Los Angeles New Car Lemons
Negotiating and Litigating New Vehicle Lemon Law Cases
When you purchase a new car, you expect it to run smoothly and be free from major issues. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Sometimes, consumers end up with a car with persistent problems that cannot be fixed despite multiple repair attempts. This is where Lemon Laws come into play. In California, the Lemon Law protects consumers who have purchased or leased a new vehicle with substantial defects or malfunctions that the manufacturer cannot repair. The law requires manufacturers to replace or repurchase a vehicle that meets the definition of a "lemon" under certain circumstances. Understanding the Lemon Law is essential for California consumers as it provides recourse for those who have spent their living expenses on a new car that fails to meet the manufacturer’s and your own expectations.
If you live in Los Angeles and have a new car that you suspect may be a lemon, O’Connor Law Group, P.C. can help. Our experienced attorneys are well-versed in California's Lemon Laws and are committed to helping our clients through every stage of seeking remedy under the law. We understand that having a defective vehicle is frustrating and potentially unsafe. That's why we work tirelessly to protect our clients' rights and hold manufacturers accountable for selling faulty cars. We are prepared to negotiate to seek a favorable outcome for our clients and will go to trial if necessary to work toward recovering compensation.
California Lemon Law Basics
Under California Lemon Law, a vehicle is considered a "lemon" if it has a substantial defect covered by a warranty and impairs the vehicle's use, value, or safety.
A "substantial defect" is sometimes referred to as a “nonconformity” which means that the vehicle does not perform as described in its new vehicle warranty, or does not meet the requirements of its implied warranties. For example, if your new car has an engine that does not run properly or brakes that fail when applied, these could be considered substantial defects. In order to qualify for compensation under California’s Lemon Law, your vehicle must have significant defects that have not been fixed after a reasonable number of repair attempts.
If your new car meets the definition of a lemon under California law, you may be entitled to one of the following remedies:
- A replacement vehicle: The manufacturer must replace your defective vehicle with a comparable new one.
- A repurchase: The manufacturer must buy back your defective vehicle.
You must visit the dealership for repairs more than one time before pursing legal action.
Is Your New Car a Lemon?
A new car can be a significant investment and expecting it to be free from defects and malfunctions is reasonable. Unfortunately, new cars can experience various issues, from minor annoyances to serious safety concerns.
Below are some common issues that may make a new car a lemon:
- Mechanical failure: Engine, Transmission, Fuel System, Cooling system, HVAC, suspension, emissions, steering, ignition, etc.
- Safety issues: Cars with safety issues such as faulty brakes, airbags, seatbelts, hands-frees/Bluetooth, collision sensors, or back up camera are often considered lemons.
- Lack of features: If the car lacks features that were promised at the time of purchase, it may also qualify as a lemon.
- Electrical issues: Infotainment, battery, spark plugs, alternator, etc.
The Lemon Law applies to new cars with a warranty-covered defect that cannot be fixed after more than one repair attempts. The issue must not have been caused by the owner or resulted from damage due to an accident.
It is essential to keep records of repairs and maintenance, including dates, repair orders, and receipts.
How Long Do You Have to Return a New Car in California?
In California, there is typically a two-day grace period for returning a new car. According to the Car Buyer's Bill of Rights issued by the California DMV, the buyer must return the vehicle to the dealer where it was purchased by the close of business within two days. The return must occur within the time-frame allowed by the contract.
It's important to note that this grace period may vary depending on the specific terms outlined in the purchase contract. Therefore, it is recommended to review the contract thoroughly to understand the exact return policy and any potential additional time frames provided/
What Is the New Car Lemon Process in Los Angeles?
If you have a new car that you suspect is a lemon, you can take steps to seek compensation under the California Lemon Law.
Below is an overview of the process:
- Take your vehicle for repairs and keep repair orders: When you first notice a problem with your new car, take it to the dealership for repairs. Be sure to keep all repair orders, receipts, and other documentation related to the repair attempts.
- Visit the dealership more than once chance to fix the problem: California law requires that the manufacturer or dealership be given a reasonable number of opportunities to resolve the issue.
- Hire a Lemon Law Attorney: Your Lemon Law attorney can negotiate a settlement with the manufacturer or dealership or take your case to trial when necessary.
Whether your car was purchased with cash, financed, or leased, any new vehicle under warranty is protected by California's Lemon Law.
Call Our Firm Today
If you purchased or leased a new vehicle in Los Angeles that turned out to be a lemon, you could seek compensation or other remedies under the Lemon Law. Turn to a Lemon Law lawyer at O’Connor Law Group to help you through the legal system and pursue an optimal outcome at no cost.
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.
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 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.