If you have a car giving you problems, and the dealership can't seem to fix it, you may wonder if you qualify for California's lemon law. This law was designed to protect consumers from being taken advantage of by car dealerships. Our California lemon Law team explains what a lemon Law is and the requirements to qualify for its protection.
What Is California's Lemon Law?
The California lemon law is designed to protect consumers who have purchased a defective vehicle. Under this law, car manufacturers must provide a replacement or refund if the car does not meet specific standards. Several requirements must be met to qualify for protection under the lemon law. To be eligible for California's lemon law you must have purchased or leased a new car, truck, van, or SUV from a licensed dealer. The vehicle must also have a warranty from the manufacturer. The lemon law does not cover used cars, motorcycles, or commercial vehicles.
Requirements to Qualify for California Lemon Law
To qualify under the California Lemon Law protection, the defect your vehicle is experiencing must not have been caused by abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modifications. You also must have given the manufacturer a reasonable chance to fix the defect. Three qualifications must be met:
- The car must have a substantial impairment in use, value, or safety.
- A warranty must have covered the problems with the car.
- The owner must have attempted to get the vehicle repaired multiple times, or the car must be in the shop for at least 30 days.
If You Win A Lemon Law Case in California
If your vehicle is found to qualify under the California Lemon Law Presumption, you will be entitled to a refund/reimbursement on:
- down payment,
- and to have your vehicle loan paid off in full,
- monthly finance payments
- any towing and rental car expenses incurred due to the lemon vehicle
You can also opt to get a replacement vehicle of an identical make or model or a comparable make and model. The manufacturer will also be responsible for any reasonable attorney fees and expenses you incur. That said, it is always in your best interest to consult with a Lemon Law attorney.
The Time Limit on Lemon Law in California
The statute of limitations to bring a lemon Law claim in California is four years. The time limit begins when the customer first encounters warrantable vehicle issues. You will be barred from pursuing a claim once the four years pass.
What if I Don't Qualify for Lemon Law?
Other options are available if you do not qualify for protection under the lemon Law. You may be able to get repairs covered under your manufacturer's warranty or extended warranty. You can also consider filing a complaint with the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
If you think you may have a case under the California lemon law, it is highly recommended you speak with an experienced attorney. Each situation is unique, and a lemon law attorney will be able to advise you of your rights and options.
Have a Lemon On Your Hands?
Many of us rely on our cars to get to jobs, take care of our families, and get around town. It can be frustrating when a car lemon throws a wrench in these plans. Our team at O’Connor Law Group, P.C. understands how important your car is to you and we're here to help get you back on the road. We have a proven track record of success in lemon Law cases and will fight to bring you the best possible outcome.