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7 Common Questions About California Lemon Law

broken down car

If you just realized that you purchased a lemon vehicle, you might be wondering how you can get your money back. Thankfully, there are state and federal laws that protect car buyers who unknowingly purchased a lemon. Our California lemon law attorneys have answered some of the most common questions about lemon law below.

If you have additional questions about lemon law, or need guidance on your case, contact O’Connor Law Group, P.C. today at (949) 390-9695 to schedule a consultation!

What Are the California Lemon Laws?

California lemon laws protect consumers who have purchased or leased a defective vehicle. The law requires consumers to prove that the manufacturer cannot repair the vehicle after a reasonable number of repair attempts. The consumer will also need to prove that the vehicle defects are substantial and require a vehicle replacement or refund.

What Am I Entitled to Under Lemon Law?

Consumers who purchased/leased either a new or used vehicle are protected under California lemon law, so long as the new vehicle warranty period has not ended. The vehicle problems must not be the result of abuse by the owner, and they must significantly reduce the use, value, or safety of the vehicle.

The law does not cover motor homes designed or used for human habitation or motorcycles/motor vehicles operated exclusively as off-road vehicles.

How Many Repair Attempts are Required to Qualify Under California’s Lemon Law?

The law states that a “reasonable” number of repair attempts must be made to qualify for California lemon law. However, in most cases, two repair attempts are sufficient if the car defect could result in death or serious injury. If the defect is not deadly, there needs to be at least four repair attempts from the manufacturer.

What Am I Entitled to Under Lemon Law?

Under California lemon law, you are entitled to receive a vehicle replacement or a refund. A refund will consist of your down payment, monthly payments, registration taxes, and other expenses related to the vehicle repair (tow expense, rental car, and more).

However, keep in mind that the manufacturer is entitled to deduct a usage fee for the value of the miles placed on the vehicle from the time of purchase to the time the defect was noticed.

Do I Still Have a Lemon Law Claim if My Vehicle is Out of Warranty?

To determine if you are protected under lemon law, you should speak to an experienced attorney about your specific situation. If the first repair attempt for the defect occurred during the warranty period, you still may qualify for a lemon law buyback or vehicle replacement.

Which Type of Vehicles Qualify for Lemon Law?

Motorcycles, boats, motor homes, RVs, and other consumer vehicles qualify under California’s lemon laws. However, they only qualify if they were purchased for personal use and not commercial use.

What Is the Lemon Law Presumption?

Lemon law presumption is when your vehicle is “presumed” to be a lemon if any of the following occurred within the first 18 months or 18,000 miles of purchasing or leasing your vehicle:

  • Four or more repair attempts were made for the same issue
  • Two or more repair attempts were made to fix an issue that can cause injury or death
  • The vehicle was out of service for more than 30 days for any repairs

If any of the situations listed above occurred to you, it is presumed that you purchased a lemon and therefore qualify for a vehicle buyback or replacement.

If you purchased a lemon vehicle, contact our California lemon law attorneys today at O’Connor Law Group, P.C. to schedule a case review!