Observing the California lemon law standards will help you understand the regulations and requirements of your vehicle warranty. As a motorist in California, you are entitled to a car that runs without failure for a given period. If your car fails, you should be able to use the warranty to replace or repair it – but only if you have been meeting the requirements of the law. In this article, our California lemon law attorney will explain the California lemon law standards and how you can protect your rights under this law.


What Vehicles are Covered Under the California Lemon Law?

The California lemon law covers a new motor vehicle which includes the chassis cab of a motor home, a dealer-owned vehicle, a demonstrator, or other vehicle sold with a manufacturer’s new car warranty that:

  • Has been purchased to be used for personal and/or household purposes.
  • Has a weight of fewer than 10000 lbs and should have been bought for business purposes by an individual or a business to which at least one and five at most, these vehicles should have been registered in California.
  • Purchased or leased in California at retail should not have been a privately sold vehicle.
  • Purchased by an active army member who was stationed in California at the time of the vehicle purchase or lease when the claim was filed.

According to California’s lemon law, the following are not covered: any motoring vehicle including a vehicle for human habitation; or a vehicle that is not registered because it is exempt from the Vehicle Code.


California lemon law courtroom


Which Consumers are Covered?

The “consumer” is defined under the California lemon law as:

  • Individuals that purchase or lease vehicles from an individual engaged in the business of selling, leasing, manufacturing, and distributing new vehicles at retail.
  • Any vehicle that is sold under the warranty is valid and comes under California lemon law.
  • Any individual, business, and other legal entity that engages in business or personal use can file a claim under the California lemon law.


What are the Problems Covered Under the Law?

Vehicle problems must be “nonconformities” that impair the use, safety, and value of the vehicle are covered under the California lemon law. The California lemon law doesn’t cover vehicle problems that happen when you misuse or abuse the vehicle after it’s been sold to you. A service contract isn’t an express warranty, and the lemon law doesn’t authorize a remedy for breaches of service contracts.

Many issues could affect a vehicle’s safety. It doesn’t need to endanger you to be considered a defect. For example, if the car has an issue with its automatic seats, the mere fact that they work unpredictably could be grounds for a lemon law claim.


Manufacturer’s Duty to Replace or Repurchase the Vehicle

If the manufacturer, or its representative in California, cannot repair your vehicle to meet its applicable express warranties, you are eligible for a replacement OR a complete refund. The manufacturer must provide you with more than one opportunity to have your car repaired, and each time it’s serviced counts as an attempt, even if no repairs are made.

The customer doesn’t have to own or possess the product to avail themselves of the repair, replacement, or refund remedies.


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Reasonable Number of Repairs

The California lemon law establishes a rebuttable presumption that a reasonable number of repair attempts have been made if, within under 18 months or 18,000 miles (whichever happens first), one or more of the following occurs:

  • The vehicle is out of service for thirty or more cumulative days and the cumulative repairs for certain defective components have exceeded the cost of a replacement part (according to a published list, which includes drivetrain, electric power train, engine, and transmission assemblies).
  • The vehicle has been out of service for 30 or more cumulative days.
  • The nonconformity will likely cause death or serious bodily injury if the car is driven and the repair has been made twice or more by the manufacturer. The car’s owner has notified the manufacturer, so the manufacturer should take responsibility to fix it.


How Can a California Lemon Lawyer Help?

When you know you have a legal case, but you’re not sure how long it will take to resolve and when you need representation, there’s only one place to go. You need to speak with the best lemon law attorney in California. the McMillan Law Group can tell you how long your case will take to resolve and give you an accurate estimate.

We’ve helped vehicle leasers across California get the money they deserve after discovering that their new cars were a lemon. We guide you through the entire process to make sure you achieve the outcome you desire.