OH Lemon Law Statutes

Ohio Lemon Law Qualifications

The Ohio lemon law covers a passenger car, a noncommercial motor vehicle, or those parts of any motor home that are not part of the permanently installed facilities used for cold storage, cooking, eating and sleeping.

A " passenger car" is any motor vehicle that is designed and used for carrying not more than nine persons and includes any motor vehicle that is designed and used for carrying not more than fifteen persons in a ride sharing arrangement. Guidance from the Attorney General's Office indicates that a pick - up truck used exclusively for business purposes is not covered by the lemon law.

A " noncommercial motor vehicle" is any motor vehicle, including a farm truck, that is designed by the manufacturer to carry a load of no more than one ton and is used exclusively fo r purposes other than engaging in business for profit.

Consumers Covered

The lemon law covers the following "consumers":

  • The purchaser, other than for purposes of resale, of a motor vehicle;
  • Any lessee of a motor vehicle for 30 days or more while title remains in the name of a person other than the user;
  • Any person to whom the vehicle is transferred during the duration of the manufacturer's written vehicle warranty; and
  • Any other person entitled by the terms of the warranty to enforce the warranty.

The lemon law appears to cover a subsequent transferee if the vehicle is acquired during the warranty period.

Problems Covered

The lemon law covers any "nonconformity", which it defines as a defect or condition that:

  • Substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of a motor vehicle to the consumer; and
  • Does not conform to the express written warranty of the manufacturer or distributor.

The lemon law provides the manufacturer an affirmative defense if the manufacturer can show that the nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modification or alteration of the passenger motor vehicle by anyone other than the manufacturer, its agent or authorized dealer.

Reasonable Number Of Repair Attempts

The lemon law establishes a presumption for deter mining whether the manufacturer had a reasonable number of attempts to repair . Case law 1 interprets the lemon law's presumption as establishing a definition that a reasonable number of repair attempts has been made if, during the period of one year following the date of original delivery or during the first 18,000 miles of operation, whichever is earlier, any of the following occurs:

  • Substantially the same nonconformity has been subject to repair three or more times and either continues to exist or recurs ;
  • The vehicle is out of service by reason of repair for a cumulative total of thirty or more calendar days;
  • There have been eight or more attempts to repair any nonconformity; or
  • There has been at least one attempt to repair a nonconformity that results in a condition that is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury if the vehicle is driven, and the nonconformity either continues to exist or recurs.

Ohio Arbitration Requirements

The lemon law provisions authorizing a civil action under the lemon law do not apply to a consumer who has not first used an informal dispute settlement mechanism if:

  • The mechanism qualifies under rules promulgated by the Attorney General; and
  • The consumer receives timely notification, in writing, of the availability of the mechanism, along with a description of its operation and effect.

If a qualified mechanism does not exist, if the consumer is dissatisfied with the decision produced by a qualified mechanism, or if the manufacturer, its agent or authorized dealer fails to promptly fulfill the decision, the consumer may bring a civil action in court.

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