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Is the frame covered under the Ohio Lemon law.

Westerville, OH |

I just bought a used car from a dealer about two months ago. I have recently found out that the frame is rusted all the way through right where the engine mounts to it. My entire front end is all over the road and part of the frame is actually dragging the ground. It can no longer be driven in a safe manner. Should this be covered under the Ohio Lemon Law.

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Attorney answers 3


Lemon Law almost always requires a warranty and a breach of that warranty. For you, finding a warranty, express, written or implied, will likely be the key, unless there was a direct misrepresentation as to the condition of the vehicle. Some states also have minimum standards for a roadworthy vehicle.

Consult with a consumer protection attorney in your area.

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Probably not, but that does not mean you are stuck since there is a federal lemon law and other state laws that may give you the legal ability to do what you want and selling an unsafe car is generally illegal for a car dealer in Ohio to do. The Ohio Lemon Law covers vehicles that are sold new. It also covers used cars if the vehicle was bought within the first year or 18,000 miles of its original sale date. Since your vehicle had 8,000 miles on it when you got it, it was technically "used" even if it had not already been sold before. If the Ohio Lemon Law does cover your purchase, you then have to fit one of the 4 Ohio definitions of a lemon: (1) 3 failed attempts tor epair the same defect, or (2) more than 30 days out of service, or (3) more than 8 repair attempts, or (4) one failed attempt to fix a "deadly" defect. If you fit one of those, and it sounds like you might, then you may have a state lemon law claim if you met any one of the presumptions within the first year or 18,000 miles of the vehicle's original sale date. If not, other warranty laws may still help you when you buy a used car. The federal lemon law, called the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act, requires the warrantor to repair any warranty-covered defect within a reasonable number of repair attempts and within a reasonable amount of time. The problem is, what you think is reasonable may not be what the dealer thinks is reasonable. This one is arguable but it sounds like it might cover you too. Ohio has an old warranty law too, called the Ohio Commercial Code. Every state has one of these and they each are a little different and many, like Ohio, require the same sort of proof that the federal lemon law does (but the federal law gives you the ability to recover your attorney fees on top of your damages). Then Ohio has several other consumer protection laws that apply to car sales, new and used. They all come out of one fundamental law, called the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act, which makes it illegal for any merchant to do anything that is unfair or deceptive or unconscionable in dealing with a consumer. For instance, breaching a warranty can be unfair to you. Misrepresenting the reliability of the vehicle may be unfair to you. There are lots of things that might fit that law. If that law is violated you may have the right to recover damages or cancel the sale. Ohio also has a special law that covers car dealers and says what they can and can not do in selling cars and trucks to consumers. If the dealer misrepresents almost any aspect of the vehicle or the deal, they may violate that law and that can give you the right to cancel the sale, even if you were happy with the vehicle. You can see this all gets rather complicated pretty quick. That's why you should talk to a Lemon Law attorney about your specific situation, but don't wait too long. The strongest Ohio law you can use has a time limit of having to file a claim within 2 years of the sale or your rights will expire. As long as you file in time, you are okay. You need to talk to a local Lemon Law Law attorney who deals with this kind of case. My law firm handles cases all over Ohio. You can also call your local attorney's Bar Association and ask for a referral to a Lemon Law attorney near you or you can go to this web site page for a Free Online 50 State National List of Lemon Law Lawyers ( and find one near you (lawyers don’t pay to get listed here and most of them are members of the only national association for Consumer Law lawyers, But act quickly because for every legal right you have, there is only a limited amount of time to actually file a lawsuit in court or your rights expire (it's called the statute of limitations), so don't waste your time getting to a Lemon Law attorney and finding out what your rights are. If this answer was helpful, please give a “Vote Up” below. Ron Burdge,

This answer is for general purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Click the link to find a Consumer Law attorney near you.


The lemon law may not apply, but if the dealer had taken steps to conceal the frame condition you may have a claim for misrepresentation. By chance was there a lot of newly applied "Undercoating"? This is a typical way used to hide frame defects. If it's just rusty and no attempt was made to conceal it, particularly if the sale was "As-Is", you may not have a valid claim.
There is no law that protects you from making a "bad" deal on an old car, only laws protecting you from "bad" sellers using unfair and deceptive practices.

I am not your attorney, I do not represent you. This response is submitted for informational purposes only. This is not legal advice, nor is it intended to be taken as such. Anyone considering the above referenced situation should always consult an attorney within the jurisdiction before taking any action based on this, or any other information.

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