What constitutes a reasonable number of repairs under California’s Lemon Law?

California’s Lemon Law is covered under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, which begins with Section 1790 of the California Civil Code. The lemon law provides relief to consumers of motor vehicles sold within the state with an express written warranty that have failed to perform in conformity with the warranty. Among the many issues examined, the lemon law provides manufacturers with an opportunity to repair the vehicle before a consumer is awarded relief. Specifically, the act states that a manufacturer, or its agent, shall be allowed a reasonable number of repairs to conform the motor vehicle to the express written warranty.

There has been a lot of debate over what constitutes a reasonable number of repairs. Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer to what constitutes a reasonable number of repairs. This is a factual question that must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. California’s Lemon Law is contained within the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act in Section 1793.22 of the California Civil Code. This section of the code provides more specific guidance in narrowing down what constitutes a reasonable number of repairs; however, a judge or an arbitrator will ultimately make the final decision.

The guidance provided under California’s Lemon Law helps determine what a reasonable number of repairs can mean. Section 1793.22 lists several possibilities for problems a motor vehicle may experience and the conditions that must be met to qualify as a reasonable number of repairs. The lemon law looks at whether the problem with the motor vehicle is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury, whether the motor vehicle has a problem but the problem is not likely to cause death or serious bodily injury and whether the problem with the vehicle has caused the vehicle to be out of service for a lengthy amount of time.

Under California’s Lemon Law, if the problem results in a condition that is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury when the vehicle is driven, the consumer must have taken the vehicle to the manufacturer or its agent for repairs at least two times and have directly notified the manufacturer of the problem and the need for repair. If the vehicle fails to conform but the vehicle nonconformity is not one that would result in serious bodily injury or death, the consumer must present the vehicle to the manufacturer or its agent for repair on at least four occasions and directly notify the manufacturer of the problem and the need for repair.

If the problem with the vehicle has caused the vehicle to be completely out of service for a cumulative total of more than thirty days from the point of delivery to the consumer, the consumer must directly notify the manufacturer of the problem and the need for repair only if the manufacturer has clearly and conspicuously disclosed to the buyer the requirements and the relief a consumer is entitled to under California’s Lemon Law. The manufacturer will have adequately disclosed such information to a consumer through the express warranty or within the owner’s manual. If the manufacturer has clearly disclosed the requirements of California’s Lemon Law and the relief a consumer is entitled to under the law, the consumer is required to notify the manufacturer of the vehicle nonconformity and the need for repair by mailing a notification to an address specified clearly by the manufacturer in the warranty or the owner’s manual. This thirty-day time limitation may be extended only if failure to perform repairs is beyond the control of the manufacturer or its agents.

Contact the Lemon Law Lawyers Today

If you bought a lemon and need help dealing with the headache of a broken vehicle, you need a lemon law attorney. 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 (888)829-9033, or press the BIG BLUE BUTTON below to get your free consultation!