Indiana Lemon Laws Details
Folks from around Indiana like to refer to themselves as Hoosiers. It is a matter of state pride. They are also proud of the fact that when it comes to taking care of their own, the Hoosiers rise to the occasion. The Indiana state legislature has put together a law officially titled the Motor Vehicle Protection Act. Its official assignment on the law books is IC24-5-13. Of course you could just refer to this as Indiana’s Lemon Law.
Following along the templates provided by other state lemon laws, the Indiana version was set up to make sure a car owner is never stuck with a vehicle that do what it’s supposed to do which is basically get you from point “A” to point “B.” To pull the trigger on the lemon law, you first need to make sure your vehicle qualifies.
Indiana Lemon Law Qualifications
To be a lemon car in Indiana means that it first and foremost has to have been bought from an Indiana dealer. It also has to be a car or light truck that was purchased within the last 18 months and only has less than 18,000 miles on the odometer.
If a problem crops up in that time frame, you will need to take your auto to an authorized dealer and give them a chance to fix the matter. In fact, those authorized dealers will have at least four attempts at fixing your car before you can truly have it considered a lemon. If the car is out of service because of this one problem for at least 30 days then it could also qualify.
Every time you got to the dealer for a fix, you should get a written repair order to document your car’s history. If you neglected to get that first time around, you might find that all your files are on the dealership’s computer and you could request a copy from them.
You will also need to check your own warranty agreement to find out what requirements there are in terms of notifying the original car maker. Typically they will require written notice (not email) and copes of all those repair reports.
Indiana Lemon Law Remedies
The office of the Indiana Attorney General has the power to certify informal dispute procedures. These are referred to as arbitration boards or panels. Your car maker might already have one of these boards set up to handle your lemon issue. If they do, you will have to follow the procedures set forth by them for an informal hearing. There you will be able to present your case.
Once a ruling has been issued in your favor, the car maker has 30 days to either take back your car or give you a full refund. The choice would be yours.
On the other hand, if the car maker does not comply or disputes the ruling you can take them to civil court but you have two years to file the suit. If you prevail there you are entitled to collect all your lawyer fees.
When a manufacturer takes back a lemon car, they need to generate a new title that has a stamp declaring: “Manufacturer Buyback-Disclosure On File.” This “brand” will be part of the record of the car from that moment forward.