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How Do I Determine If My Car Is a Lemon?

a person looking under the hood of their case

California Lemon Law is the protection granted to consumers by covering the cost of vehicles with serious warranty defects. Manufacturers must repurchase or replace these vehicles after a reasonable number of unsuccessful repairs. The law applies to both new and used vehicles that were either purchased or leased with an unexpired warranty. However, this law does not cover motorhomes, motorcycles, or motor vehicles designed solely for off-road use. Our attorneys explain how you can determine if you purchased a lemon.

Did I Purchase a Lemon?

There are specific requirements that your vehicle must meet to be considered a lemon under California law. Any of the following qualifications must have occurred within 18 months of the purchase of the vehicle, or 18,000 miles on the odometer for it to be considered a lemon:

  • Two or more repairs have been made by the manufacturer under warranty to fix a problem that could result in serious injury or death.
  • The manufacturer has attempted to fix the same warranty problem at least four times.
  • The vehicle has been out of service for more than 30 days as a result of the warranty problem’s repairs.

One thing to remember is the problem that you are experiencing with your car cannot be a result of abuse by the owner. They must be pre-existing issues that reduce the value, safety, and use of the vehicle by a significant amount.

What Do I Do With My Lemon?

Assuming that you choose to pursue a lemon law case for your vehicle, there are three possible outcomes:

  • A cash settlement: There are some cases in which the issues are borderline, making it only worth a nuisance settlement to the manufacturer. These cases can be settled with a partial refund of the original price, and the owner is able to keep, sell, or trade the vehicle as they see fit.
  • A buyback or repurchase: If you have a strong case, according to your attorney, your vehicle can be repurchased locally and handled quickly.
  • A vehicle replacement: These are highly discouraged, as you may end up with another lemon. Replacements also take much longer to process than a refund.

Call Our Experienced Attorneys Today: (949) 390-9695

Having to deal with a vehicle that has constant issues is more than an inconvenience for your time, but also for your wallet. At O’Connor Law Group, P.C.,we have years of lemon law litigation experience, which allows us to advocate for you and your rights in and out of a courtroom. Let our team help you obtain the best possible outcome for your case.

If you bought or leased a lemon in California, contact our team today through our website or give us a call at (949) 390-9695!

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