Lemon Law / California Lemon Law

Last updated: May 15, 2024

California Lemon Law - Cost-Free Legal Help from 1-800-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:

  • An authorized dealership has repaired the same complaint or defect four (4) or more times;
  • A nonconformity that could cause death or serious bodily injury was repaired by the dealership two (2) or more times; or
  • 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.
  • Repairs taking longer than 30 days were required for one or more issues within the first 18 months or 18,000 miles, whichever occurs first.

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.

You may qualify for FREE legal help if:

  • Your vehicle is covered under an original, extended, or powertrain manufacturer's warranty.
  • 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).
  • 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.

Get FREE Help Now!

What are the repair requirements to qualify under the California Lemon Law?

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.

Is there a maximum mileage under California’s lemon law?

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.

Thank you for the legal assistance that your staff provided us. We are extremely pleased with the results. Your expert legal advice attributed to a quick resolution to my settlement. Whenever I had a question your office had been responsive to phone calls and returned them promptly. I would have no reservations about recommending Kimmel & Silverman to anyone.
~ Janice M. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What are the disclosure requirements for reselling vehicles with nonconformities?

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.

Does the California Lemon Law apply to “as is” vehicles?

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.

Are used cars covered under lemon laws in California?

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.

What is the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act?

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.

How can consumers pursue a lemon law claim in California?

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.

What remedies are available to prevailing consumers?

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.

Do you think you have a Lemon Law claim?

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.

California Lemon Law Locations

Lemon Law San Francisco

75 Broadway
Suite 202 - #1911
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: (415) 947-7827
Fax: (215) 540-8817

Lemon Law Los Angeles

1055 West 7th Street
33rd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: (213) 340-7770
Fax: (215) 540-8817

Lemon Law San Diego

101 West Broadway
Suite 300 PMB #344
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 785-3003
Fax: (215) 540-8817

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

Get rid of your lemon!