Lemon Law in Oregon

In uncertain economic times, Oregon residents wishing to purchase an automobile want reliability and certainty when they make such a purchase. However, there are cases of manufacturers and dealers selling defective products, often with defects that don’t reveal themselves until after the purchase. To this end, Oregon Lemon Laws protect consumers from nefarious practices. If you have such an occurrence you may want to seek out an experienced lemon law attorney in Oregon.

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 Oregon 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 Oregon to ensure you remain within the legal confines.

The Oregon Department of Justice states that the lemon laws of the state extend to any new car that is less than 2 years old, or that has less than 24,000 miles in the odometer. However, in order to invoke lemon law protections your car must:

  • Have a warrantied part or system that is defective
  • The defect must be reported to the manufacturer or dealer
  • The manufacturer or dealer must be given opportunity to repair the vehicle
  • A vehicle must have 3 failed repair attempts or be in the shop for 30 consecutive days. The limit is 60 days for a mobile home

What Exactly Are Consumers Entitled To Under Lemon Laws?

You have a legal entitlement to a replacement vehicle or refund if Oregon 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.

Oregon Lemon Laws affirm that there is no lemon law protection for those seeking to buy a used car in Oregon. However, you may have legal avenues for restoration if the dealer did not specify that you were buying the used car “as is”, or if the dealer did not include a Buyer’s Guide with the purchase.

When Should You Hire a qualified Oregon 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 Oregon 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 Oregon lawyer. However, introducing legal counsel into the situation is the best way for consumers to receive a fair outcome. With most Oregon 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 Oregon 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 Oregon law firm should not charge clients fees. If you win your case, the manufacturer pays the attorney’s fees.

According to OSPIRG, Oregon residents can only file a claim in court after they have exhausted avenues such as informal arbitration. However if the dealer or manufacturer has not mandated arbitration in the warranty you may be able to file directly in court and skip this step. To be certain, you may need to seek the expertise of an experienced lemon lawyer in Oregon.

Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer In Oregon

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

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