When you purchase a vehicle, you fully expect that it will work properly. However, there are times when California residents purchase vehicles that are defective. When this occurs, the consumer should be covered under warranty, but there are times when the dealership is unable to repair the vehicle within a reasonable amount of time or a reasonable number of repair attempts.
If you have purchased or leased a defective vehicle and the dealership failed to repair the vehicle within a reasonable amount of time, you may need to seek assistance from a Lemon Law attorney as soon as possible. At Young & Young APC, our qualified Lemon Law attorneys have extensive experience helping clients prosecute Lemon Law claims in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, Oakland, and throughout California.
The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act (California Civil Code §§ 1790-1795.8), commonly known as the California Lemon Law, provides protections for buyers of defective motor vehicles and motorcycles. The statute sets forth the legal obligations that manufacturers owe to consumers with respect to implied and express warranties. The California Lemon Law requires manufacturers to repair defective vehicles within a reasonable amount of time or within a reasonable number of repair attempts within the manufacturer’s applicable warranty period. If after a “reasonable” number of repair attempts the manufacturer is not able to repair the vehicle, the consumer is entitled to a replacement vehicle or refund. If your vehicle has had at least two warranty repair attempts, you may be entitled to a Lemon Law vehicle repurchase or replacement vehicle. Our California Lemon Law attorneys provide free consultations so that consumers may discuss the specific circumstances regarding their potential lemon vehicle.
The Tanner Consumer Protection Act (California Civil Code § 1793.22) is a specific section of the California Lemon Law that is referred to as the “Lemon Law presumption period.” This section of the Lemon Law states that a vehicle is presumed to be a lemon if, within the first 18 months from delivery to the buyer or within 18,000 miles of use (whichever occurs first), one of the following happens:
There is a common misconception that in order for a vehicle to qualify as a lemon it must satisfy one of the aforementioned occurrences within the Lemon Law presumption period. While the Tanner Consumer Protection Act is an added layer of consumer protection to the California Lemon Law, many successful Lemon Law cases involve vehicle repair attempts that occur after the Lemon Law presumption period. As a general rule, a vehicle may qualify under the California Lemon Law so long as the vehicle’s repair attempts occurred within the manufacturer’s warranty period.
The California Lemon Law provides protection to buyers and lessees of defective vehicles. The buyer/lessee of a motor vehicle is entitled to a recovery if:
If the manufacturer or its authorized repair facility is unable to service or repair your vehicle to conform to the applicable express warranties after a “reasonable” amount of repair attempts, the manufacturer must promptly replace the vehicle or provide a refund.
The California Lemon Law does not specify the number of repair attempts necessary to constitute a “reasonable” number of attempts. This requirement is determined on a case-by-case basis according to the severity of the vehicle’s defect. Safety-related defects may satisfy this requirement in as little as two repair attempts. Less serious defects will require more repair visits. Alternatively, a vehicle may satisfy this requirement if it has been at the repair facility due to warranty repairs for a cumulative total of over 30 days (not necessarily all at one time).
The California Lemon Law imposes an absolute four-year statute of limitations for filing a claim. The law states that the statute of limitations begins when the consumer knew or “should have known” that their vehicle was a lemon. Under California Lemon Law, consumers (or a Lemon Law attorney on the consumer’s behalf) must file their lawsuit within this time period for their claim to be viable. If a consumer fails to file a claim within the statute of limitations, they may be precluded from pursuing a Lemon Law lawsuit. We recommend that you consult with a Lemon Law attorney as soon as you suspect that you may benefit from the protections afforded to consumers under the California Lemon Law.
A California Lemon Law attorney can assist you with the following step-by-step process to pursue a California Lemon Law claim:
Unlike other California Lemon Law firms, we do not charge clients any retainer fees. The cost-shifting provision in the California Lemon Law requires the automobile manufacturer to pay for the vehicle owner/lessee’s reasonably incurred attorney’s fees, cost, and expenses incurred by their Lemon Law attorney. This provision of the California Lemon Law levels the playing field against auto manufacturers and allows consumers to successfully pursue Lemon Law claims in California.
Lemon Law damages recoverable under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act in the case of a Lemon Law buyback or vehicle repurchase include, but are not limited to, a refund of all amounts paid or payable for the purchase or lease of the vehicle (less a statutory mileage offset or “good use” credit for miles driven before the first repair attempt), incidental and consequential damages, litigation costs, and attorney’s fees. Alternatively, the buyer may elect to receive a replacement vehicle of the same MSRP value as the defective vehicle; or a cash settlement.
If your purchased vehicle qualifies for a buyback under California Lemon Law, an experienced California Lemon Law attorney can help you recover a refund that may include the following:
*less a statutory mileage offset
If your leased vehicle qualifies for a buyback under California Lemon Law, your refund may include the following:
*less a statutory mileage offset
Statutory Mileage Offset Formula
If your vehicle qualifies for a buyback under the California Lemon Law, the manufacturer is entitled to deduct a statutory mileage offset for the miles driven from the time of purchase or lease until the first repair attempt. This statutory mileage offset is determined by multiplying the actual price of the new motor vehicle, by a fraction having as its denominator 120,000 and having as its numerator the number of miles driven prior to the first repair attempt.
An experienced California Lemon Law attorney can ensure that you receive all recoverable amounts to which you are entitled.
If your purchased or leased vehicle qualifies under California Lemon Law, and you elect to receive a replacement vehicle, the replacement vehicle must be substantially identical to the vehicle replaced. The manufacturer also must pay for the amount of any sales or use tax, license fees, registration fees, and other official fees which the buyer is obligated to pay in connection with the replacement, plus any incidental damages for reasonable repair, towing, and rental car costs actually incurred by the buyer. However, the buyer is liable to pay the manufacturer the amount calculated for the statutory mileage offset for use of the vehicle before the first repair attempt.
If you purchased or leased a defective vehicle, you should seek assistance from an experienced Lemon Law attorney today. At Young & Young APC, we are standing by to help. Our attorneys are experts in California Lemon Law, and we will use our resources to help you secure the compensation you deserve.
When you need assistance from a California Lemon Law attorney in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, or Oakland, you should contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or by calling 833-536-6600 (833-LEMON-00).
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