California Lemon Car Attorneylemonlaw2018-08-08T06:36:26-07:00
California Lemon Cars List
Just about everybody knows what a “lemon” is – it’s a vehicle that never runs right and is frequently in the shop, almost from the day you drive it off the lot. Although the statistical reality is that any car can turn out to be a lemon – lemons are more often found in some makes and models than in others. California responded to frequent consumer complaints by passing the lemon law.
The California Lemon Law, part of the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, allows qualifying consumers to obtain a refund or replacement if their car qualifies as a “lemon.” Determining whether you have a valid claim is the easy part. The hard part is enforcing your claim at the negotiating table or in court. Professional legal assistance can maximize your chances.
My Practice Centers on Lemon Law and Auto Dealer Fraud
Although California does not specifically license a sub-specialty in “lemon law,” if such a subspeciality were available I would probably qualify. As a trusted California lemon cars lawyer, I have been assisting California consumers with lemon law claims for over 20 years now, and there is not much that a vehicle manufacturer can try to pull that I have not successfully dealt with many times before.
Over the years I have handled thousands of lemon law cases. Most of these cases have been resolved through settlement. In some cases, however, the defendant is stubborn and a trial is necessary. I have successfully handled many, many lemon law trials, along with appeals all the way up the Supreme Court of California. I will settle if I can – otherwise I am ready to fight as your California lemon cars attorney.
Is Your Vehicle One of Those on the CA Lemon Cars List?
California lemon vehicles may come in all shapes and sizes, makes and models – from an inexpensive and modest used sedan, to a luxury SUV with all of the bells and whistles. Your lemon could be almost any type of vehicle, including:
Cars and sedans
Sports utility vehicles (SUVs)
Trucks and pickup trucks
Motorcycles and motorbikes
Recreational vehicles (RVs), motorhomes, and trailers
Boats and watercraft
Vehicle Makes & Models That May Be Lemons
Regardless of a manufacturers reputation for making quality vehicles, and no matter how expensive your vehicles is – it could still be a lemon. Below, we’ve listed just a few of the types of cars and trucks that have had lemon issues in the past.
Chrysler PT Cruiser
Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible
Chrysler Sebring Sedan
Chrysler Sebring Sedan Convertible
Volkswagen Jetta Sedan
Volkswagen New Beetle
Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible
Volkswagen Passat Sedan
Volkswagen Passat Wagon
Volkswagen Touareg 2
Nissan Altima Coupe
Nissan Altima Hybrid
Nissan Versa Sedan
Nissan Versa Hatchback
Nissan 350Z Coupe
Nissan 350Z Roadster
BMW 3 Series
BMW 3 Series Convertible
BMW 3 Series Coupe
BMW 3 Series Sedan
BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon
BMW 5 Series
BMW 6 Series
BMW 7 Series
Infiniti G35 Sedan
Infiniti G37 Coupe
Honda Accord Coupe
Honda Accord Sedan
Honda Civic Coupe
Honda Civic GX
Honda Civic Hybrid
Honda Civic Sedan
Honda Civic Si Coupe
Honda Civic Si Sedan
Honda Accord Hybrid
Honda Civic NGV
Honda S 2000
Buick Park Avenue
Mercury Grand Marquis
Toyota Camry Hybrid
Mercedes-Benz CL Class
Mercedes-Benz CLK Class
Mercedes-Benz E Class
Mercedes-Benz S Class
Mercedes-Benz SL Class
Mercedes-Benz SLK Class
Mercedes-Benz CLS Class
Lexus ES 350
Lexus GS 350
Lexus GS 450h
Lexus GS 460
Lexus IS 250
Lexus IS 350
Lexus LS 460
Lexus LS 600h
Lexus SC 430
Lexus GS 430
Lincoln Town Car
Pontiac Grand Prix
Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder
Saturn Aura Green Line Hybrid
Saab 9-3 Convertible
Saab 9-3 SportCombi
Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan
Saab 9-5 SportCombi
Saab 9-5 Sedan
Mazda Speed 3
Mazda MX-5 Miata
Mazda Speed 6
MINI Cooper Clubman
Suzuki Forenza Wagon
Suzuki Aerio Sedan
Please note that these are just a small selection of vehicles that have had issues with material defects in the past. Even if the vehicle you are experiencing issues with is not on this list, don’t hesitate to find out more about your potential lemon case by speaking with a defective automobile attorney today.
