Saturday, April 7, 2007

Indiana's Lemon Law Sucks

Between writing today's post on buying a used car and reading Robert Duff's posts on his Indiana Consumer Law Blog (Indiana's Lemon Law, How Does It Compare? (Part 1a) and Indiana's Lemon Law, How Does It Compare (Part 1b)), I cannot but admit my opinion of the law expressed in the title above.

Mr. Duff nicely expresses the technical problems with the statute. He clearly states that he is not looking at the broad aspects of the statute. My experience with Indiana's Lemon Law consists of people buying a used car that has gone bad and now they expect the Lemon Law to save them. After all, they just bought a lemon and the law applies to lemons, right? The answer is not really, but only to cars with less than 18,000 miles or 18 months from the dealer. Older used cars need not apply.

The Indiana General Assembly fooled the majority of people in this state into thinking that the Lemon Law applies to all vehicle purchases. The Lemon Law exists to protect consumers from shoddy manufacturing which may not be what causes the problems in older used cars. The previous owner's care for the vehicle may have increased the problems of shoddy manufacturing or shoddy manufacturing might have nothing to do with the vehicle's problems. Far simpler in many ways to eliminate used cars from the protection of the Lemon Law. I just wish it had been sold all those years ago as protecting all vehicle purchases. Those that can afford to buy new cars are those protected by the law.

Mr. Duff promises a series exploring the specific faults with Indiana's Lemon Law. Those buying a new car should take a look.