The Indiana Lemon Law
The Indiana lemon law protects you if you bought or leased a defective vehicle, with the option of receiving a replacement vehicle or a refund.
Does the IN Lemon Law Cover My Vehicle?
The lemon law in Indiana covers any car, SUV or light truck (any vehicle weighing less than 10,000 pounds) that you purchased or leased in Indiana. The protection period runs for 18 months from the date of purchase, or 18,000 miles, whichever comes first. The problem must have been first reported within the protection period.
The primary use must be for operation on public highways, and the vehicle must be required to be licensed or registered before use.
The defect must substantially impair your use of or the safety of the vehicle, or substantially reduce its market value.
The manufacturer must have made at least four repair attempts, and the problem still exists. Or the vehicle must have been out of service for repairs for at least 30 business days. The repair attempts can be after the protection period ends, as long as the first attempt was made during that period.
The defect cannot be due to neglect, abuse or unauthorized modifications to the vehicle.
I Have an Indiana Lemon. What's My Next Step?
If the owner's manual or warranty does not state that you're required to notify the manufacturer, then you can proceed with your claim without mailing the notification letter.
Send a letter to the manufacturer, outlining the defect(s), the repair attempts, and that the defect still exists, or that the vehicle has been out of service for at least 30 business days. Also demand a replacement or refund.
Photocopy your notes, all repair orders and work invoices, and any supporting documentation. Send them along with your letter, via certified mail, return receipt requested. Remember to photocopy your letter and keep that copy for your records.
Arbitration or Law Suit?
If the manufacturer has an informal dispute resolution procedure certified by the Indiana Attorney General, the Indiana lemon law requires that you use it before you can file a lemon law suit. Arbitration decisions are not binding on you, so you're free to file a law suit if you disagree with the decision.
If there is no procedure, or it's not certified by the Attorney General, you can file a law suit immediately after the four repair attempts or 30 business days threshold is reached.
If you choose to file a law suit, I recommend that you consult a lemon law attorney who is experienced with the Indiana lemon law. If you win your law suit, you'll be entitled to recover all your costs, plus your attorney's fees. You must file suit within two years of first reporting the problem to your dealer.
Refund or Replacement?
If you choose a replacement, the manufacturer must reimburse you for any sales taxes and transfer of registration fees incurred by you due to the replacement. If you financed the lemon vehicle with the manufacturer, any refinancing agreement cannot impose less favorable terms than the original financing contract had.
If you prefer a refund, you'll receive the total contract price plus trade-in allowances or credits. You'll also receive all sales taxes, the unused portion of registration fees and excise taxes prepaid for the current or future years, all financing charges paid for previous months of ownership, plus the cost of any dealer-installed options.
The manufacturer is entitled to deduct a reasonable use fee based on the price of the vehicle and the number of miles you drove the lemon.
If you leased the vehicle, you will receive the deposit you made, plus all lease payments you made, along with all trade-in allowances or credits. The manufacturer will deduct the reasonable use fee based on the total lease obligation of you, the lessee, and the number of miles you drove the lemon vehicle.
The lessor will receive a refund for the full purchase price, any insurance premiums, sales tax (if paid by the lessor), plus five percent (5%) of the purchase cost, less all lease payments made by the lessee and any trade-in allowances.
Replacement or refund also receives reimbursement of towing and rental vehicle costs directly due to the defect or its repair.
Indiana Lemon Law Summary
The lemon law in Indiana covers new vehicles purchased or leased in the state that must be registered or licensed before they can be used on public highways. Once you reach the four repair attempts/30 business days out of service threshold, contact the manufacturer to begin the replacement/refund process.
NOTE:The information here is not legal advice and is only presented to you so you can know your options if you purchased a lemon. As with any legal issue, you should seek the advice of a qualified attorney.
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