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Indiana Lemon Laws

There’s nothing quite like the joy and excitement of taking your new car out for a spin. That is until your new car starts having old car problems just a few spins into ownership. Having a broken down car can be heartbreaking, but is there anything you can do about it? Luckily for us, the Hoosier State has laws regarding new vehicles with seemingly unfixable problems. This is a brief summary of “lemon laws” in Indiana.

State Lemon Laws

In car slang, a "lemon" is a new automobile that has a recurring defect that the dealer or a repair shop is unable to fix after repeated attempts. For consumers who may otherwise be stuck with a problematic or even inoperable vehicle, lemon laws offer some financial protections. Indiana statutes, like lemon laws in other states, require the dealer to replace or refund a consumer if they are unable to remedy a major problem with an automobile within 18 months or 18,000 miles.

Lemon Laws in Indiana

Indiana lemon law statute is explained in the following table.

Code Section

24-5-13-1, et seq.

Title of Act

Indiana Motor Vehicle Protection Act of 1988

Definition of Defects

Nonconformity to applicable express warranties which significantly impairs the use, market value or safety of motor vehicle or renders vehicle nonconforming to terms of applicable manufacturer's warranty

Time Limit for Manufacturer Repair

If reported within term of protection: 18 months after date of delivery to buyer or 18,000 miles whichever occurs first


Consumer's option: Replace with vehicle of comparable value, including reimbursement to buyer of any fees of transferring registration or sales tax incurred as result of replacement or refund full contract price of vehicle, including all credits and allowances for any trade-in vehicle and less reasonable allowance for use.

While state laws may vary, there are some general lemon law guidelines you can reference when trying to determine whether your car qualifies as a lemon:

  • The vehicle must have a substantial nonconformity that occurs within a certain time after the purchase;
  • The nonconformity must be covered by the warranty; and
  • The vehicle must continue to have the nonconformity, even after a reasonable number of repairs.

While many states’ lemon laws only cover new vehicle purchases and leases, Indiana law, covers “all motor vehicles that are sold, leased, transferred, or replaced by a dealer or manufacturer in Indiana” with less than 18,000 original miles.

Related Resources for Lemon Laws

Realizing you might have a lemon on your hands can be tough. If you would like legal assistance with a possible lemon law case, you can consult with an experienced lemon law attorney in Indiana. You can also visit FindLaw's lemon law section for additional articles and resources.

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