Lemon Law FAQ: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

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Posted By | July 31, 2023 | Lemon Law

When a consumer makes a purchase in good faith, they expect the manufacturer to live up to their promise of a safe, reliable product. Never is this expectation more important than when an individual buys a car. Not only are motor vehicles one of the largest expenditures in most budgets, but they carry drivers and their families on the road at high speeds. When repeated problems cause great inconvenience and serious safety risks, the manufacturer must make things right. The state holds powerful vehicle manufacturers accountable with California’s lemon law.

If you have a vehicle that spends more time in the shop than on the road, you might wonder if it qualifies for the lemon law and how the lemon law claims process works.

When Does a Vehicle Qualify as a Lemon in California?

If your vehicle is experienced repeated repair problems covered under the manufacturer’s warranty, it might qualify for a lemon law claim. The state’s civil statute for lemon laws describes these qualifications as the following:

  • A problem with the vehicle that persists after 4 or more repair attempts
  • A problem that poses a significant safety risk that persists after 2 repair attempts
  • A vehicle that’s spent 30 or more (non-consecutive) days in a repair shop

If your vehicle has a substantial defect and meets the above criteria for a lemon law claim, the manufacturer must make things right as long as you didn’t use your vehicle in an unreasonable or unauthorized manner.

What Does the Lemon Law Do For Me?

If your car or truck has a serious safety problem or repeated part failures and repair attempts haven’t corrected the issue, then a successful lemon law claim compels the manufacturer to offer you a buy-back, refund, or replacement vehicle.

No one should have to drive an unsafe vehicle or deal with constant auto repair problems. A lemon law claim is the civil court’s way of offering redress and justice to consumers.

What if I Bought a Used Car and It’s a Lemon?

Even if you bought a used car, it might still qualify for the state’s lemon law buy-back, replacement, or refund from the manufacturer as long as a written warranty was issued at the time of sale and the repair attempts were covered under the terms of the original factory warranty. Cars sold “As Is” by the dealership do not qualify.

Does a Leased Vehicle Qualify for the Lemon Law?

If your leased vehicle has a substantial non-safety related defect with 4 or more failed repair attempts, or a safety related defect with 2 or more repair attempts, it may qualify for a lemon law claim. A successful claim can result in a statutory repurchase, replacement vehicle, or cash compensation.

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Lemon Law Claim?

Large, powerful automotive manufacturers are not on your side in lemon law claims. Often, they steer consumers toward arbitration that is not in their best interests and compels them to sign away their rights to make a claim. Don’t fall for unfair tactics and inadequate solutions offered by manufacturers that only benefit their bottom line. Although it is possible to file a claim without an attorney, an experienced Los Angeles lemon law lawyer can defend your rights throughout the lemon law claim process in California and fight for the compensation you deserve. Click here for a free consultation.