The lemon law was drafted to protect consumers within the state of California from manufacturers of materially defective vehicles, but it also places some requirements on the consumers themselves to bring their defective vehicle in for repairs. To help provide guidance to consumers before they consult with a lawyer, California law contains a detailed legal presumption, which outlines a consumer’s legal obligations for trying to fix their car before bringing a legal claim under the lemon law. But, because the lemon law, and even the lemon law presumption, can be confusing to those without legal training, it is important to consult with a lawyer who is educated and experienced in litigating these types of cases within the state of California and who can provide guidance that could save the consumer time and money.

Once a consumer recognizes that their vehicle is experiencing defects of some kind, it is important that they take their car back to the manufacturer, or its agent, to attempt to fix the problem. But, should the problem not be resolved on that first try, further attempts can become costly and time consuming and consumers in the state of California may begin researching their options and consulting with lawyers.

Under the lemon law presumption, consumers are expected to present their vehicle to the manufacturer, or its agent, for a reasonable number of repairs before qualifying as a lemon car under the lemon law. However, issues may arise that make it impossible or dangerous to present their vehicle to a technician for repairs. For instance, the lemon law provides that, to qualify under the presumption, consumers must take their vehicle in for repairs four or more times if the defect is one that is unlikely to cause death or serious bodily injury. If the defect is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury should the vehicle be driven, then the consumer must take the vehicle in twice for repair attempts. While the lemon law presumption provides guidance to consumers trying to decide whether to continue to try and fix their defective vehicle, it can also be misleading because most consumers are unaware that they are not required to meet the conditions set by the presumption before having a valid lawsuit.

Depending on the nature of the defect, a consumer may have a legitimate legal claim even without having taken their vehicle in for the specified number of repair attempts, which makes consulting with a qualified lawyer even more important. After reading the lemon law presumption, many consumers in the state of California may believe that they must drive a potentially dangerous vehicle to a technician for repairs and risk injury to do so. Consulting with and hiring a lawyer who is licensed to practice law within the state of California could clear up confusing issues, like the lemon law presumption, and could help consumers avoid risking injury or spending time and money unnecessarily to receive the relief they are entitled to under California law.

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