If you have bought a new vehicle, driving it back to the dealership is the last thing that you want to do for issues and if you find yourself taking the vehicle for repairs way too often then it is time to have legal recourse. Is your car experiencing problems because of a manufacturer defect? Did the mechanic neglect your car? Or are you just having trouble with user error?
Do you have a valid lemon law case under these circumstances? Lemon law lawyer in San Diego explains.
1. User Error
You probably know that a lot of car accidents happen because drivers make mistakes. Vehicle issues can be prevented by reviewing the owner’s manual and getting familiar with your car’s functions before you drive it for the first time. Mistakes like running red lights, speeding, or not putting on your seatbelt can be harmful to the driver and their surroundings and also damage the vehicle.
Cars today come with computer systems that can assist drivers and alert them about engine problems, worn brake pads, and blind spots. However, drivers should never rely too heavily on these tools. Computers can malfunction and drivers should continue to exercise independent judgment about driving safety. If a warning light comes on or the car behaves oddly, take it to the shop for repairs right away.
2. Manufacturing Defect
Defects and malfunctions are flaws that happen during the manufacturing process of a car. They are errors made when constructing the vehicle or its parts and are considered nonconformities if they happen within the first 18 months or 18,000 miles of your vehicle’s warranty. You may want to consult a lemon law attorney San Diego CA to discuss your options.
A Lemon Law is a statute that provides a remedy to consumers who buy and use a product in an “unmerchantable” condition. The term “nonconformity” is defined as any defect or malfunction covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. If your vehicle has a problem that meets the state’s lemon law requirements, you have grounds for a lawsuit. These are some of the manufacturing defects that come under the lemon law:
- Airbag Defects
- Transmission Issues
- Seatbelt Defects
- Emission Defects
- Steering Issues
- Electrical Defects
- Brake And Acceleration Pedal Defects
- Paint Defects
- Defective Locks
If you suspect that your vehicle may not be running properly due to a manufacturing defect, it is critical to bring it to the repair shop right away for checking. Manufacturing defects typically make a car considered to be a “lemon,” but to take advantage of the consumer protections of the California Lemon Law, the manufacturer must first make a reasonable number (two or more) of repair attempts.
3. Repair Shop Negligence
A car repair shop should be able to complete any work you bring them in a satisfactory manner. If they do more damage than expected in their work, they have been negligent. Negligence on the part of the repair shop may occur if the mechanic:
- Did not install the part correctly
- Allowed unlicensed mechanics to perform the repairs
- Made repairs to the wrong part of the vehicle
In these instances, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses from the repair shop. Negligent repairs may cost you a lot of money and have an adverse effect on your car’s value. They also increase the risk for the driver, passengers, and other motorists on the road. If you’re going to take your car to a different garage, make sure you do your homework before going in – you don’t want to get negligent repairs.
In California, auto repair shops are subject to a law called the Automotive Repair Act. This law mandates that these shops be registered with the Bureau of Automotive Repair and meet certain safety standards. Currently, licenses are required in California for mechanics as well.
Do I Have a Valid Lemon Law?
Under California Lemon Law, a car that meets all the following criteria is considered a lemon: it has not fixed the problem; it has been to the mechanic several times and still does not work; and the user has ruled out user error, negligence by the mechanic, and other problems.
California Lemon Law will apply to vehicles in which defects arise within the first 18 months of ownership, or before the vehicle reaches 18,000 miles. The law may also be applied to used cars which are still under warranty.
If your new car has a serious problem that is not fixable or is affecting its safety, it’s important to know your legal rights. A California Lemon Law lawyer can determine if you fall into the lemon law provisions category and guide you through the lemon law process. If you feel you have purchased a lemon, then it is crucial to understand that a limited time period applies for making your lemon law claim as it relates to the date when you notice issues with your automobile due to manufacturing issues or defects.