America is all about speed. Our fast lives and faster cars are a manifestation of our culture. Well, cars have been an important part of this great nation. It is the best way to explore the world-famous cities of America. When it comes to the Beaver State, roads are definitely the most accessible option. Cruising on I-5, you can travel to the state of California. Several State Highways also allow efficient road travel within Oregon.
Many Oregonians have spent their life-savings to get their prefect cars. But, this dream shatters when your car is more in the garage than on the road. Your car dream is brutally mortified when you discover that your car is a lemon.
You can re-live your dream with the help of Oregon Lemon Law which was passed in 1983.This law gives you the right to get a new vehicle or a refund of your car. It has become stronger after the 2009 amendment.
Before you go to the dealer and ask for a refund/replacement, let’s understand the State Lemon Law in detail.
In order to claim under “Lemon Law”, you must fulfill the following four requirements:
1) Your car must be purchased on or after January 1, 1984. Initially the law covered only those vehicles which were purchased in Oregon. However, things have changed now.
2) It doesn’t matter if you are the original owner or a subsequent one, it is important that you purchased the car during express warranty period.
3) Your car must be a “lemon”. The Oregon Lemon Law considers it lemon if your car fulfills any of the below mentioned criteria –
i) The manufacturer, its agents, its authorized dealers were unable to repair the same defect even after three attempts.
ii) The car is being repaired for more than 30 days.
iii) There is a serious non-conformity which can cause death or grave injuries to the passengers.
You must understand that the law will not cover any problem if it’s related to abuse or neglect of the car. You won’t be covered under the law if you carried out some unauthorized alterations.
It is also essential that you notify the problem to the manufacturer within two years or 24,000 miles of purchase (whichever comes first). Before the 2009 amendment, the limit was one year and 12,000 miles.
4) You are obligated to participate in a third-party arbitration program if the manufacturer notifies you about it. The court can award you thrice the amount of damages (not to exceed $ 50,000). This is possible only when the court agrees that the manufacturer acted in bad faith during the arbitration.
If you meet the criteria, you will get a replacement or refund. It will be decided by the manufacturer. The refund will cover the full purchase price including collateral charges such as taxes, registration fees, loan charges, pre-payment penalties and cost of few dealer-installed products. However, he will deduct reasonable allowance for using the car.
How Can You Prove Your Case?
You must have a strong case to fight against the legal team of the manufacturer. Here are few tips to help you with it.
In order to have a fool-proof case, you need to have copies of the following:
i) Repair Invoices and Routine Maintenance Invoices
ii) Purchase Contract
iv) Registration Document
Words Stay For Ever
It is essential that you maintain a logbook. Write down every single detail in it. Along with the repair and maintenance orders, keep a record of letters that you send to the manufacturer or dealer.
Mention every communication with accurate date, time, name and phone number of the person you spoke with.
Note every date and time when the car gave you problem. Also, write the dates when your car wasn’t in a working condition or was in the repair shop. Don’t forget to write the “mileage in” and “mileage out” when you send the car for repair.
The logbook will ensure that you remember everything and will be useful in proving your point to the manufacturer.
Precaution in the Beginning Means a Happy Ending
For New Cars
The State has enacted a strong law to protect your rights but a court case is often time-consuming. So, make sure you don’t buy a lemon.
Whenever you set out to buy a new car, do a thorough research. Read articles on web. Car experts give reviews on all car models. By researching, you will know the pros and cons of the car.
You must also check the auto recall lists. If the vehicle model was recalled for a defect, there is no point in buying it.
For Used Cars
The Oldest Trick in the Book
Odometer tampering continues to be a major problem. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website mentions that more than 4, 50,000 vehicles are sold each year with odometer rollbacks. It also stated that the false readings cost more than $1 billion dollars annually.
You can avoid the fraud by checking the vehicle’s history. It will give you information about accidents, theft, previous owners, etc.
You must know that a car tire can run approx for 60,000 miles. So if the odometer reads 18,000 miles but the tires seem old and worn out, it’s time to say good bye to that car. Also check the engine and car interiors. Service reminder stickers, warranty cards, etc. will give you an idea about the actual readings.
What Does The Title Say?
According to the 2009 amendment (SB 515), the DMV now requires the manufacturer to add “Lemon Law Buyback” to the title and vehicle record when he repurchases the car. This means you will know if the dealer is trying to sell a lemon.
Avoid Flood-Damaged Cars
Inspect the vehicle for flood damage. Check for dirt and rust in the trunk. Also, a flooded vehicle mostly has moisture in headlight and tail light assembly.
In an “as is” agreement, the dealer doesn’t provide any warranty. All that you have is the manufacturer warranty, only if it hasn’t expired. Buying an “as is” car means the dealer won’t take responsibility if it ceases to work. Avoid such cars.
So, this is how you can save yourself from a lemon. If you have made a mistake of buying a lemon, take help of the Oregon State Lemon Law. If you are going to buy a car, make sure you stay away from the “sour” experience.
Be alert to truly enjoy the “sweetness” of driving your dream car!