If you live in the United States, you have undoubtedly experienced the aggravation of a defective vehicle. Whether the problem is a minor inconvenience or something more serious like an engine fire, many people who buy new cars can relate to the stress that comes along with having to deal with car issues. As a way to protect consumers from faulty vehicles, every state has a lemon law. In California, there are very specific time limits to follow when filing a Lemon Law claim. Reasons for filing a claim change from state to state, however, the process is usually the same. When purchasing or leasing a new or used car, you have some protection from manufacturer defects with the Lemon Law. Our lemon law attorney San Diego explains if there is a deadline to file the lemon law.
Deadline to File for the California Lemon Law
The state of California has a statute of limitations for how much time you have to file a lawsuit based on the “Lemon Law” clause in the California Civil Code. This usually gives you four years to file a lawsuit, but it can vary depending on the type of warranty.
You can’t file a lemon law claim if your car warranty is done, but you’re not out of luck just yet. If your car is still under warranty, you can file a claim against the manufacturer. If you wait too long, you may find yourself without the chance to file a lemon law claim and stuck with a lemon.
Delaying Can Damage Your Lemon Law Claim
The statute of limitations for California lemon law claims is important to understand. If a consumer is planning to buyback the vehicle, they should not wait too long. The reason for this is that, under California’s lemon law statute, the consumer must establish that their car, truck, or SUV has a defect that the manufacturer has been unable to repair and that “substantially impairs” its use, value, or safety.
To protect your legal rights and increase your chances of success, if you think you own a lemon car, contact an experienced lemon law lawyer immediately. They will discuss the viability of your claims and help you decide what action to take next.
When Does the Time Limit Start?
Consumers need to know that your rights as a vehicle owner start as soon as you realize your vehicle is defective. Manufacturers will argue that your time limit starts from the date of purchase or lease. However, the California Court of Appeal has found that the time limit starts as soon as you should have realized that your car was a lemon.
You have a right to file a lemon law claim if your vehicle is defective after the warranty has expired. For example, if you realized that your car is defective two months before your car warranty expires, you can still file a lemon law claim. You can do so as long as you identified the defect while your vehicle was still under warranty. The California Lemon Law prevents consumers from suing for any defects that arise after four years from the date of purchase. If four years pass and a lemon law claim have not been made, then under California law, the consumer will most likely be barred from pursuing a lemon law claim.
How Long Does The Lemon Law Process Take?
Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict the amount of time one will spend working on a Lemon Law claim. Settling these cases is usually concluded within 1-2 months or even less with the help of a lemon law attorney San Diego CA, however, manufacturers are rarely so easy to persuade. Most often negotiations are required and it can take up to a year to resolve a case.
The legal process could take months, but for consumers, the wait is worth it. The Lemon Law will put manufacturers in a legally-binding position to buy back or replace a defective vehicle. Manufacturers are often unhappy about this, but it’s usually worth the wait because of the threat of litigation.
How can the McMillan Law Group Help?
You have a case, but you’re not sure how long it will take. You need to speak with the best California lemon law attorney. When you visit McMillan Law Group, they will be able to give you a more accurate estimate for your situation and time frame.
Tragically, you have a lemon of a car. You lease it or own it, but either way, your new vehicle seems to have problems no matter how many times you bring it into the dealership. The McMillan Law Group is here for you. We have helped vehicle leasers across California get the money they deserve after discovering that their new cars are lemons. We can guide you through the process from beginning to end to ensure that you achieve your desired outcome.