Lemon Law / California Lemon Law
California’s Lemon Law, known as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, covers cars, personal trucks, and motorcycles that experience recurring issues that impact their use, value, or safety; or are in for service for an extended period of time for one or any number of issues. Vehicles may be eligible under the California Lemon Law if:
The CA Lemon Law states that any sale of goods comes with an implied warranty that the items being sold are merchantable and fit for the purpose they are being sold. If a car dealership fails to uphold that implied warranty, the buyer may be entitled to remedies, including a complete repurchase, a new car, or monetary compensation to reflect the diminished value of the vehicle as a result of the defect.
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.Get FREE Help Now!
A vehicle buyer or lessee must have attempted to have the nonconformity or defect repaired by the manufacturer-authorized dealership. If repairs have been made four or more times for the same issue or two or more times for an especially dangerous defect, the vehicle may also be covered. The consumer can also qualify for assistance under the lemon laws of California if the vehicle is out of service for over 30 calendar days. These days can be cumulative and not necessarily consecutive, or even for the same issue.
In order for defects to qualify, they must occur within the first 18,000 miles or 18 months, whichever comes first. There is recourse available under the Federal Magnuson Moss Warranty Act for repairs that do not fall within these parameters.
If a dealership intends to resell a vehicle that exhibited multiple defects or issues for another consumer, they must make an obvious and clear disclosure of the nonconformity. They must also correct the problem and provide a one-year warranty to the new consumer that guarantees the vehicle is free of that specific issue.
If a vehicle is designated “as is” or “with all faults,” the implied warranties of fitness and merchantability are often waived. The presumption is that buyers who purchase such cars are aware of the probable existence of mechanical or other such issues and that they agree to the risks associated with the performance and quality of the item they’re purchasing.
California state’s lemon law only covers new and demonstrator vehicles. However, the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act does provide options for relief in certain situations where a used car needs extensive or repeated repairs.
This is a federal law that, in part, that provides remedy methods for breach of warranties or other service contracts in an effort to protect consumers from products that do not perform as they were intended or advertised. These protections extend to express or written warranties, implied warranties, and service agreements. The Magnuson Moss Warranty Act provides compensation based on the value of the vehicle as it was intended at delivery, which offsets the reduced value caused by defects. In layman’s terms, the money reflects the diminished value of the vehicle as a result of the repetitive defect.
Consumers who believe they are eligible for relief under the California Lemon Law should ensure they have all necessary and relevant documentation. It is important to document every issue and attempted repair to the vehicle, as well as obtain copies of service reports or invoices. An experienced lemon law firm in California, such as ours, can help with this process of putting the manufacturer on notice. If successful, there are three potential outcomes for a lemon law claim, which are based on the severity of the problem and the extent of the repairs.
There is no cost for our representation. The California Lemon Law states that a consumer may file a claim to recover damages and other legal and equitable relief. Thus, if legal action is successful, consumers can receive as part of the judgment attorney’s fees incurred in connection with their claim. The vehicle manufacturer would be required to pay any legal costs and attorney fees in addition to the recourse associated with the defective vehicle. This allows every consumer to have access to the assistance they need by lowering the often-prohibitive costs of legal representation. No out-of-pocket costs are required of our clients, regardless of the outcome of the case.
To find out if you may be entitled to one of the remedies above, use the Lemon Checker or contact us for a free Lemon Law case evaluation.
To prepare for your consultation or evaluation with us, take a moment to review your vehicle’s repair records. Look specifically to ensure they properly outline the problems you’ve been experiencing and give a clear indication of the amount of time the vehicle has been out of service. If these details are missing, make notes about anything you can recall that can help clarify the reports.
It is important to have ongoing or recurring problems addressed by the authorized repair facility of the manufacturer, which is often the dealership. Sometimes a dealership will state that they cannot duplicate the problem in an attempt to avoid documenting a repeated complaint. If that is the case, we can address that in the claim process. However, do not leave the dealership without an itemized repair order that accurately outlines the nonconformity and the response of the repair facility.
Every repair order is required to have the correct date, mileage in and out, and days of service. Keep every invoice you receive in a safe place, but never in the glove box, console, or other location in the vehicle. Your home, workplace, or somewhere else that the dealer cannot access will be the most secure place.