Q: Can Ohio’s Lemon Law help me if my ATV is a lemon?
A: Yes. The law can require the manufacturer to replace or buy back an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) that you purchased or leased if it:
- had a defect that substantially impaired its use, value or safety; and
- was not, or could not be, properly repaired or repaired in a timely manner.
The law does not, however, cover parts added to your ATV by a dealer.
Q: Does the Lemon Law cover my used ATV?
A: Generally, no. It will only be covered if you bought the ATV within the first year or 18,000 miles of operation and you reported the problems within the first year or 18,000 miles of operation.
Q: My ATV does not have an odometer for mileage. Does the Lemon Law still cover my ATV?
A: Yes. Not all ATVs come with an odometer. If your ATV does not have an odometer, then the lemon law will apply, but only during the first year. For an ATV with an odometer, the lemon law applies during the first year or the first 12,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Q: How do I know if my ATV is a lemon?
A: All new ATVs come with warranties from the manufacturer. If you have problems, you should go back to your dealer or another authorized repair shop to have the problem diagnosed and fixed. If the problem is not corrected after a reasonable number of attempts or days out of service, then your ATV may qualify for Ohio Lemon Law remedies. You may be able to get a new ATV or your money back.
Q: How many repair attempts must be made before my ATV is considered a lemon?
A: Your ATV will be considered a lemon if:
1) substantially the same problem has been subject to repair three or more times and still exists or recurs;
2) the ATV has been out of service for a total of 30 or more calendar days for repairs;
3) eight or more attempts have been made to repair any substantial defect or condition that does not comply with the warranty; or
4) at least one repair attempt has been made for a safety-related problem and the problem either continues to exist or recurs.
Q: I think I have a lemon ATV. What should I do?
A: While it is not required, it may be helpful for you to contact the manufacturer directly if your dealer has been unable to correct the problem within a reasonable amount of time or reasonable number of attempts. Consider asking the manufacturer to replace your ATV or buy it back. If you’re unable to reach an acceptable agreement with the manufacturer, you may want to ask that your dispute be arbitrated, if arbitration is available.
An ATV manufacturer cannot require you to go through any arbitration process under the Ohio Lemon Law unless the process has been “state-certified.” No ATV manufacturer uses a state-certified arbitration board at this time. Always check with the Ohio Attorney General’s office for current information. If the ATV manufacturer (e.g., Arctic Cat, Bombardier, Honda, Kawasaki, Polaris, Suzuki, Yamaha, Yamaha, etc.) has not received state certification for an arbitration board, you may want to seek help from a lawyer.
Q: How can I find out more about the Ohio Lemon Law and other consumer-related issues?
A: For more information, or to file a consumer complaint, write to the Ohio Attorney General, Consumer Protection Office, 30 E. Broad St., 14th floor, Columbus, OH 43215-3428. Or you can call the toll free helpline at the Consumer Protection Office, 1-800-282-0515. For online information or to file a complaint, visit: www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov.
This “Law You Can Use” column was provided by the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA). It was prepared by attorney Ronald L. Burdge of the Burdge Law Office Co, LPA in Dayton. The column offers general information about the law. Seek an attorney’s advice before applying this information to a legal problem. For more information on a variety of legal topics, visit the OSBA’s website at www.ohiobar.org.