an attorney by your side as you attempt to get your manufacturer to refund or replace your vehicle will give you more leverage to get the outcome you're seeking.

How to Hire a Good Lemon Lawyer

When you begin interviewing OR lemon lawyers, try to find someone who has:

  • Experience with lemon laws in Oregon.
  • A good track record of cases won.

Also, make sure you ask about the attorney's fees ahead of time.

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