According to Cleveland.com, the proposed state budget in Ohio would limit the time a consumer has to cancel the purchase of a used vehicle if a dealer does not provide them with a title or sells them a vehicle that is an unmarked lemon. In Ohio, car dealers are permitted to sell used cars or mobile homes before they have the titles, as long as the dealer contributes to a state-administered fund put in place to protect car buyers. If a dealer does not give the buyer or their lender the title to the vehicle within 40 days of the sale, the buyer has the right to cancel the purchase and receive a full refund. If the dealer does not produce the title or pay into the fund, the Title Defect Rescission Fund reimburses the consumer and then goes after the dealer to obtain the money.
Now, however, the Senate’s proposed budget would impose stricter limitations for consumers that try to access the fund. Under the proposal, consumers who are deprived of a vehicle’s title would have just 60 days to give a dealer notice they want to cancel the sale, from the time the title is finally transferred. Consumers who do not make the deadline would not be eligible for reimbursement.
While many have decried the changes, the Ohio Attorney General has said there are benefits, such as all car dealers in Ohio would be required to participate in the fund. Another change is a condition that would permit the fund to pay off a consumer’s outstanding loan on their trade-in vehicle if it was sold by the dealer.
Currently, the fund covers the sale of used vehicles if a dealer does not disclose odometer tampering or if a vehicle was rebuilt from salvage. The proposal would change the fund to include vehicles that a dealer fails to disclose is a “lemon law buyback.”