Lemon Laws in Kentucky

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Kentucky’s lemon law extends to new cars that have been purchased from a dealer in Kentucky within 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. The laws do not cover used vehicles, motorcycles, mopeds, mobile homes, tractors, or any vehicle with more than two axles.
If your vehicle keeps running into the same problem after you’ve taken it in for repairs, you may have a lemon. Thankfully, Kentucky has lemon laws in place that are designed to protect you should you wind up with a defective vehicle.
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Keep reading on to learn about what you should do if you have purchased a lemon in Kentucky.
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What is a lemon law?

Lemon laws in the U.S. vary from state to state, but in general terms are laws designed to protect consumers from defective products. The term “lemon law” applies mostly to cars, trucks, and motorcycles.
A vehicle is considered a lemon if it has a manufacturer’s defect that can’t be repaired satisfactorily in a reasonable period of time. What that time period is depends on the state.
If the vehicle can’t be fixed, the manufacturer, not the dealership, is required to buy the car back, so that the consumer isn’t stuck footing the bill for a vehicle they can’t use.

Is there a lemon law in Kentucky?

Yes, Kentucky’s lemon law extends to new cars purchased in Kentucky.

Is my defect covered under the lemon law?

Your new car purchased in the state of Kentucky could be considered a lemon if within 12 months or 12,000 miles of purchasing it(whichever comes first) you’ve had to:
Bring it in for repairs four or more times, or go without your car for 30 or more days because it’s under repair
Your car’s defect also needs to fit the following criteria:
  • The problems are all caused by the same defect
  • The defect was not caused by any neglect, abuse, or alterations on your part
  • The defect substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of your vehicle, and it is something that is covered under your vehicle’s express warranty
Kentucky’s lemon laws extend only to motor vehicles that are purchased new within the state. The laws don’t extend to motorcycles, mopeds, mobile homes, tractors, or any vehicle with more than two axles, or cars that are purchased outside of Kentucky.
Key Takeaway Kentucky’s lemon laws only apply to brand new cars purchased in Kentucky that have not been altered or abused by the car buyer.

Are used cars covered under the lemon law?

No, Kentucky’s lemon laws do not extend to used cars.
For this reason, due diligence when it comes to used car shopping is important to avoid getting stuck with a lemon. Make sure to test drive the car before you buy it.
It might also be a good idea to purchase a CARFAX report or look into the vehicle’s history, including any recalls for the make, model, and year. Have a mechanic evaluate it, if you can.
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What about new cars?

New cars are covered under lemon laws up to twelve months or 12,000 miles, whatever comes first.
If your new car requires the same repair more than four times in that time frame, or spends more than 30 days in the shop as a result of the same defect, then your car is considered a lemon.
If your car has been altered in any way since you purchased it, you may no longer qualify for protection under lemon laws.

How to pursue your lemon law rights in Kentucky

If your car suffers a breakdown within the aforementioned time period, be sure to contact your manufacturer. They must be given the opportunity to fix the defect before any arbitration can take place or any lawsuits can be filed.
Keep good records: If you are looking to pursue your lemon rights in Kentucky, keeping good records, including invoices from your repair attempts that are time-stamped with the odometer readings, following the steps as best you can, and getting as much legal help as possible can make all the difference.
Fulfill legal requirements: Fulfilling all the legal requirements along the way will significantly strengthen your case.
Keep in mind, however, that just because you’ve followed all the rules does not automatically guarantee that you’ll win your case.
Don’t take your vehicle to private mechanics: Manufacturers may argue that they were not given “reasonable attempts” to fix the problem. This is also why it’s vital for you to bring your car to the dealership or manufacturer for repairs rather than an independent mechanic so that manufacturers cannot dispute the repairs.
Hire an attorney: If your manufacturer does not provide a refund for your car or a replacement, hire an attorney, especially one that specializes in lemon laws. The manufacturers will have legal representation on their side that understands the complexity of the legal process, and it’s important that you have the same.
Consider arbitration: Before taking the case to trial, consider arbitration. Almost all manufacturers prefer arbitration, which is free and typically faster than going through the complexities and expenses of a court case.
Most states, including Kentucky, require arbitration before filing a lawsuit. Even in states that don’t require arbitration, it’s generally recommended.
Key Takeaway Having legal counsel is extremely important when you’re navigating complex legal processes. Manufacturers will have legal help. Make sure you do too.

Lemon law tips

A few things to keep in mind:
  • If you modify your vehicle in any way, whether by customization, neglect, abuse, or misuse, lemon laws will no longer apply to your car.
  • All repairs should be made through the manufacturer or dealership, or by repair facilities that the dealer has authorized. Keep all of the records of these repairs.
  • Keep your terminology consistent. If you initially referred to the defect as the car “stalling,” for example, keep referring to it as “stalling.” Don’t change how you refer to the problem, or a manufacturer can argue that the issue does not need to be fixed repeatedly, which is not covered by the lemon law.
  • Lemon laws can vary from state to state, including their requirements. If your situation is not covered by the lemon laws in your state, you may still be protected by the Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. Talk to an appropriate attorney to find out your options.
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Finding cheap car insurance

After the case is closed and you finally have a car that lives up to your needs and expectations, it’s important to protect it against any other future mishaps, without breaking the bank.
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