Lemon Law in Indiana

According to AutoWeek, the average price for a used vehicle is a staggering $33,000. Taking this new level of investment into consideration, it can be maddening to purchase a defective car.

Indiana residents do not have to take this unfortunate circumstance lying down. There are legal options available, especially if the manufacturer or dealership refuses to make things right. Start planning your next legal steps by utilizing the advice we have for you below.

What Is a Lemon Law?

Lemon laws deal with consumer protections that are particularly applicable to automobile purchases. For any lemon law to apply, the automobile must suffer from a defect. This problem should be outside the purchaser’s control, like a manufacturer issue. Furthermore, lemon laws apply if a certain number of reasonable repairs happened to the vehicle in question to no avail.

When Do Indiana Lemon Laws Apply?

Lemon laws only apply when the vehicle in question is under warranty. This restriction does not mean it has to have a new guarantee. There are often dealership warranties attached to certified used cars. Under the federal lemon law requirements, conditions must meet the following criteria:

  • The manufacturer attempted to fix the issue on several occasions. Note that the number of conditions that merit a lemon law application can vary based on the court’s opinion.
  • There have been attempts to address the issue(s) in question within the first two years of owning and operating the vehicle.
  • The car has been out of service for at least 30 days. Note that the days do not have to be consecutive.

How Do You Ensure the Application of Lemon Laws?

There are some common practices that you can take that better position you when citing lemon law:

  • You should only take the vehicle in question to the corresponding dealership for repairs. By taking it there, you establish credibility by showing the responsible party attempted to address the issue. If you take the vehicle to a mom-and-pop mechanic, the manufacturer cannot be held liable for any attempts made to fix the problem.
  • Keep accurate and detailed records of any repairs made. This way, if your case goes to trial, have accurate logs that detail the manufacturer’s opportunities to fix the mechanical issues. This detail also helps build a timeline of how long you could not use your vehicle.

Lemon law statutes vary by state. You should research the lemon law requirements in Indiana to ensure you remain within the legal confines.

The Indiana Attorney General’s Office publishes a guide to the provisions of the state’s lemon law. If you discover an issue, you have to report the issue within 18,000 miles or 18 months of owning the vehicle. Current law gives the seller four attempts to replace parts or complete other repairs. Should a dealership refuse to provide an acceptable remedy, you have two years to file a lawsuit.

What Exactly Are Consumers Entitled To Under Lemon Laws?

You have a legal entitlement to a replacement vehicle or refund if Indiana lemon laws apply. However, manufacturers may deduct a fee in proportion to the miles the owner put on the car or truck before it became unusable. This compensation should include:

  • Down payment
  • Registration
  • Taxes
  • Car rentals
  • Monthly payments
  • Tow expenses
  • Attorney costs

Do Lemon Laws Apply to Used Vehicles?

Lemon laws can apply to used vehicles. However, this is for written warranties distributed along with the vehicle upon sale. Often, a used car dealership sells vehicles with a portion of the guarantee remaining. This situation incentivizes the purchase and (allegedly) puts the buyer’s mind at ease.

Indiana Code does not include a provision for used vehicles that turn out to be lemons. However, you may have an option under federal law. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act may apply to your situation, but you should consult with an attorney to verify.

When Should You Hire a Qualified Indiana Lemon Law Attorney?

Have you attempted to have your vehicle repaired at the dealership? Consumers should consider legal action when it doesn’t work for 30 days. If you can’t resolve the issue with the manufacturer, it may be time to bring in an experienced Indiana lemon law attorney.

How Does the Lemon Law Litigation Process Work?

Consumers can expect to go through a series of motions by bringing in an experienced Indiana lawyer. However, introducing legal counsel into the situation is the best way for consumers to receive a fair outcome. With most Indiana lemon law attorneys, you can expect the following:

  • Free Case Evaluation – Attorneys should review your case for free. They will determine its merit and whether you have a justifiable claim.
  • Filing Your Claim – Your Indiana legal representative should handle filing a claim with the manufacturer after determining the facts.
  • Further Action – Your vehicle’s manufacturer may refuse to comply with the claim under federal and state statutes. Then your attorney files suit to seek entitled compensation on your behalf.
  • Pursuing Settlement – The manufacturer should cover all costs and fees if you achieve a settlement before trial. This compensation will often include attorney fees.
  • Contingency Fee Basis – At the end of the ordeal, clients should not have to pay for attorney’s fees. Even if you ultimately lose your case, a reputable Indiana law firm should not charge clients fees. If you win your case, the manufacturer pays the attorney’s fees.

Vehicles purchases of less than $8,000 will typically be resolved through a small claims court. If not, one of the Indiana trial courts will handle your civil complaint.

Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer In Indiana

Do you need immediate help? Then one of our experienced lawyers in Indiana can help guide you through the Lemon Law litigation process. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Indiana state lines!

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced Indiana lemon law attorney!

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