Without the lemon law and dedicated law firms upholding consumer rights, consumers in California would have little to no recourse against manufacturers of defective products. When the California Legislature drafted the lemon law, they included certain provisions that provide for consumer protection from big businesses and ensure that consumers have equal access to the lemon law.
Perhaps the most important section of the lemon law that allots for consumer protection are the provisions mandating that, upon successfully litigating their legal claim, manufacturers must pay the consumer’s attorney fees incurred by the consumer’s law firm. This portion of the lemon law assures that consumers all over the state of California, that have purchased or leased a materially defective vehicle, will have access to an attorney to advocate on behalf of the consumer’s rights.
After recognizing that they may have a materially defective vehicle, the consumer will likely spend much time and money at a repair facility attempting to fix the defect. Upon realizing that the defect may be unfixable, the consumer may no longer have the money available to pay for an experienced attorney from a reputable law firm. Fortunately, most law firms are aware of the lemon law provisions requiring manufacturers of defective vehicle to pay the consumer’s attorney fees and they will fight for the consumer’s rights and consumer protection at no cost to the client.
Another important section of the lemon law could allow consumers to receive even more money than they expected after a successful legal claim. As consumer protection, and to ensure that manufacturers of defective vehicles honor their legal responsibilities and obligations, the lemon law provides for enhanced monetary damages should the manufacturer willful fail to comply with the law. If the consumer’s law firm is able to establish that the manufacturer failed to honor their express written warranty, failed to comply with their legal obligations and that the failure was willful, the judge may punish the manufacturer and award monetary compensation to the consumer of up to two times the amount of money the consumer is actually owed. If the consumer’s law firm can establish that the manufacturer failed to honor their obligation to replace or repurchase the consumer’s defective vehicle, the lemon law states that the judge must impose punitive damages of up to two times the amount the consumer is actually owed. The wording of this section of the law helps to uphold consumer protection rights by threatening punishment should a manufacturer willfully fail in their legal obligations.
While there are many section of California law that defend consumer lemon law rights, these two provisions are imperative to ensuring that consumers have adequate access to law firm representation and to guaranteeing that consumer protections rights are safeguarded. Because the lemon law provides for consumer’s attorney fees to be paid for by the manufacturer, the consumers should diligently research the qualifications of their lawyer and the law firm before determining who will represent them and best advocate for their rights.
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