It can be absolutely thrilling to buy a motorcycle, whether new or used. But your new vehicle may quickly go from being a dream to being a nightmare if you are immediately faced with repeated mechanical problems, safety issues, and repairs.
If you have been subject to repeated warranty repairs after a motorcycle purchase, it is vital that you know your rights under the law – as well as whether the bike’s manufacturer may owe you a motorcycle reimbursement or replacement.
Have you had significant trouble with defects and repairs after buying a motorcycle? Call our California motorcycle lemon lawyers at (888) 829-9033 if you would like to discuss a possible legal case – or you can simply fill out an online case form and submit it to our office for review and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Is Your Motorcycle A Lemon?
Yes, motorcycles fall within the scope of California’s Lemon Law. However, California law covering motorcycles, trailers, and boats is somewhat different than the law covering automobiles.
Under the California Lemon Law, motorcycles are covered by Civil Code section 1793.2(d)(1) which covers “consumer goods.” Consumer goods are covered under the if they are sold with a written warranty and purchased for use primarily for personal, family, or household purposes. Consumer goods include motorcycles which, like automobiles, must have been subject to more than a reasonable number of repair attempts. This is necessary to qualify for a repurchase due to defects covered under the warranty. Unlike automobiles, however, a manufacturer has the option of repurchasing the product or replacing the product as a means of fulfilling its obligations under California’s lemon law. On the plus side, the defects covered for consumer products need not “substantially impair the use, value, or safety” of the product – as is the case with automobiles.
A typical issue in motorcycle cases is the days out of service by reason of repair or “days in the shop.” Days in the shop for repair are typically higher in motorcycle cases and loaner transportation is not provided as might occur in with automobiles. In addition, safety is much more likely to be at issue with defects in a motorcycle given the nature of the product. These are issues that many times make lemon law claims involving motorcycles stronger and easier to handle than automobile claims.
As in every lemon law case brought under the California Code, it is important to collect as much of the repair documentation as possible. Motorcycle repair shops are less likely to provide required warranty repair orders or information – so sometimes it is necessary to create your own repair chronology in order to help legally analyze a potential claim. A record of incidents during the operation of the bike is also helpful.
Another distinguishing factor in motorcycle cases relates to the sales process itself. Sale documentation and warranties provided at the time of sale often provide additional claims under laws separate from the California Lemon Law. These claims can again make a claim stronger and easier to obtain a refund.
A motorcycle’s mileage is also important in evaluating a claim. Because California lemon law is based on a reasonableness standard, what is reasonable at 15,000 miles of use in terms of repair attempts, incidents, and time out of service is different than a bike with 50,000 miles. It is not unusual for motorcycles to be driven much less for a given period of time than automobiles – and again this usually makes the case clearer and easier to handle. Manufacturer warranties covering motorcycles, however, are typically shorter than in the case of automobiles. These are all factors that must be analyzed. A skilled California motorcycle lemon law attorney will be able to guide you in the right direction and help you get the justice you deserve.
The Four Things That Make A Motorcycle A Lemon
Generally, a vehicle is a lemon if it keeps breaking soon after you bought it, despite repair attempts. However, under the law, your motorcycle has to check four boxes before you can take legal actions:
Your motorcycle must need repairs multiple times. Most state laws require at least three separate visits to the mechanic for repairing defects before lemon laws kick in.
Your motorcycle must have been in the shop for a certain number of days. For example, in California, your bike needs to have spent 30 days in the shop before it’s officially a lemon.
The defects must be discovered early. Lemons have to be reported within a certain number of miles or within a certain number of months after purchase.
The repairs aren’t your fault. The issues with your bike can’t have anything to do with how you drove it, whether you’ve had an accident, or whether you’ve neglected your motorcycle. It has to be the fault of the manufacturer or dealer.
What Should You Do If You Think You’ve Bought A Lemon Motorcycle?
Keep detailed records. Don’t assume that your motorcycle mechanic is handling your case closely and carefully filing your paperwork. Keep a folder with all repair details, including notes about conversations you’ve had with the mechanic or manufacturer. The more evidence you have, the stronger your case.
Be safe. Even a small defect in a motorcycle can be extremely dangerous and even deadly – and certainly more so than a similar defect in a car or truck. Don’t drive your motorcycle after you have discovered a serious problem with the bike, even if you’ve recently had your bike fixed.
Be aware of your mileage. You can only report a lemon within a certain timeframe after you’ve purchased the bike, and only before your odometer hits a certain number of miles. If you have had to undergo extensive repairs early in the life of your bike, report these issues to the manufacturer as soon as you can so that your case is still valid under the law.
Know your rights. You have a solid set of rights as a motorcycle owner in California. Be aware and familiar with California’s Lemon Laws, as it pertains specifically to motorcycles and motorbikes.
Contact an attorney. Possibly the best way to ensure that you get the justice and financial compensation that you deserve under the law after buying a motorcycle lemon is to speak with a California Motorcycle Lemon Law attorney about your case. Lawyers who have direct experience with these cases can examine your evidence and explain to you your best options for legal action.
Common Motorcycle Manufacturers
While some motorcycle manufacturers have better track records than others, any type of motorcycle can be a lemon. Here are some common motorcycle manufacturers here in the United States:
- American Eagle Motorcycle Co.
- American Iron Horse Motorcycle Co
- BMW Motorcycles
- Ducati Motorcycles
- Harley Davidson Motorcycles
- Honda Motorcycles
- Indian Motorcycle Co.
- Kawasaki Motorcycles
- Suzuki Motorcycles
- Triumph Motorcycles
- Twin Eagle Motorcycles
- Titan Motorcycles
- Victory Motorcycles
- Yamaha Motorcycles
Contact A Dedicated California Motorcycle Lemon Attorney Today
If you have been experiencing ongoing mechanical problems with your motorcycle – and particularly if you feel unsafe while riding – it may be a good idea to contact our offices
and learn whether the California Lemon Law can help you get justice and compensation. Consultations are always free, as is our services if we decide to take your case. We offer a “risk free” agreement where the manufacturer pays the attorney’s fees and costs separately from your damages. Please call us today with questions or to set up an appointment. You may also contact us via the online case evaluation form
on this website. We look forward to hearing your story.