The process of filing a California lemon law claim can be daunting for many people. You have to show that your vehicle meets your state’s standards for being a lemon, and you also have to take on big corporations with almost endless resources.
Do not be discouraged by large corporations who may try to convince you that your car is not defective. It is important to stand your ground and fight for what is rightfully yours. If you believe you have a case for a lemon law claim, speak to an experienced California lemon law attorney to help you through the process.
Manufacturer’s Defence Attorneys Have Loads of Different Schemes
Defense lawyers for big corporations often have ways to prevent consumers from filing a claim with the help of experienced lemon law lawyers. One common trick they use is to try and intimidate consumers by showing that few claims are successful.
The Defect is Not Significant
Under California lemon law, a defective vehicle that substantially hinders the vehicle’s safety or ability to function, which must last at least two repair attempts, may be considered a lemon. In addition, the manufacturer and dealer are required to pay for repairs (typically up to four times) or replace the car with a comparable model.
There can be a lot of arguments about what is considered a significant defect and automakers will try to downplay your defect by arguing that it is not significant and is not eligible for the buyback.
To understand the qualifying vehicle defect, the “California Lemon Law” requires proof that the nonconformity or defect of your vehicle substantially affects your driving experience to an extent that undermines and compromises its value. This includes (but is not limited to) issues with:
- Heating and Cooling System
Furthermore, there are other nonconforming defects that could qualify your vehicle as a lemon. For example, if the check engine light lit up repeatedly when there appeared to be no visible issues (which would keep you from passing inspection), it could be taken into consideration in addition to your own personal testimony. You shouldn’t have to drive around knowing you’re going to break down any minute because every time you turn on the ignition.
Automakers don’t want to be held liable for safety defects, which is why they have devised a number of tactics to work around a manufacturer’s responsibility. One such strategy is to place the blame on drivers – particularly if you happen to file a claim near the last couple years of your warranty period. If the manufacturer can prove that the defect was caused by “driver abuse” or an unrelated accident, they will not buy back your car even if it shows signs of serious problems that are common among the brand in question.
This can get tricky to navigate. You’ll need to prove that the issues were the result of manufacturer defects and not you. In addition, all service records will have to be submitted as proof that this specific vehicle has experienced multiple defects because manufacturers don’t make errors or mistakes with poor or faulty vehicles. Accidents had nothing to do with what happened; therefore reports detailing any damage sustained before it became non-operational must also be submitted.
Low Settlement or Forced Arbitration
The car manufacturer may try to talk you into forgoing your right to have your case heard in court. They may say that arbitration is less stressful and time-consuming and will work better for them anyway. If they succeed, the case would be heard by an arbitrator rather than a judge or jury. Since arbitrators are paid by the manufacturer, your chances of winning are much lower.
Lately, manufacturers have been trying to get out of manufacturer buybacks. It’s important to note that if a manufacturer actually wants to honor your lemon law claim they wouldn’t want you to sign away any constitutional rights by being forced into arbitration instead. Arbitration, most of the time always ends up in favor of the manufacturer.
The chances of getting a payout reduced due to arbitration are greater than the chance of receiving no reduction in a standard lemon law presentation before a judge. Also, you lose the right to appeal an arbitration ruling, and the arbitrator does not necessarily always need to follow laws tightly because they are given a lot of legal power. You should always want to avoid arbitration if an automaker suggests it.
When the manufacturer makes you a low-ball offer, they might try to tell you to avoid paying expensive legal fees. Have evidence that your car’s lemon law fits and that the manufacturer is responsible for covering your legal fees.
At McMillan Law Group, we have seen firsthand how these manufacturers can ruin a consumer’s case. With the help of our California lemon law attorney, you can have an expert on your side to ensure that you receive justice. Don’t get taken advantage of by the manufacturer, let our lemon law California attorney help you.