Oregon Lemon Law
When does a Vehicle Qualify?
3 unsuccessful repair attempts of the defect, 1 unsuccessful repair attempts of a serious safety defect likely to cause death or injury, or the vehicle is out of service for 30 business days within 2 years or 24,000 miles of purchase.
Required actions and Timeline:
The owner must provide direct written notice to the manufacturer, who will have the opportunity to make a final repair attempt.
For a look at the strengths or weaknesses of Oregon’s lemon law, see the Center for Auto Safety Letter to Oregon Attorney General on Lemon Law Rank & Effectiveness.
Oregon Lemon Law Statute
Oregon Revised Statutes, 646.315 to 646.375
646.315 Definitions for ORS 646.315 to 646.375.
As used in ORS 646.315 to 646.375:
(1) “Consumer” means:
(a) The purchaser or lessee, other than for purposes of resale, of a new motor vehicle normally used for personal, family or household purposes;
(b) Any person to whom a new motor vehicle used for personal, family or household purposes is transferred for the same purposes during the duration of an express warranty applicableto such motor vehicle; and
(c) Any other person entitled by the terms of such warranty to enforce the obligations of the warranty.
(2) “Motor vehicle” means a passenger motor vehicle as defined in ORS 801.360 that is sold in this state.
646.325 Availability of remedy.
The remedy under the provisions of ORS 646.315 to 646.375 is available to a consumer if:
(1) A new motor vehicle does not conform to applicable manufacturer’s express warranties;
(2) The consumer reports each nonconformity to the manufacturer, its agent or its authorized dealer, for the purpose of repair or correction, during the period of oÂne year following the date of original delivery of the motor vehicle to the consumer or during the period ending oÂn the date oÂn which the mileage oÂn the motor vehicle reaches 12,000 miles, whicheverperiod ends earlier; and
(3) The manufacturer has received direct written notification from or oÂn behalf of the consumer and has had an opportunity to correct the alleged defect. “Notification” under this subsection includes, but is not limited to, a request by the consumer for an informal dispute
settlement procedure under ORS 646.355.
646.335 Consumer’s remedies; manufacturer’s affirmative defenses.
(1) If the manufacturer or its agents or authorized dealers are unable to conform the motor vehicle to any applicable manufacturer’s express warranty by repairing or correcting any defect or condition that substantially impairs the use, market value or safety of the motor vehicleto the consumer after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer shall:
(a) Replace the motor vehicle with a new motor vehicle; or
(b) Accept return of the vehicle from the consumer and refund to the consumer the full purchase or lease price paid, including taxes, license and registration fees and any similar
collateral charges excluding interest, less a reasonable allowance for the consumer’s use of the vehicle.
(2) Refunds shall be made to the consumer and lien holder, if any, as their interests may appear. A reasonable allowance for use is that amount directly attributable to use by the consumer prior to the first report of the nonconformity to the manufacturer, agent or dealer
and during any subsequent period when the vehicle is not out of service by reason of repair.
(3) It shall be an affirmative defense to any claim under ORS 646.315 to 646.375:
(a) That an alleged nonconformity does not substantially impair such use, market value or safety; or
(b) That a nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect or unauthorized modifications or alterations of the motor vehicle by the consumer.
646.345 Presumption of reasonable attempt to conform.
Extension of time for repairs; notice to manufacturer.
(1) It shall be presumed that a reasonable number of attempts have been undertaken to conform a motor vehicle to the applicable manufacturer’s express warranties if, during the period of oÂne year following the date of original delivery of the motor vehicle to a consumer or during the period ending oÂn the date oÂn which the mileage on the motor vehicle reaches 12,000 miles, whichever period ends earlier.
(a) The same nonconformity has been subject to repair or correction four or more times by the manufacturer or its agent or authorized dealer, but such nonconformity continues to exist; or
(b) The vehicle is out of service by reason of repair or correction for a cumulative total of 30 or more business days.
(2) A repair or correction for purposes of subsection (1) of this section includes a repair that must take place after the expirationof the earlier of either period.
(3) The period ending on the date on which the mileage on the motor vehicle reaches 12,000 miles, the one-year period and the 30-day period shall be extended by any period of time during which repair services are not available to the consumer because of a war, invasion,strike, fire, flood or other natural disaster.
(4) In no event shall the presumption described in subsection (1) of this section apply against a manufacturer unless the manufacturer has received prior direct written notification from or on behalf of theconsumer and has had an opportunity to cure the defect alleged.
646.355 Use of informal dispute settlement procedure.
Condition for remedy; binding effect oÂn manufacturer.
If the manufacturer has established or participates in an informal dispute settlement procedure that substantially complies with the provisions of Title 16, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 703, as from time to time amended, and causes the consumer to be notified of the procedure, ORS 646.335 concerning refunds or replacement shall not apply to any consumer who has not first resorted to the procedure. A decision resulting from arbitration pursuant to the informal dispute settlement procedure shall be binding on the manufacturer.
646.357 Informal dispute settlement procedure.
Record keeping; review by Department of Justice.
A manufacturer which has established or participates in an informal dispute settlement procedure shall keep records of all cases submitted to the procedure under ORS 646.355 and shall make the records available to the Department of Justice if the department requests them. The department may review all case records kept under this section to determine whether or not the arbitrators are complying with the provisions of ORS 646.315 to 646.375 in reaching their decisions.
646.359 Judicial review; damages; attorney fees.
(1) If a consumer appeals to a court from a decision resulting from the informal dispute settlement procedure established by ORS 646.355 because the consumer was not granted oÂne of the remedies specified in ORS 646.335 (1), and the consumer is granted one of the specified remedies by the court, the consumer shall also be awarded up to three times the amount of any damages if the court finds that the manufacturer did not act in good faith in the dispute settlement procedure.
(2) If a consumer brings an action under ORS 646.315 to 646.375 against a manufacturer who has not established informal dispute settlement procedures and the consumer is granted one of the remedies specified in ORS 646.335 (1), the consumer shall also be awarded threetimes the amount of the damages.
(3) The court may award reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party in an appeal or action under this section.
646.361 Limitations on actions against dealers.
(1) Nothing in ORS 646.315 to 646.375 creates a cause of action by a consumer against a vehicle dealer.
(2) A manufacturer may not join a dealer as a party in any proceeding brought under ORS 646.315 to 646.375, nor may the manufacturer try to collect from a dealer any damages assessed against the manufacturerin a proceeding brought under ORS 646.315 to 646.375.
646.365 Limitation on commencement of action.
Any action brought under ORS 646.315 to 646.375 shall be commenced within one year following whichever period ends earlier:
(1) The period ending on the date on which the mileage on the motor vehicle reaches 12,000 miles; or
(2) The period of one year following the date of the original delivery of the motor vehicle to the consumer.
646.375 Other Remedies
Other Remedies supplementary to existing statutory or common law remedies; election of remedies.
Nothing in ORS 646.315 to 646.375 is intended in any way to limit the rights or remedies that are otherwise available to a consumer under any other law. However, if the consumer elects to pursue any other remedy in state or federal court, the remedy available under ORS 646.315 to 646.375 shall not be available insofar as it would result in recovery in excess of the recovery authorized by ORS 646.335 without proof of fault resulting in damages in excess of such recovery.