IN Lemon Law Statutes

Indiana Lemon Law Qualifications

The following is a brief explanation of most relevant provisions of the Indiana lemon law. The complete text of the lemon law can be found at Indiana Code Sec. 24 - 5 - 13.

Vehicles Covered

The lemon law covers any self propelled vehicle that:

  • Has a declared gross vehicle weight of less than 10,000 pounds;
  • Is sold to a consumer in Indiana and is registered in Indiana, or to a consumer in Indiana who is not an Indiana resident;
  • Is intended primarily for use and operation on public highways; and
  • Is required to be registered or licensed before use or operation.

The lemon law appears to cover used vehicles, but does not cover conversion vans; motor homes; farm tractors and other machines used in the actual production, harvesting, and care of farm products; road building equipment; truck tractors; road tractors; motor cycles; mopeds; snowmobiles; or vehicles designed primarily for off road use.

Problems Covered

The lemon law covers any "nonconformity", which is defined as any specific or generic defect or condition or any concurrent combination of defects or conditions that:

  • Substantially impairs the use, market value, or safety of a motor vehicle; or
  • Renders the motor vehicle nonconforming to the warranty.

It is an affirmative defense to any claim under the lemon law that:

  • The nonconformity, defect, or condition does not substantially impair the use, value, or safety of the motor vehicle; or
  • The nonconformity, defect, or condition is the result of abus e, neglect, or unauthorized modification or alteration of the motor vehicle by the buyer.

Manufacturer's Duty To Repair

If a motor vehicle has a nonconformity and the consumer reports the nonconformity to the manufacturer, its agent, or authorized dealer within the "term of protection" (defined as the earlier of 18 months or 18,000 miles after the vehicle's original delivery to a consumer), the nonconformity must be corrected, even if the repairs are made after the expiration of the term of protection.

Manufacturer's Duty To Repurchase Or Replace A Vehicle

If the manufacturer, its agent, or authorized dealer is unable to correct a nonconformity after a reasonable number of attempts , the manufacturer must, at the consumer's option, either replace or repurchase the motor vehicle.

Reasonable Number Of Repair Attempts

The Indiana lemon law provides that a manufacturer has had a reasonable number of repair attempts if:

  • The nonconformity has been subject to repair at least four times by the manufacturer, its agents or authorized dealers, but the nonconformity continues to exist; or
  • The vehicle is out of service by reason of repair of any nonconformity for a cumulative total of at least thirty business days and the nonconformity continues to exist.

The period of t hirty business days is extended by any period of time during which repair services are not available as a direct result of a strike, although the burden is on the manufacturer to show that the strike was the direct cause for the failure to cure any nonconformity during that time. The manufacturer, its agent or authorized dealer must provide or make provisions for the free use of a vehicle to any consumer whose vehicle is out of service by reason of repair during a strike.

Indiana Arbitration Requirements

The lemon law does not apply to any consumer who has not first resorted to an informal dispute settlement procedure established by the manufacturer or in which the manufacturer participates, if:

  • The procedure is certified by the Attorney General as complying with 16 C.F.R. Part 703 and any other rules concerning certification adopted by the Attorney General (including the requirement of oral hearings); and
  • The consumer has received adequate written notice from the manufacturer of the existence of the procedure, including incorporation of the procedure into the terms of the written warranty.
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