Oregon Lemon Laws

Lemon Law in Oregon

The lemon law was passed by the 1983 Legislature. This law allows citizens who purchased lemon products, usually motor vehicles, the right to have their purchase refunded or repurchased if only used on a reasonable basis. Motor vehicles may only be declared lemons if the proper paperwork is in order. Thus when a vehicle is “fixed,” the proper paper needs to show proof of which portion of the vehicle had attempted repair.

First, and foremost, in order for a motor vehicle to be deemed a lemon, the motor vehicle must be under warranty. All the attempted repairs must also be while the vehicle is under warrant. However the vehicle may not be under warranty still while finishing the lemon process.

First Requirement

Oregon has four requirements to be met prior to having a motor vehicle declared a lemon. Individuals must meet all requirements. The first requirement states that the motor vehicle must have been purchased after the first of January in 1984. This law was altered in 2008 and vehicles no longer must be purchased in the state of Oregon to be declared Oregon lemons. A 1989 amendment also include motorcycles as possible lemons.

Second and Third Requirement

The second requirement states that the consumer must have purchased the motor vehicle for family, personal, or household reasons while still under warranty. The consumer does not need to be the original owner. The third requirement states that the motor vehicle must be a true lemon.

Oregon law, as of 2009, states that a motor vehicle qualifies as a lemon if the dealer, manufacturer, or agent cannot repair a reoccurring defect. This must happen three or more times or the vehicle must be out of use for thirty days. These thirty days are not required to be in a row and can be added up over several months. Lemons must also be defects that will impede the safety of the driver or passengers, or will cause death if not repaired after two tries. The consumer must notify the manufacturer within two years or twenty-four thousand miles since purchase for the defect to receive repair.

Final Requirement

The fourth and last requirement is that the manufacturer be a participant in a third party arbitration program and the consumer is notified of the lemon process. When the manufacturer participates in the program, it will be required to replace or refund the lemon motor vehicle. Arbitration must be settled. If no settlement is possible then the court has the option of awarding a payable about for damages, but cannot exceed fifty thousand dollars.

When all requirements are met, a consumer is eligible to have his or her vehicle refunded for the purchasing price or replaced. If there are other damages to the vehicle, the manufacturer is not required to pay for those separate defects. Collateral charges are also included in lemon refunds. These include license and registration, taxes, finance charges, certain dealer-installed products, repayment penalties, or after-market products.

If cosmetic additions have been added to the motor vehicle, such as paint, stereos, or spoilers, the manufacturer is not required to make those replacements.

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