The California Lemon Law was developed to protect unassuming consumers from the safety hazards of defective vehicles and the financial hardships that vehicle defects can create. But, while the lemon law provides relief for those who have, unfortunately, purchased or leased a defective car, there are certain concrete steps consumers can take to increase their chances of a successful and easier lemon law claim. Following a car maintenance schedule that has been established by the manufacturer may help to reduce the likelihood of lemon law litigation, but if a legal claim is inevitable, maintaining proper records of repair attempts and following other concrete steps could prove to be the difference between the success and failure of a consumer’s case.
After purchasing or leasing a car, consumers should carefully review the manufacturer warranty and take all concrete steps necessary to comply with the suggested car maintenance schedule contained within the warranty. Refusing or failing to follow the manufacturer’s suggested car maintenance schedule could be interpreted as abuse to the vehicle and create unnecessary hurdles for the consumer’s lemon law case. While reading the owner’s manual provided by the manufacturer when purchasing or leasing a car, consumers should also note whether, upon identifying potential problems with their car, notifying the manufacturer of vehicle defects is necessary. If required by the manufacturer, consumers should provide written notice of the vehicle defect, mail the notice to the manufacturer by certified mail and retain a copy of the receipt for their records.
Upon noticing that their vehicle is experiencing problems in performance or structure, the consumer should immediately take the vehicle into the manufacturer, or the manufacturer’s agent or repair technician, to have the problem addressed. To begin laying the foundation for a future lemon law claim, the consumer should take concrete steps in identifying the vehicle defect and describe in detail the problems the vehicle is experiencing. The consumer should also take detailed notes regarding any conversation that occurs with the manufacturer, dealer or repair technician. The consumer should receive receipts and repair orders following each and every repair attempt and should note whether a detailed description of the vehicle defect is contained within the repair order or should take concrete steps to make sure that this information is recorded in writing.
Record keeping is one of the most important concrete steps that should be taken by the consumer in preparation for lemon law litigation. In addition to keeping notes on conversations with the manufacturer, dealer or repair technician and retaining all receipts and repair orders, keeping a log of all repair attempts will also make future litigation easier. A detailed list of dates, problems, names of repair technicians and costs will help the consumer’s legal claim proceed without having to search for information that hasn’t been properly recorded. Having immediate access to this information may also help to speed up the pace that the consumer’s legal case is moving because the consumer will not have to spend time requesting copies of receipts and repair orders.
Speak with a California Lemon Law Attorney now for a free consultation: (888) 587 – 9623