What Are a Consumer’s Rights under California’s Lemon Law? Could You Get Compensation
If you purchased a new or used vehicle with a warranty and now you have experienced numerous repairs and defects that won’t stop, you might be the victim of a lemon purchase. This means you could receive compensation under CA’s Lemon Law.
Compensation you might qualify for includes:
- A complete purchase refund (including registration fees, downpayment, and financing costs)
- Receiving replacement value of the vehicle from the manufacturer
- Having the full balance of your loan/lease paid off
You might qualify for compensation under California’s Lemon Law if:
Substantial Defects are Present – A substantial defect is one that your warranty might cover (if the car is new), but that defect is so extensive it devalues your vehicle too much or poses a significant risk to safety. A minor defect is not a substantial one, such as a broken door handle. In some cases, paint and exterior coating defects are substantial – depending on the extent.
Vehicle Is Not Repaired after Multiple Attempts – You first must take your vehicle to the dealer or manufacturer and allow them to make repairs to the substantial problems. The state requires “reasonable” repairs, which depends on the defect present. When the defect involves a safety feature, such as faulty airbags, it only requires one repair attempt before it is labeled as a lemon. Also, if your car remains in the repair shop for too long, it might be classified as a lemon as well.
When your vehicle meets the above criteria, you have the right to seek compensation under the state’s Lemon Law. The process is complex, which is why you should never attempt to file a Lemon Law claim against a manufacturer alone. Instead, you need an advocate who knows the nuances of California’s laws and is prepared to fight for the compensation you deserve.
What vehicles qualify under the CA Lemon Law?
Not all vehicles qualify; instead, California has strict requirements for vehicles, and all must be sold with a manufacturer’s warranty.
Brand New – A brand-new motor vehicle with serious defects may qualify, as long as it was bought for personal, family, or household use and has a gross vehicle weight under 10,000 pounds. If under 10,000 pounds and used for business, it qualifies as long as the business does not have more than five vehicles registered.
Leased Vehicles – A lease can qualify as well, as long as the lease originated in California.
Demonstration Vehicles – Demonstration vehicles are technically used but sold with manufacturer warranties. Therefore, they qualify under the CA Lemon Law protections.
Members of the U.S. Armed Forces can still use California Lemon Law protections as long as the vehicle was purchased while they were stationed or living in the state or that they reside in the state when they file their claim.
How a Legal Team Can Help with Your Lemon Law Case
You may ask yourself why you should hire a lawyer for a Lemon Law claim and whether it is worth the cost.
While you have the right to file without legal representation, there are significant advantages to using a lawyer here. To start, you do not have experience filing claims and negotiating with manufacturers or dealerships who sold the vehicle to you. Furthermore, you may not know which evidence you need to support your claim or the filing requirements. All it takes is one error on your claim to result in a dismissal or a significant delay in completing your claim. The longer you wait, the longer you go without a working vehicle.
An experienced lawyer works as your advocate in these cases. They understand California’s Lemon Laws and they have handled hundreds of cases just like yours each year. They know the filing requirements and negotiation tactics, and they fight aggressively so that you get the compensation you need. Most importantly, you do not have to go at it alone. Instead, you have someone there to fight back alongside you, protecting your rights every step of the way.
Contact the California Lemon Law Lawyers Today
If you bought a lemon and need help dealing with the headache of a broken vehicle, you need an experienced California lemon law lawyer. The San Diego, California consumer protection attorneys at the Law Offices of Douglas D. Law, Esq. are here to help. Call us Toll Free at 1-888-829-9033, or press the BIG BLUE BUTTON below to get your free consultation!