Understanding Material Defects
No matter the make, model, or year of your vehicle, it may be a lemon as long as it suffers from a “material defect.” What does this legal term mean? Very simply, it means that there is a defect with your car or truck that affects the safety, use, or value of your vehicle. It is also a defect that is the fault of the manufacturer – it is not a defect due to your own misuse, an accident, or natural wear and tear. Here are a few common examples of a material defect:
A problem with your engine that means that you can’t start your car.
A problem with the car’s brakes that means your vehicle is dangerous to drive.
A problem with your car’s air conditioning that makes it impossible to sell for a fair price.
While many makes and models of vehicles can be lemons, some automobiles are not covered under California lemon laws for various reasons. You may not be able to get a replacement or a refund for your lemon due to the following circumstances:
Your vehicle is not covered by an express warranty.
Your vehicle is not registered in the state of California.
Your vehicle was not properly maintained according to its warranty.
Your defect is not covered under your warranty.
Your material defect is related to an aftermarket auto part.
Your defect was caused by misuse, abuse, or an accident.
Your defect was caused by normal or natural wear.
Your vehicle is owned by a business that also owns more than 5 vehicles.
Your vehicle weighs over 10,000 pounds.
It has been more than four years since you were aware of your car’s material defect.
Under the California lemon law, your vehicle qualifies as a lemon if the manufacturer (or its representative) cannot repair the vehicle after a “reasonable” number of attempts. Remember, however, that:
The vehicle must be under the manufacturer’s warranty when the repairs are attempted.
The vehicle must have been bought in-state.
The defect for which the repair attempt was made must substantially affect the use, value, or safety of the vehicle.
A vehicle will not qualify as a lemon if its defect was caused by abuse.
There is no exact, failsafe answer to this question. Generally, however, four unsuccessful attempts to fix the identical problem within 18 months or 18,000 miles will probably qualify your vehicle as a lemon. Your vehicle may also qualify as a lemon if it spends more that 30 days in the shop within these limitations.
Yes. The California statute of limitations is four years. In practice, this means that you have until four years after you discovered or should have discovered that you had a claim to file a lawsuit. If you fail to file a lawsuit by the deadline, you won’t even be able to negotiate an out-of-court settlement.
The mileage offset is used to discount your refund by an amount proportionate to the miles you have put onto the vehicle since you first owned it. It equals (mileage/120,000) X (purchase price of the vehicle). This amount will be deducted from any refund.
That depends on when the repair attempts occurred. The subsequent expiry of the manufacturer’s warranty doesn’t matter as long as it was still valid at the time the repair attempts occurred. Remember that you must beat the statute of limitations deadline in any case, and it is almost always best to begin pursuing your claim as soon as possible after you become aware of its existence.
Yes, the California lemon law covers used cars, as long as the vehicle was still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty at the time the repair attempts occurred. You might also have a claim against the manufacturer if your vehicle was denoted “Certified Pre-Owned” and the manufacturer extended the vehicle’s original warranty.
Technically, punitive damages (known as “enhanced damages”) are possible, and they will double your recovery if you receive them. Very few consumers receive enhanced damages, however. To qualify, you must prove that the manufacturer’s misconduct as “willful.” This is quite difficult to prove even if it is true.
A Track Record of Success
Our firm has been repeatedly recognized by both clients and professional peers alike. Some of our most prominent achievements include:
99 percent of our cases are settled without a trial.
We have been awarded a “Preeminent” rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the world’s most prestigious lawyer ranking service.
Mr. Law has testified before the California State Legislature on consumer protection issues.
When you win almost all of your cases, certain things are possible that are simply not economically feasible for less successful attorneys. What our stellar winning percentage makes possible for us is our “no win, no pay” fee structure. Under this system you will be charged no upfront fees, and if you don’t win your case, your total legal bill will be zero.
Vehicle on the Lemon Cars List? Request A Free, Private Case Review With Lemon Law Attorney
Have you purchased one of these vehicles that you feel is a lemon? If so, get a FREE lemon law Case Review today with an experienced, knowledgeable defective automobile attorney. Contact us.
"Doug and Kristen were invaluable in getting GM to repurchase my Corvette due to the driveline defects in the car that Chevrolet could not fix after 9 visits. GM and the Chevy dealerships in La Mesa and Mission Valley were not helpful, giving me absurd excuses, runarounds and one time ultimately refusing to write the defects up after demonstrating them to one of their technicians. In short, I highly recommend them to handle any lemon law case you may have."
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