Consumer Protection Division
You’re protected from defective late-model vehicles
Download the PDF version of Indiana’s “Lemon Law” (The Motor Vehicle Protection Act), which provides protection to Hoosier consumers who purchase vehicles that don’t meet certain basic standards. Read the information below to learn if Indiana’s Lemon Law might be able to help you.
Vehicles Covered by the Lemon Law
Did you buy or lease for personal use:
- A car or light truck?
- Within 18 months of the original purchase?
- With less than 18,000 original miles?
- From an Indiana dealer?
If you answered yes to these questions, your vehicle may be covered by the Lemon Law.
What to do if You Buy a Lemon
- Report the problem within 18 months of the ORIGINAL purchase or before 18,000 ORIGINAL miles, whichever comes first.
- Take your vehicle to an authorized dealer for repair.
- Allow a dealer a reasonable number of attempts to repair. A reasonable number of attempts means: your vehicle is subject to at least four repair attempts OR is out of service due to repairs for at least 30 business days and the problem still exists.
- Request a copy of the written repair order every time you take your car to the dealer for repair or examination.
- Read your owner’s manual or vehicle warranty.
- Is written notice to the manufacturer required? If so, you must send written notice of your problem, along with copies of all repair orders to the manufacturer at the address identified in the owner’s manual or vehicle warranty.
- Has the manufacturer adopted an informal dispute procedure that has been certified by the Attorney General? If so, you must follow the procedure before you can file a lawsuit under the Lemon Law.
- If notice is NOT required and the manufacturer does not have an informal dispute procedure, you may file a lawsuit without notifying the manufacturer of your claim.
- The manufacturer has 30 days to accept the return of your vehicle and, at your option, replace the vehicle or refund your money.
- If the manufacturer does not resolve your claim, you must file a lawsuit within two years from the date you first reported the problem to the dealer. If you win the lawsuit, you can recover all your costs and attorney fees.
Replaced or Repurchased Vehicles?
The manufacturer is required to obtain a new title with a brand or stamp: “Manufacturer Buyback-Disclosure On File.” This stamp or brand should remain on the vehicle’s title for the life of the vehicle. The first time a dealer sells a replaced or repurchased lemon, the dealer must provide the buyer with:
- Written notice, at the time of sale, that the vehicle was repurchased or replaced under the Lemon Law, and
- A 12-month or 12,000-mile manufacturer’s warranty
People failing to comply with the buy-back disclosure and title branding requirements are subject to enforcement action by the attorney general’s office. However, the Lemon Law does not permit the attorney general to represent consumers in seeking a refund or a replacement vehicle.