Q: My new car is a lemon. Can I make the dealer take it back?
A: Ah, the smell of a new car. Nothing quite like cruising around town cradled in supple leather you will fully own after 72 equal payments. Nothing could damper the joy that comes from the air-conditioned seats and voice-activated navigation. Nothing except that extremely annoying and constant pop that sounds every time you brake while turning right. Or the inability to shift into reverse in cold weather. Or the car’s refusal to start after a hard rain. Those things can turn the sweet aroma of new leather into the terrible stench of regret and injustice. Yes. Smells like lemons.
If you have heard of the lemon law, you also may have heard the phrase caveat emptor. Let the buyer beware. And that is where your dilemma starts. Generally, when you buy something, the law lets you do it at your own peril. Look it over. Kick the tires. Once you sign the papers, it is yours — freckles and all.
But manufacturers developed warranties to entice us to buy more freely. And that is where the lemon law comes in. Oklahoma’s lemon law provides some protection to buyers in your situation. But only some.
Who is protected? The law protects buyers of new vehicles that weigh under 10,000 pounds. But the lemon law doesn’t guaranty your right to love your new car. The defect in your vehicle must be covered by the car’s warranty, must substantially impair the car’s use and value and must not be caused by your abuse or neglect.
So what should you do? Report the defect in writing to the dealer or manufacturer within the earlier of the warranty period or one year from delivery of the car. If the dealer and manufacturer cannot fix the defect within four tries, or the car is out of service because of repairs for a total of 30 business days during the shorter of the warranty period or one year from delivery, you have yourself a lemon.
So what now? Your warranty may require you to participate in dispute resolution at some point during the process, so read its terms carefully. You may ultimately be entitled to return the car for a full refund, less the value of the use you got out of the car, according to a statutory formula. Go to www.oag.state.ok.us/ for more detail.
MATT HOPKINS is an attorney for Lester, Loving & Davies P.C. More information is available at lldlaw.com. Send questions to email@example.com.
Q: My new car is a lemon. Can I make the dealer take it back?
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Earlier this year, Ken Elliott experienced the loss of a cherished uncle due to an unexpected work-related accident.
“This man had saved my life and took me in, helped guide me during my own confusing teenage and college years,” Elliott said. “This loss took me by surprise and hit me harder than I could have ever imagined.”
Elliott said his wife Judy has always had a strong trust in God’s presence and caring, and in God’s ability to provide strength and love during difficult times.
Elliott said she took the lead and told him they would be attending the Blue Christmas Service Dec. 22 at Edmond First United Methodist Church, 305 E. Hurd St.
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12-14 Edmond Senior Center calendar
The Edmond Senior Center, 2733 Marilyn Williams Drive, is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday. For information about Edmond senior programs, stop by and pick up a monthly calendar, check out the website at edmondseniorcenter.com. or call 216-7600. Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. and reservations are needed a day in advance by 11 a.m. For lunch reservations, call at 330-6293 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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ASK A LAWYER: Dealing with partnerships after a death
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a weekly series of columns written by attorneys at Lester, Loving & Davies law firm in Edmond.
Q: My business partner died this summer. His wife wants me to buy his portion of the business, but the business has more debt than assets. What do I do?
A: What happens to a partner’s interest in a business when he dies? Is his estate responsible for company debt? To whom should the company pay his share of income? All of these questions, and more, arise when a partner in a closely held business dies. The answer to each question depends on the facts relevant to the partnership and on various provisions of Oklahoma law.
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