When does a vehicle qualify under the California Lemon Law?
- Generally, a vehicle qualifies under the California Lemon Law when the vehicle has a warranty defect which the dealerships have been unable to repair. For the law to apply, the dealerships must be given a reasonable number of opportunities to repair the vehicle.
How many times do I need to take my car back to the dealer before I have a California Lemon Law claim?
- The California Lemon Law states that dealerships must be given a reasonable number of opportunities to repair a vehicle. The law does not require any specific number of repair visits. Typically, four visits for the same problem will qualify, but, depending on the defect, fewer visits may suffice. For example, a defect as severe as brake system failure may only require two visits. Moreover, if a vehicle spends a cumulative total of over 30 days in the shop for warranty repairs, it may satisfy the requirement no matter how many separate visits were made. Because the California Lemon Law does not set a specific number of visits, each matter should be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Can I have a claim under the California Lemon Law if my repair visits did not occur within the vehicle’s first 18 months and 18,000 miles of use?
- Generally, your issue must have occurred within 18 months or within 18,000 miles (whichever came first). However, major defects that occur outside of this time frame may still present a viable claim. The court may assess situations on a case-by-case basis.
What am I entitled to if my vehicle qualifies under the California Lemon Law?
- If your vehicle qualifies under the California Lemon Law, you may be entitled to a refund of your down payment and monthly finance payments, as well as a discharge of your vehicle loan. You may also be entitled to reimbursement of incidental damages such as rental car expenses, repair costs, and towing expenses. If offered by the manufacturer, you may choose to have your vehicle replaced with a similar vehicle instead of having your money refunded.
Does the California Lemon Law apply to used vehicles?
- Yes, if the repair visits occurred within the manufacturer’s new car warranty.
Does the California Lemon Law apply to leased vehicles?
- Yes, if they are still under a manufacturer’s new car warranty.
I haven’t been through arbitration. Can I still have a claim under the California Lemon Law?
- Yes. California’s Lemon Law does not require that you first arbitrate your case.
I don’t live near O’Connor Law Group, P.C. Can my free consultation be conducted over the phone?
- Yes. Documents can be submitted for attorney review by email, fax, or regular mail. We settle many of our cases without an in-person meeting.
Can O’Connor Law Group, P.C. help me if I live in a rural town hundreds of miles away from the nearest major city?
- Yes. We handle lemon law cases throughout California. If needed, we will travel to your local area at no cost to you. If it is necessary to file a lawsuit in your case, the matter will be filed and litigated in your local county or district court.
What fees will I have to pay to hire O’Connor Law Group, P.C.?
- We do not charge our clients any up-front fees. The California Lemon Law includes an attorney’s fees provision which allows us to collect our fees and court costs from the automobile manufacturer at the successful resolution of the claim. Pursuing your California lemon law claim, therefore, is economically feasible, even if you weren’t in a position to hire an attorney. Moreover, our contingency fees would not be due until we recover settlement proceeds.
Can my case be resolved without having to go through formal court proceedings?
- In some cases, yes. The manufacturers have no incentive to engage in costly litigation for a case they believe they will lose. As such, some of our cases are resolved without a lawsuit.