I recently read an article about the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs’ lemon law website. Apparently that website had incorrect information about Tennessee’s lemon law up for about four years! Tennessee’s lemon law was amended in 2003 to require three instead of four repair attempts and 15 instead of 30 days out-of-service, but the information on the website was never changed. Duuoohhhh!
Anyway, this got me thinking about how Indiana’s lemon law compares to other states’ lemon laws. Rather than comparing the entire statutes in broad terms, let’s get down to the nitty gritty and compare specific provisions. This is Part 1, of what will hopefully be a series, comparing certain provisions of Indiana’s lemon law to the corresponding provisions in other states’ lemon laws. My general, relatively uneducated impression is that Indiana’s lemon law is among the least consumer friendly in the nation, but I guess we’ll see.
In my opinion, one of the harshest provisions in Indiana’s lemon law is the manufacturer’s reimbursement for “a reasonable allowance for use.” The basic premise is that if the lemon purchaser wants his or her money back, the manufacturer should be entitled to deduct from that refund a reasonable allowance for the mileage the purchaser put on the vehicle. On it’s face, this seems reasonable, but there is a problem with the way this reasonable allowance is calculated under the statute that, in some situations, makes it unfair to Indiana consumers.