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.