The California Lemon Law was put in place as a consumer protection measure aimed at helping car buyers who discover an unfixable problem in their vehicle. If you’ve found a problem with you vehicle that just won’t go away despite several repair attempts, the first step to take is to learn the key facts about the Lemon Law. It’s possible that you may qualify for a full purchase refund or a replacement vehicle, depending on your situation. If, after reading the following points, you think you might have a California Lemon Law case on your hands, contact an experienced CA Lemon Law attorney who can help you make your case effectively.
1. The Manufacturer Must Get a Chance to Fix the Problem
In order for your car to be considered a Lemon under the guidelines of the CA Lemon Laws, and for you to be eligible for compensation, you must first contact the manufacturer to inform them of the problem. The manufacturer must then get a chance to try and fix the problem. If they can’t fix it after a reasonable number of repair attempts, then the car can be said to be a Lemon, and you will be owed due compensation for your purchase. If you’ve done the repair attempts on your own or at an independent auto shop without informing the manufacturer about the problem, those repair attempts will not count towards your case
2. The Law Only Applies to Vehicles with an Active Warranty
The California Lemon Law applies only if the vehicle you bought still has a warranty. The problem must be discovered within 18 months or 18,000 miles after purchase, or within the timeframe specified by the warranty. Furthermore, if the problem you’ve identified is specifically not covered in the warranty, the Lemon Law may not apply.
3. Used and Leased Vehicles are Covered Too
Under California Lemon Law, used cars, as well as new cars and leased vehicles, are covered so long as they have an active warranty. This is yet another reason to be careful when shopping for a used car. Before you trade that money in for a pink slip, ask whether the vehicle still has an active warranty, and find out what exactly the warranty covers.
4. Expect the Manufacturer to Push Back
It is common in Lemon Law cases for the manufacturer to deny the consumer’s claim. They might argue that the problem the vehicle is experiencing was a result of damages incurred during driving, in which case the California Lemon Law may not apply. It’s important to keep in mind that the Lemon Law is not a set of clear cut rules but a guideline meant to help settle disputes while still giving enough room for both sides to make their argument.