California Lemon Law

The CA Lemon Law applies to new or demonstrator cars, personal trucks, and off road vehicles purchased or leased in California that have been returned for repair to an authorized dealership four (4) or more times for the same complaint or issue; two (2) or more times for a complaint/issue that could cause death or serious bodily injury; or an extended period of time for one or more issues within the first 18 months or 18,000 miles (whichever comes first).

California Lemon Law Fast Facts:

  • πŸ‹ Covers cars, personal trucks, and motorcycles with nonconformities that were complained of in the first 18 months or 18,000 miles (whichever is earlier) that cannot be fixed after a reasonable number of repair attempts (typically four or more). "Nonconformity" is defined as a "defect or issue that impairs the use, safety, or value of the vehicle."
  • πŸ‹ Alternatively for vehicles in for repairs 30 total days or more within the first 18 months or 18,000 miles (whichever comes first). Note, all dates of repair are added together and need not be consecutive, nor for the same complaint/issue.
  • πŸ‹ A prevailing consumer is entitled to have any attorney fees and costs paid in full in addition to other compensation. Experienced lawyers will charge the consumer nothing, win or lose.
  • πŸ‹ Remedies include a complete repurchase of the vehicle, a brand-new car, and/or perhaps monetary compensation under other state law claims.

In addition, there are legal claims if the vehicle issues fall outside the Lemon Law for significant repair attempts within the warranty period.

You may qualify for FREE legal help if:

  • πŸ‹ Your vehicle is covered under an original, extended, or powertrain manufacturer's warranty.
  • πŸ‹ Your car has been subject to repair 4 or more times for the same issue or 30 or more calendar days for one or more issues within the first 18 months or 18,000 miles (whichever comes first).
  • πŸ‹ Your vehicle was purchased, leased, or registered in California.

If you answered yes to all of the above, you may qualify for compensation under the CA Lemon Law or Federal Warranty Law. Call 1-800-LEMON-LAW or click below for help.

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CA Lemon Law Frequently Asked Questions

What is the mileage cutoff for the CA lemon law?

Under the California Lemon Law, the problems need to occur within the first 18 months or 18,000 miles, whichever comes first. However, even if your repairs fall outside these parameters, you may still be entitled to recourse under the Federal Magnuson Moss Warranty Act.

What is the CA lemon law on used cars?

While the CA Lemon Law covers new and demonstrator vehicles, there is a Federal law, the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act, that provides relief to used car owners that suffer repetitive or extensive repairs under manufacturer’s warranty.

How does the lemon law work in CA?

The California Lemon Law provides recourse to drivers with new or demonstrator passenger vehicles that are in the shop repeatedly for one warranty repair or an extensive period of time for one or many issues within the first 18 months or 18,000 miles, whichever comes first.

What are the potential outcomes under a CA lemon law claim?

There are three potential outcomes under a California Lemon Law claim, based upon the severity of the problem and extent of the repairs. You could be looking at a complete repurchase, a brand new replacement vehicle or a cash and keep arrangement where you receive money to reflect the diminished value of your vehicle as a result of the defects, while maintaining full ownership.

How does lemon law work in CA provide cost-free legal help?

The law contains a fee-shifting provision which states that if a client prevails, the legal fees are shifting to the defendant. The manufacturer therefore must pay all attorney fees and legal costs on top of any recourse or as mandatory part of any settlement. With our firm, if we elect to take the claim, there is no out-of-pocket cost to the client, win or lose. This levels the playing field, providing consumers the necessary tools they need to go after billion-dollar automobile manufacturers.

Read the full California Lemon Law Statute.

Outside the Lemon Law? Federal Claims under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Improvement Act

Monetary remedies are available for consumers under federal law via the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. The law provides for cash compensation based upon the value of the vehicle as intended at delivery versus the reduced value with the problems, complaints and issues experienced and still require the manufacturer to honor the remaining warranty. If your car has been in the shop four (4) or more times for the same problem under an original or extended manufacturer's warranty, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act may apply, along with cost-free legal representation by an attorney of our firm.

Get Immediate Help: CALL 1-800-LEMON-LAW

Kimmel & Silverman has, since 1991, successfully represented over 80,000 individual consumers, and has recovered more new cars and buy-backs than any other Lemon Law firm in the Nation. That's results. 100% cost-free representation, win or lose. You have nothing to lose but your lemon car.

Think You Have a Lemon Law Claim?

To find out if you may be entitled one of the remedies above, use the Lemon Checker or contact us for a free Lemon Law case evaluation.

Before you contact us, you may want to take a moment and review the repair records to make sure they properly outline the problems you are experiencing and the time the vehicle is out of service. If any are missing, make a note about what you recall about a missing repair.

For ongoing issues with your car, it is important to return to the authorized repair facility of the manufacturer, usually dealership and have the complaint/issue addressed once again. It is possible that the dealership will say they cannot duplicate the problem to avoid documenting a repeated complaint. We can deal with that later but until then, do not leave the dealership without an itemized repair order that accurately outlines what you complained about, along with the response of the dealer to that problem showing what was done to your car. Also, every repair order is required to have the correct date, mileage in, mileage out, and days out of service. Keep all of these invoices in a safe place, never the glove box or console. We recommend all documents of repair to be kept in a safe place at your residence or workplace so that the dealer cannot access them.

Call 1-800-LEMON-LAW (1-800-536-6652) now for your
FREE Lemon Law case review.

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