The Lemon Law in California applies to new vehicles that are under a manufacturer’s warranty, including those purchased or leased outside the state by full-time active members of the Armed Forces. The Lemon Law also applies to used vehicles that are under a manufacturer’s new car warranty. Any remaining time on the warranty protects the car’s new owner.
Under the Lemon Law, the manufacturer may be required to buy back or replace your vehicle if, after a “reasonable” number of repair attempts, it cannot repair a problem that:
- Is covered by the manufacturer’s new-vehicle warranty.
- Substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of the vehicle; and
- Is not caused by unauthorized or unreasonable use of the vehicle after the sale.
California Lemon Law Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, every year, around 37,000 people die in car accidents on US roads and highways, which is about 100 people per day.
In addition, these car accidents can cause severe injuries that may lead to disability, mounting medical and insurance costs, and intense emotional problems. Dealing with all of these aftermaths from a car accident is more than enough for anyone to handle, but it’s possible that consumers will also need to consider whether a safety defect in their vehicle contributed to the car accident.
Lemon law attorneys usually work with consumers’ cases before any car accidents occur; however, if an accident does happen, these attorneys will still be able to help.
If you’re involved in a car accident, and it’s later determined that the accident was caused by a safety defect in your vehicle, you may be wondering what your responsibility is. In general, a safety defect in an automobile is attributable to the manufacturer and not the consumer. However, there are some things you can do to protect yourself before purchasing or leasing a vehicle.
Here are some tips from experts:
- Do your research before making a purchase. Look into safety ratings and reviews to get an idea of how reliable a vehicle is.
- If you’re leasing a vehicle, make sure to read the fine print and understand your rights and responsibilities.
- Keep up with regular maintenance and inspections on your vehicle. This can help you catch potential problems early on.
California Lemon Law Business Rights and Responsibilities
California Lemon Law provides consumers with protection when they purchase or lease a new vehicle that turns out to be a “lemon”. Businesses that sell and/or lease vehicles in California have a responsibility to comply with the Lemon Law and provide their customers with the rights and remedies they are entitled to under the law.
Businesses must ensure they are accurately disclosing all warranties and guarantees to their customers, as well as the duration of such warranties and guarantees. Businesses should be aware of the remedies provided under the law and have a process in place for handling any complaints from customers. Businesses should also be aware of their responsibility to provide customers with lemon law disclosure forms, and to provide any reimbursement for lemon law-related repairs.
Businesses must also ensure they are providing adequate customer service and assisting customers in obtaining their remedies under the law. Compliance with the California Lemon Law is essential for businesses.
Tips for Filing a Lemon Law Claim in California
If you have purchased a vehicle you believe may be a lemon, we recommend doing the following as soon as possible:
If you think your vehicle might be a lemon, take it to the dealership for repairs. Under state law, your dealership gets multiple chances to fix the defect before you can file a claim. So visit your dealership for repairs at least twice. If your vehicle is still malfunctioning after that, you may indeed have a lemon.
Remember to ask for and hold on to any copies of receipts and other documentation you receive from the dealer. This will come in handy if you need to file a claim later on.
It’s important to record and report any and all concerns you may have as a consumer so that you’re well-prepared in the event you need to file a lemon law claim. You’ll want to gather all relevant documentation – like a copy of your purchase or lease agreement as well as receipts from any repair shops – that support your case. Additionally, check to see if your car is still under warranty as you won’t be able to file a claim if it’s not. (However, if you took your car in for repairs while it was still under warranty, and it’s only recently expired, you should still be able to file a claim.)
Consult with an experienced lemon law attorney near you: Once you have all the necessary documentation, take some time to speak with a California lemon law attorney about your case and what legal options may be available to you.
In summary, the California Lemon Law provides consumers with a wide range of protections when it comes to purchasing or leasing a new or used motor vehicle. If a consumer believes that they have purchased a lemon, they should contact a California lemon law attorney who can help them understand their rights and determine if they can take legal action against the manufacturer. Consumers should also be aware of the protections that the Lemon Law provides, as it can help them avoid costly repairs and potential disputes with the manufacturer.