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Indiana Lemon Law

Indiana's "Lemon Law" (The Motor Vehicle Protection Act) provides protection for consumers who purchase late model, defective vehicles that require repair.

Do I Have a Lemon?

If you can answer "yes" to the following questions, your vehicle may be covered by the Lemon Law.

Did you buy or lease

  • A car or light truck?
  • Within the last 18 months?
  • From an Indiana dealer?
  • For purposes other than resale or sublease?
  • A vehicle with less than 18,000 miles on it?

Steps to Follow if you are Covered by the Lemon Law

  1. Take your vehicle to an authorized dealer to report the problem and have repairs made. The problem must be reported within 18 months from the time you purchased the vehicle or before you have driven the vehicle more than 18,000 miles, whichever comes earlier.

  2. You must allow the dealer a reasonable number of attempts to repair your vehicle. This means your vehicle has been subject to at least four (4) repair attempts OR has been out of service due to repairs for a total of at least thirty (30) business days - and the problem still exists.

  3. Get a copy of the written repair order each time you take your vehicle to the dealer for repair or examination.

  4. Some manufacturers have established an informal procedure to handle Lemon Law claims that have been certified by the Attorney General. If the manufacturer of your vehicle has a certified, informal procedure, information about it should be in your written warranty for the vehicle. You must follow that procedure before you can file a lawsuit under the Lemon Law.

  5. If the manufacturer of your vehicle has not established an informal procedure, check your warranty and the owner's manual. If the warranty or owner's manual requires a written notice of the problem or defect before you are entitled to a refund or replacement vehicle, send your notice, along with copies of your repair orders to the name and address listed in your warranty or owner's manual. If your warranty or owner's manual does not state that written notice is required, you may file a lawsuit without having to give written notice of your claim to the manufacturer.

  6. The manufacturer has thirty (30) days to accept the return of your vehicle and, at your option, either refund the money paid for the vehicle or give you a replacement vehicle.

  7. If the manufacturer disagrees with your claim, you must first file a lawsuit within two (2) years from the date you first reported the problem to the dealer.

  8. If you win the lawsuit, you can recover all your costs, including your attorney fees.

What Happens to All those Lemons

Have you ever wondered what happens to "lemons" after manufacturers take them back? Many of them are repaired and then returned to dealers to sell to other customers.

The manufacturer is required to obtain a new title for the vehicle with the stamp or brand "Manufacturer Buyback Disclosure on File". This stamp or brand should remain on the title for as long as the vehicle exists. The first time a dealer sells a vehicle that was returned to a manufacturer under the Lemon Law, the dealer must notify the consumer in writing, at the time of the sale, that the vehicle had been a "lemon". The consumer must also be provided with a manufacturer's warranty of at least twelve (12) months or 12,000 miles.

The Lemon Law does not allow the Attorney General to represent individual consumers in seeking a refund or replacement vehicle. However, a manufacturer or dealer who violates the buyback disclosure provisions faces stiff penalties which the Attorney General is authorized to enforce.

Knowing about and understanding the "Lemon Law" can provide you with the protection you may need.

For complete advice concerning your legal rights, click here to consult an Indiana Lemon Law attorney.

Most of the information on this page is provided by the state of Indiana, which this website is not affiliated with.


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