How to File a Lemon Law Claim in Indiana
If you have recently purchased a new vehicle in Indiana and it turns out to be a lemon, you may be entitled to a refund or a replacement vehicle under Indiana’s Lemon Law. The Lemon Law is designed to protect consumers who unknowingly purchase defective vehicles. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to file a Lemon Law claim in Indiana.
1. Understand the Lemon Law: Familiarize yourself with Indiana’s Lemon Law statute (IC 24-5-13) to understand your rights as a consumer. The law applies to new vehicles that have substantial defects and cannot be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts.
2. Gather evidence: Document all the issues and defects you are experiencing with your vehicle. Keep records of repair attempts, including dates, the number of times the vehicle has been repaired, and any repair invoices or receipts.
3. Review the manufacturer’s warranty: Understand the terms of your vehicle’s manufacturer warranty. It will outline the specific requirements for filing a Lemon Law claim, including the number of repair attempts needed before qualifying for relief.
4. Contact the manufacturer: Before filing a Lemon Law claim, reach out to the manufacturer or its authorized dealer to inform them of the defects and request a resolution. Make sure to follow their recommended procedures for repairs.
5. Consult an attorney: If the manufacturer fails to resolve the issue or denies your claim, it may be time to seek legal assistance. Consult with an experienced Lemon Law attorney who can guide you through the process and protect your rights.
6. File a complaint with the Indiana Attorney General: Submit a written complaint to the Indiana Attorney General’s office detailing the defects, repair attempts, and communication with the manufacturer. Include copies of all relevant documentation.
7. Initiate arbitration: Indiana requires consumers to participate in arbitration before pursuing a lawsuit. The manufacturer may request arbitration, or you can initiate it yourself through the Indiana Attorney General’s office or a private arbitration program approved by the state.
8. Attend the arbitration hearing: Present your case and provide all supporting evidence at the arbitration hearing. The arbitrator will evaluate the evidence and make a decision regarding your claim.
9. Seek legal action if necessary: If the arbitration decision is unsatisfactory or the manufacturer refuses to comply, you may need to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer. Your attorney will guide you through this process.
1. What vehicles are covered under Indiana’s Lemon Law?
Indiana’s Lemon Law covers new vehicles, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, and vans that are purchased or leased in Indiana.
2. How many repair attempts are required before filing a Lemon Law claim?
The vehicle must have undergone four or more repair attempts for the same defect, or it must have been out of service for a cumulative total of 30 days or more within the first 18 months or 18,000 miles.
3. Can I file a Lemon Law claim if the defect is not safety-related?
Yes, the Lemon Law covers all substantial defects, regardless of whether they pose a safety risk or not.
4. How long do I have to file a Lemon Law claim in Indiana?
You must file the claim within 18 months after the vehicle’s original delivery date or before the expiration of the manufacturer’s warranty, whichever comes first.
5. Can I file a Lemon Law claim for a used vehicle?
No, Indiana’s Lemon Law only applies to new vehicles.
6. How long does the arbitration process take?
The arbitration process typically takes around 40 days from the date of filing the claim.
7. What can I expect if my claim goes to court?
If your claim goes to court, the judge will review the evidence and make a decision on whether you are entitled to a refund or replacement vehicle.
8. Can I be reimbursed for attorney fees?
If you win your Lemon Law claim, the manufacturer may be required to reimburse you for reasonable attorney fees.
9. Can I still file a claim even if the manufacturer repaired my vehicle?
Yes, if the defects persist after repair attempts, you may still be eligible to file a Lemon Law claim.
Remember, filing a Lemon Law claim can be a complex process, and it is crucial to consult with an attorney who specializes in Lemon Law cases to ensure you have the best chance of success.