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Understanding Oklahoma Lemon Law
Oklahoma’s lemon law covers any vehicle required to be registered in the state.
The lemon law does not cover vehicles above 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight or the living facility portions of motorhomes.
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The Oklahoma lemon law covers consumers who purchase or lease vehicles, and anyone to whom the vehicle is transferred during the applicable warranty period. The lemon law further covers any other person entitled by the terms of the warranty to enforce its obligations.
Oklahoma’s lemon law covers any “nonconformity” of the vehicle. The law defines a nonconformity as any defect or condition that substantially impairs the use and value of the motor vehicle to the consumer. The law does not, however, cover a nonconformity that doesn’t substantially impair the vehicle’s use or value. For example, a problem with the radio or a slight rattle would not be covered. A faulty starter or failure of the steering system would be covered.
A manufacturer does not have to repair any nonconformity caused by abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modifications or alterations by the consumer.
The manufacturer must repair any nonconformity if the consumer reports it within the period of the written warranty, or within the “eligibility period.” The law defines the eligibility period as one year following the date of the vehicle’s original delivery to the consumer.
Oklahoma’s lemon law compels manufacturers to replace or repurchase a nonconforming vehicle if they are unable to repair it after a reasonable number of attempts. The law defines “reasonable number of attempts” as four or more repair attempts for the same condition without success. After this, if the nonconformity remains, or if the vehicle is out of service for more than 30 working days, the manufacturer must repurchase or replace the vehicle.
The Oklahoma lemon law requires manufacturers, when repurchasing a nonconforming vehicle, to repay the full purchase price. They must also pay all taxes, license, registration fees and similar governmental fees. The manufacturer may withhold a reasonable allowance for use. That allowance is calculated from the miles driven by the consumer beyond 15,000 miles.
The lemon law requires manufacturers replacing a nonconforming vehicle to provide a vehicle of a new model acceptable to the consumer. If the manufacturer and consumer can’t agree on a comparable vehicle, the manufacturer must instead repurchase the vehicle.
If the manufacturer has established or participates in an “informal dispute settlement procedure,” i.e. arbitration, the consumer must resort to it first before pursuing a claim in civil court. The Oklahoma lemon law says consumers who do not are ineligible for the law’s provisions regarding repurchase or replacement.
For more information on arbitration and other frequently asked lemon law questions, click here
The manufacturer must abide by the decision of the arbitrator, while the consumer does not. If dissatisfied with the outcome, a consumer can bring action in the civil court system. By filing a claim under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, Oklahoma consumers can hire lawyers who will represent them without the vehicle owner having to pay any attorneys’ fees directly out of their pocket. The Act provides that the vehicle manufacturer shall pay the claimants’ reasonable attorneys’ fees if the claimant prevails against the manufacturer. Lemonlawusa.org encourages vehicle owners with a lemon to hire a lemon law attorney. You can bet the car manufacturers have legal counsel at the ready to help defend against lemon law claims both in arbitration and in court. Shouldn’t you have competent legal counsel in your corner?
Ross said if you win in court against your vehicle’s manufacturer or settle with them outside of court, you can use the money you’re awarded however you choose.
If you financed your vehicle and are still making payments on it, you must continue making those periodic payments throughout your lemon law claim’s duration. Missing these regular payments can negatively affect your lemon law claim. However, once your claim resolves, you can use awarded funds to pay off whatever remains from your previous loan. Freed from this debt, you can seek a new vehicle – hopefully one without repeated, unfixable problems.
If you’ve already paid your vehicle off by the time your lemon law claim ends or if you bought it outright, you can use your awarded funds as a down payment on a new vehicle. Alternatively, you could use the money to purchase outright a less expensive vehicle.
The Oklahoma lemon law states the defect must be detected within one year of the vehicle’s original delivery date to a consumer or during the term of its express warranty, whichever ends soonest. Since most used vehicles are resold long after either of these milestones, almost all used cars fall outside the Oklahoma lemon law’s protection. Our lemon law lawyers can help you determine whether you have a valid claim.
Whether you win in court or settle outside of it, the money you earn is yours to use however you like. However, statutes of limitation can prevent you from getting the compensation you deserve. Don’t wait, contact the offices of Allen Stewart P.C. today.
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