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Navigating Indiana’s Lemon Laws: Your Consumer Rights Explained

Lemon Laws in Indiana: Understanding Your Rights as a Consumer

Have you ever purchased a new car and found yourself dealing with recurring major issues almost immediately after driving it off the lot? Or maybe you recently bought a used vehicle that turned out to be a complete lemon.

If so, Indiana’s Lemon Laws may offer you protection as a consumer. Before we dive into the eligibility requirements for a lemon claim, it’s important to note that Lemon Laws differ from state to state.

In Indiana, the law applies to most motor vehicles, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, and vans, as well as conversion vans and farm machines with a gross weight of less than 10,000 pounds. The law also covers express warranties, which are made by the vehicle’s manufacturer, dealer, or seller.

Eligibility for a Lemon Claim

To be eligible for a lemon claim in Indiana, your vehicle must have a major fault that substantially impairs its value, safety, or use. According to the law, a major fault is defined as a nonconformity or defect that occurs within eighteen months from delivery to the original owner, or the first eighteen thousand miles of operation, whichever comes first.

Under Indiana law, if your vehicle meets the criteria above, you may be entitled to reimbursement, refund, or replacement from the vehicle manufacturer. It’s worth noting that before filing a claim, you must first allow the manufacturer the opportunity to repair the issue.

The law states that the manufacturer must make at least four attempts to fix the problem or the vehicle must be out of service for at least thirty days during or after the original warranty period.

Lemon Eligibility in Indiana

As previously mentioned, the law applies to most motor vehicles, but there are some exceptions. If your vehicle weighs more than 10,000 pounds or is used primarily for commercial purposes, you may not be eligible for a lemon claim in Indiana.

Additionally, conversion vans and farm machines weighing less than 10,000 pounds are considered motor vehicles under the law, but only if they are primarily used for personal or family purposes.

Indiana Lemon Law on Used Vehicles

Indiana’s Lemon Law also covers used vehicles, but the process differs slightly from that of new vehicles. To qualify for a lemon claim on a used vehicle, the defect must occur within eighteen months of the date of delivery to the original owner or within eighteen thousand miles, whichever comes first.

However, the law specifies that the purchase must have been made from a dealer and not a private seller. Furthermore, for a used vehicle to be eligible for repurchase or replacement, the defect must substantially impair the vehicle’s value, safety, or use, and the issue must not have been caused by abuse, neglect, or an accident.

A used vehicle must also undergo a specified number of repair attempts before a claim can be filed, and there is a time limit for filing a claim with the dealer or manufacturer. If the manufacturer fails to provide relief within fifteen days of receiving the written notice, you may need to initiate arbitration or file a lawsuit in civil court.

Manufacturer Obligations

The vehicle’s manufacturer has specific obligations under Indiana’s Lemon Law. When you file a claim, the manufacturer must make reparations or offer a settlement within fifteen days of receiving written notice of the defect from the vehicle owner.

The manufacturer must also provide instructions for the arbitration process when offering a settlement. The law also specifies that if the defect is not fixed within four repair attempts, or if the vehicle is out of service for thirty days or more, you are entitled to a refund or replacement vehicle.

The refund must include the full purchase price of the vehicle, along with any additional charges and fees, and the vehicle must be returned in the same condition in which you received it. If you opt for a replacement vehicle, it must be an identical make and model or a comparable vehicle chosen by the manufacturer.

Final Thoughts

As a consumer, you have rights under Indiana’s Lemon Laws. The law is in place to protect you from the financial burden of buying a defective vehicle.

It’s essential to understand the eligibility requirements and manufacturer obligations, so you are not taken advantage of when purchasing a new or used vehicle. If you suspect your vehicle may be a lemon, act quickly and be sure to follow proper protocol when filing a claim.


In conclusion, Indiana’s Lemon Laws provide important protection for consumers who purchase new or used vehicles with major defects. The law applies to most motor vehicles and specifies eligibility requirements, manufacturer obligations, and possible relief for the consumer.

It’s crucial to understand your rights as a consumer, follow proper protocol, and act quickly if you suspect your vehicle may be a lemon. By being informed about Indiana’s Lemon Laws, you can make an informed purchase and ensure that you are not taken advantage of when buying a vehicle.

Always remember to read up on the specifics of Indiana’s Lemon Laws before purchasing a vehicle, and ensure that you know your rights when dealing with defective products.

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