Laws Regarding Buying New Cars in Oklahoma

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    Substantial Defect

    • New car owners can seek lemon law protection if they experience a car defect that significantly or substantially decreases the owner's ability to use the car or decreases the value of the car within one year of purchase. Under the Oklahoma consumer protection law, defects resulting from an owner's improper use, neglect or modifications to the car after purchase do not qualify for lemon law protection. Oklahoma prohibits dealers from reselling defective cars, unless dealers provide purchasers of returned cars with similar original warranties, written reasons for the return and requires new owners to retitle their cars. However, under no circumstance may a dealer resell a car returned for defective break or steering systems.

    Written Notice

    • Car owners must provide dealers or manufacturers with written notification of the defect within one year of purchasing the car or date of delivery. After providing written notification, owners must give the dealer a reasonable period to remedy the defect.

    Reasonable Attempts

    • According to the Oklahoma state legislature, owners meet their burden of providing reasonable time to remedy when manufacturers have attempted repairs at least four times. Additionally, dealers have had reasonable time to remedy when the owner is unable to drive the car for at least one month. No Oklahoma state agency can enforce the state's consumer protection lemon law. Instead, private citizens must file a civil action in a state court. Under the lemon law, courts can award attorney's fees and court costs to prevailing consumers.

    Remedies

    • When dealers or manufacturers are unable to remedy the defect, then the manufacturer must provide the purchaser with a refund. To receive a refund of the original purchase price plus incidental taxes and fees, car purchasers must return their vehicles to their dealers. Oklahoma law allows dealers to charge a nominal and reasonable use fee determined by mileage and purchase price. Dealers may also issue replacements if the purchaser agrees to the specific replacement.

    Considerations

    • Since consumer protection laws can frequently change, you should not use this information as a substitute for legal advice. Seek advice through an attorney licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction.

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