Oklahoma Joins New Jersey in Better Lemon Law Protection for Consumers

Starting this month, Oklahoma consumers will have better, clearer options if they find themselves owning a lemon under Senate Bill 812. The new law can be credited to the efforts of Angie Vera, who discovered the complexities and frustrations of the Oklahoma Lemon Law first hand.

The new lemon law specifies a formula that must be used in the calculation of “reasonable usage” fees that are charges that car manufactures can charge the consumer when trying to return a lemon. Prior to the new changes, these fees were arbitrarily left to the manufacturer’s decision.

Like in Massachusetts, Oklahoma cars returned under the lemon law must be specifically labeled as a “Lemon Law Buyback” before the vehicle can be resold, leased, or transferred. Furthermore, the manufacturer must offer the new purchaser of any lemon the same warranty as the original purchaser had, with a 12,000 mile or 12 month limit (whichever comes first). Or, the manufacturer can provide the consumer with a statement explaining why the car was returned. Finally, the new lemon law takes a strong position on any vehicle returned for braking or steering system failures by prohibiting the resale of any vehicle returned for these issues.

These changes echo lemon law improvements in other states. Last month, New Jersey lemon law changes expanded protection for consumers who encounter problems with their new vehicle from 18,000 miles to 24,000 miles. Under the old law, a consumer had to suffer through 3 repair attempts. Now, any unresolved defect that could cause serious injury or death qualifies a car as a lemon after a single attempt.

“Oklahoma has taken important steps to protect the safety and financial stability of their consumers. Manufactures need to get on board with ensuring the safety of their customers if they want to earn their trust and get repeat business”, said leading lemon law attorney David J. Gorberg. “Oklahoma and New Jersey have set great examples of improving lemon law protection and awareness of lemon law rights. We have a lot to thank Angie Vera and other consumers who continue to raise awareness about lemon law protection – especially where safety is concerned.”

Many states fall behind Oklahoma and New Jersey. Pennsylvania lemon law only protects consumers up to 12,000 miles or one year and requires 3 repair attempts before the consumer is entitled to a new car or full refund. These repairs must be performed by an authorized dealer, otherwise the consumer is not protected under the lemon law.

“Lemon laws vary greatly from state to state,” warns Gorberg. “Always contact a qualified lemon law attorney who knows the laws in in your state and how to help you get the best settlement.”

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