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Understand your rights as a car buyer

May 17, 2017

Understand your rights as a car buyer

For many people, buying a car is one of life’s biggest expenses. To help make the most of your money, understand your rights under Ohio’s consumer protection laws. Here are some key points to consider:

    1. Buying a car “as is”- If a used car is sold “as is,” it is not protected by a warranty. Buying a used car “as is” means you will be responsible to pay for any problems that occur after you make the purchase. Generally, you don’t have the right to cancel or return a vehicle after you buy it, so make sure to thoroughly research your options before buying or leasing a car.
    2. Lemon Law (new cars) – Ohio’s Lemon Law generally only applies to new vehicles, because the vehicle must be in the first 12 months or first 18,000 miles, whichever comes first, in order to potentially qualify as a lemon. A “lemon” is a new motor vehicle that has one or more problems, covered by the warranty, that substantially impair the use, value, or safety of the vehicle. Under the Lemon Law, the auto manufacturer must be given a reasonable opportunity to fix the problem, and if the problem is not corrected, the consumer might be eligible for a refund or a replacement.
    3. Title issues – Under Ohio law, licensed used motor vehicle dealers participate in a program called the Title Defect Rescission (TDR) Fund. By participating in the fund, dealers are able to sell vehicles before obtaining the titles for those vehicles. Under the TDR law, the car buyer has the right to cancel the transaction, and the dealer has an obligation to refund all money paid if the dealer fails to obtain a vehicle title in the buyer’s name after 40 days from the date of purchase.
    4. Repairs and services – You generally have the right to a verbal or written estimate for motor vehicle repairs costing more than $50. Also, sellers should get your authorization for additional repairs or services that will cost more than 10 percent of the estimate.