The Edmond Sun


January 18, 2013

How to determine when a car is really a lemon

EDMOND — 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 for more detail.

MATT HOPKINS is an attorney for Lester, Loving & Davies P.C. More information is available at Send questions to

Text Only
  • New study counters pot legalization argument

    A new study raises a strong challenge to the idea that casual marijuana use isn’t associated with bad consequences, a researcher says.
    Researchers say the findings suggest recreational marijuana use may lead to previously unidentified brain changes and highlight the importance of research aimed at understanding the long-term effects of low to moderate marijuana use on the brain.

    April 15, 2014

  • Allergic asthma sufferers should take some precautions when exercising

    Spring has sprung, and in addition to welcoming the beauty and warmth of the season, many folks welcome — though maybe not with eager anticipation — seasonal allergies.
    And for some, allergies and asthma go hand in hand. More than 50 percent of the 20 million Americans with asthma have allergic asthma, according to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America. Over 2.5 million children under age 18 suffer from allergic asthma.

    April 15, 2014

  • brisket2.jpg Food Network show visits Guthrie for ’89er Days

    Guthrie’s annual ’89er Days Celebration provides a variety of activities for people to enjoy including a carnival, rodeo, parade and lots of food vendors.
    This year, visitors at the 84th annual event, which runs Tuesday through Saturday, will notice an added bonus when a film crew from the new television series “Carnival Eats” will be in town filming for its inaugural episode.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • OCSP-Family and Treasurer-04-15-2014.jpg Treasurer Miller awards ‘Tax Day Baby’ with college savings plan

    April 15 is commonly known as the day many will spend in line at the post office or finishing final preparations for tax returns. This year, one Oklahoma family spent April 15, tax day, welcoming their new son, born at 2:07 a.m. and was recognized as the first Tax Day Baby at Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City. 
    As the first Tax Day Baby, State Treasurer Ken Miller, R-Edmond, awarded, Quan Ta, with an Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan worth $1,529. Miller, who serves as board chairman for the OCSP, reminds parents and grandparents that any contribution made to an OCSP account by April 15 qualified for a 2013 Oklahoma income tax deduction.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Salads Spring is for salads, but make healthy choices of ingredients

    Whether you want to enjoy a salad at your favorite restaurant, breeze through a salad bar for a quick and nutritious lunch, or stock your fridge and pantry so you can make a bountiful salad at home, one thing is for sure: Now is the time to do it.
    While much of the U.S. is at least a few weeks away from harvesting local lettuce, our appetites — oh, really, our very souls — are ready to put the long cold winter behind us and put the stock pot in a dark closet.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Progressive women plan annual ‘Night in White’

    The Women’s Department for the Progressive Oklahoma Baptist State Convention will present its annual Night In White gospel play production at 6:30 p.m. April 26.
    The gospel play production will be at the Evangelistic Baptist Church of Christ, 3129 N. Martin Luther King Ave., and will include gospel singing from the Night In White Mass Choir intermingled within the play titled “The Blessings of Motherhood.”

    April 14, 2014

  • New beagle triggering aggression in small pack

    The subject for today’s article is brought to us by Sarah from Santa Barbara, Calif. Sarah is the proud caretaker of a 2-year-old female beagle that has had a litter of puppies, one female of which Sarah decided to keep. The puppy is now about 8 months old and lately it appears as if the two dogs do not enjoy each other’s company.
    In fact, the mother dog will quite viciously attack the 8-month-old and sometimes inflict physical harm. Sarah is naturally quite upset about this problem as anyone might expect and would like some help.

    April 14, 2014

  • E-Cigarettes target youth with festivals, lawmakers say

    The findings, in a survey released Monday by members of Congress, should prod U.S. regulators to curb the industry, the lawmakers said. While e-cigarettes currently are unregulated, the Food and Drug Administration is working on a plan that would extend its tobacco oversight to the products.

    April 14, 2014

  • Drama troupe plans Good Friday performance

    Spirit Act Drama Troupe of First United Methodist Church, Edmond will present the passion play, “Christus” by Alison Spitz on Good Friday.

    April 14, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-04-11 at 4.49.09 PM.png Train, entertain your pets with these 3 smartphone apps

    While they may not have thumbs to use the phone, pets can benefit from smartphone apps designed specifically for them.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo