Note: This information is regarding the Indiana Assistive Technology “Lemon Law” and only applies in the state of Indiana. Other states have lemon laws as well. Please check with your local assistive technology act project to determine if something similar exists in your state.
This post will discuss warranties regarding assistive technology devices. However, these rules do not apply to assistive devices purchased by, leased by, or transferred to a consumer before July 1, 1999.
As used in this post, “assistive device” means any new device including a demonstrator that a consumer purchases or accepts transfer of in Indiana that is used for a major life activity. The term includes the following devices:
- Manual wheelchairs, motorized wheelchairs, motorized scooters, and other aids that increase the mobility of an individual.
- Hearing aids, telephone communication devices for the deaf, assistive listening devices, visual and audible signal systems, and other aids that enhance an individual’s ability to hear.
- Voice synthesized computer modules, optical scanners, talking software, Braille printers, and other devices that enhance a sight impaired individuals ability to communicate.
- Any other device that helps enable an individual with a disability to communicate, see, hear, or maneuver.
This definition does not include surgical implants, dental and ocular prostheses, batteries, tires, or nonfunctional accessories.
A “reasonable attempt to repair” has occurred if 1 year after the day of first delivery of the assistive device, either of the following applies:
- The same nonconformity has been subject to repair.
- Two or more times by the manufacturer, assistive device lessor, or any assistive device dealer authorized by the manufacturer to repair the assistive device, and the nonconformity continues to exist and interfere with the assistive device’s operation.
- The assistive device is out of service because of nonconformities, with no fungible loaner available, for a cumulative total of at least thirty (30) business days (not including any necessary time in shipment), due to repair by the manufacturer, assistive device lessor, or any assistive device dealer, authorized by the manufacturer to repair the assistive device. For purposes of this subdivision a loaner hearing aid is considered fungible with the consumer’s hearing aid if the loaner hearing aid improves the consumer’s hearing. This subdivision does not apply if the repairs could not be performed because of conditions beyond the control of the manufacturer, its agents, or authorized dealers, including war, invasion, strike, fire, flood, or other natural disasters.
Implied warranties regarding nonconformity:
Notwithstanding any other law, in addition to any express warranty furnished by the manufacturer of an assistive device, the manufacturer is also considered to have warranted both of the following for a period of one (1) year from the date of first delivery to the consumer purchasing or leasing the assistive device in Indiana:
- That the assistive device, when used as intended, will be free from any nonconformity.
- That any nonconformity will be repaired including parts and labor by the manufacturer or its agents, without charge to the consumer.
Resale of nonconforming assistive devices prohibited:
An assistive device returned due to nonconformity under this chapter by a consumer or an assistive device lessor in Indiana or any other state may not be sold or leased again in Indiana unless FULL disclosure of the reason for the return is made to any prospective buyer or lessee. This ensures that any piece of assistive technology a consumer does receive will be able to properly function and enhance any mobility issues or visual impairments unless the consumer is told prior of a device’s potential ailments.