The Indiana Lemon Law: Comprehensive Protection for New and Used Cars, Trucks, and Other Vehicles
Whether your car, truck, SUV, minivan, or other vehicle is “new” or “used” the Indiana Motor Vehicle Protection Act, IC 24-5-13, commonly referred to as the “Indiana Lemon Law,” provides comprehensive protection to Indiana consumers. If the manufacturer of your vehicle, through its authorized dealers, failed to repair the vehicle after being afforded a reasonable number of attempts to do so, you may qualify for either the repurchase of your vehicle, or the manufacturer may be required to replace the vehicle with a comparable vehicle. Additionally, the Indiana Lemon Law requires that if you prevail, the manufacturer will be required to pay your attorneys’ fees and costs. This provision in the law enables consumers to be able to find attorneys like those at Krohn Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center ® who are willing to represent qualifying clients under the Indiana Lemon Law whereby the law firm will not charge the consumer for their time, but rather will seek their fees and costs from the manufacturer.
To qualify for relief, you must only report a defect or non-conformity in your automobile to the manufacturer, by and through its authorized dealers, within eighteen (18) months after the date of delivery or eighteen thousand (18,000) miles driven on the vehicle, whichever occurs first. I.C. § 24-5-13-7. While the Indiana Lemon Law requires a consumer to provide a vehicle manufacturer with a total of four (4) attempts or thirty (30) days to repair a defect or non-conformity that substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of the vehicle, the repair attempts may occur throughout the lifetime of the vehicle. I.C. § 24-5-13-8. Therefore, even if you first reported your problems to the dealer at 17,999 miles or at seventeen (17) months and twenty (20) days after your purchase, you may qualify for relief under the Indiana Lemon Law.
Importantly, the Indiana Lemon Law empowers you to decide what type of relief would be best suited for you. Section 10 of the Indiana Lemon Law provides that if the manufacturer has violated the law that at the consumer’s option, the manufacturer shall accept the return of the vehicle and refund the amounts paid less an offset for the consumer’s use of the vehicle, or provide a replacement vehicle of comparable value. I.C. § 24-5-13-10. If a refund is tendered, the consumer is entitled to recover all incidental costs associated with the purchase or lease of the vehicle, including but not limited to sales tax, registration fees, dealer added options and finance interest charges.
By bringing a claim under the Indiana Lemon Law, you will be acting in accordance with the policies of the Indiana Legislature who enacted this remedial statute to provide broad protection to consumers. As noted by the court in DaimlerChrysler Corp. v. Indiana Dept. of Revenue, the Indiana Lemon Law is a remedial statute and must be “liberally construed in favor of the consumer.” The court further stated that “lemon laws are policy-driven statutes aimed at the long-standing problems resulting from the unequal playing field between consumers and manufacturers.” DaimlerChrysler Corp. v. Indiana Dept. of Revenue, (citing Church v. Chrysler Corp., 585 N.W.2d 685 (Wis. Ct. App. 1998)).
If your “new” or “used” vehicle is not reliable, contact the experienced Lemon Law attorneys at Krohn and Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center ® who have helped over 2,000 Indiana residents since first opening their Indiana Litigation department in 1999. The attorneys at Krohn and Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center ® will provide you with a FREE CASE REVIEW in order to determine whether you qualify for the Indiana Lemon Law or any other consumer protection law. You may also use their free and quick Lemon Law case evaluator. If you own a lemon, don’t just keep taking the vehicle back to the shop thinking there is nothing else you can do and don’t throw your hands up in the air and simply trade-in the vehicle. Rather, contact us toll free at 1-800-875-3666 or visit our website at http://www.yourlemonlawrights.com. We are here to help you and have the knowledge and experience to quickly assess your case and to provide you with a course of action that will seek to maximize your recovery under the law.
About the Author
Scott M. Cohen has been employed as an attorney at Krohn Moss, Ltd. since 1996. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana in 1993 and his law degree from Ohio Northern University, Pettit College of Law in 1996. While at Ohio Northern University, he was an Associate Editor of the Ohio Northern University Law Review. Mr. Cohen has successfully handled thousands of consumer actions by means of settlement, court ordered arbitration, mediation, trial, or appeal.