Revisiting Oregon’s Lemon Law

Posted by Sergei Lemberg, Esq. on October 12th, 2009

Oregon’s Register-Guard recently published a story reiterating Oregon’s lemon law, and underlining the importance of understanding the requirements of your state’s lemon law when pursuing a claim.

According to Oregon’s law, a vehicle must have been purchased in that state until January 1, 2008, after which time a vehicle could have been purchased in another state. The car must have been purchased for personal or family use. In order to qualify as a lemon, the defect has to occur within one year or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first, and four repair attempts must have been performed. You must also notify the manufacturer in writing for a final repair attempt. The state requires arbitration, if the manufacturer participates in a third-party program, after which time you’re eligible to sue.

The article doesn’t mention that Oregon has one of the most restrictive lemon laws in the country. Other states have more consumer-friendly lemon laws, and many are in the process of further liberalizing their laws. It’s also important to remember that, even if your vehicle doesn’t strictly fall within your state’s definition of a lemon, a lemon law attorney can often convince a manufacturer to cough up a cash settlement or a buyback.

Oregon Expands Lemon Law

Posted by Sergei Lemberg, Esq. on July 30th, 2009

At the end of June, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski signed SB 515 into law, thus expanding Lemon Law protections for the state’s citizens. Senator Suzanne Bonamici (D), who sponsored the bill, said, “Twenty-two states have lemon laws that cover consumers for a longer period of time than Oregon. This bill should improve consumer confidence when it comes to making an investment in a new car.”

The new law reduces the “reasonable number of attempts” to repair a defective vehicle from four to three, and no longer requires multiple repair attempts for a life-threatening defect. The law also includes a provision that requires the state’s Department of Transportation to label a vehicle’s title a “Lemon Law Buyback,” when that is the case.

According to Senate Majority Leader Richard Devlin, “People don’t have time to be constantly taking their car into the shop for the same problem. If they purchase a car, they do so with the expectation that the vehicle is dependable and safe. They shouldn’t have to jump through hoops if the car turns out to have serious defects.”