You may have just bought a car that you thought was perfect for you. You’ve driven it around town a few times, and everything seemed fine. Then one day, the car just wouldn’t start. As you find issues in the vehicle, you may have an issue that may deem the vehicle a lemon.

You may have your car towed to a mechanic, but by the time you’re done, you’ll have a bunch of repair bills that put your vehicle in the garage for long. Instead of letting your lemon break your budget, make sure that your lemon gets fixed with these tips from a California lemon law lawyer.


When Is Your Vehicle Considered a Lemon?

Cars don’t always live up to their expectations when you first start driving them. This is the case, especially with a previously owned car. Some cars tend to develop problems just when they’re hitting the two-year mark on low mileage, while some sportscars which are being driven by enthusiasts end up in the garage after only six months because of a particularly powerful engine or computer issues.

A vehicle can be classified as a lemon in both cases: either because it doesn’t perform well after 18,000 miles or because its particularities end up causing an accident that could have been prevented if it hadn’t been for the car’s design flaws.

According to the California lemon law, a car is a lemon if:

  • It is under warranty from a manufacturer or bought from a dealership.
  • If the vehicle has a defect caused by the manufacturer that affects the safety, use and value.
  • If the manufacturer failed to repair the defect.
  • If the defect happened in the first 18 months and 18,000 miles of purchase.

Under the law, the manufacturer is solely responsible for lemon vehicles. Lemon laws are a set of laws in California that protect owners against lemons. Lemon cars have significant problems at no fault of the owner. If a car has been deemed to be a lemon due to it having a significant problem after several attempts by the dealer to fix it, the vehicle must be replaced or refunded.


lemon car shaped as a lemon


Why are Lemon Vehicles Risky?

If you have purchased a car that doesn’t work, then don’t waste any more time trying to fix it yourself. This is one of those things that is best handled by a professional mechanic. A vehicle is a lemon and it affects the safety, use and value of the vehicle:

  • Safety: Defects that have the potential to cause serious problems, which usually involve core systems.
  • Use: Flaws that impact how the car can be used, such as ignition flaws that prevent the vehicle from turning on or anti-theft features that prevent owners from unlocking it.
  • Value: Problem vehicles that may not affect the vehicle’s safety or utility but impact its value as an investment, such as a car that’s been repainted and is no longer clear coated, or tires with low tread.

If you think your car is a lemon, you must get in contact with a manufacturer to see what they will do about it. If not, you could be in danger.


Issues That Can Arise With an Unrepaired Lemon

If you’ve ever purchased a defective vehicle, you know that the problems don’t end with the purchase. A car’s defects can cause a host of financial and mental issues for you and your family. These are the issues that can arise with an unrepaired lemon.


Issues That Come Up After You Find Out Your Vehicle is a Lemon

If your vehicle has one manufacturing defect, there can be countless other ones you don’t know about. One problem will lead to a whole cascade of other problems and without addressing these defects right away, your car will eventually stop working altogether. This is the inescapable truth that you should not ignore minor issues.

If you own a potential lemon and don’t pursue proper repairs, the problem will only get worse. Ignoring a minor flaw that spirals into larger issues means that you’ll need to fight harder to warrant your manufacturer to repair everything under warranty.


Increased Chances of Accidents

Driving a vehicle that has been deemed legally unsafe to drive is likely to get you into an accident at some point or another, especially if you continue driving it unrepaired. For example, driving an old jeep that happens to turn the brake on automatically while driving down the highway is sure to get you rear-ended at the very least.

Although that depends on the details, if you know about a dangerous flaw in your vehicle, and still choose to drive it anyway without letting your customers or peers know about the issue, then insurance companies may argue that you’re partially responsible for any damages that result. When in doubt, reach out and get help from a lemon law lawyer in San Diego because every injury counts.


yellow lemon car with door open


Reduced Resale Value

If a car is still within its warranty period then it should be respected and the manufacturer or some other party that is issuing the warranty must respond to any complaints related to issues of safety or damages as soon as possible. When the time elapses then you could potentially lose a considerable investment.

Selling a used car, especially when you are under the loan and aren’t able to get much for it, can be difficult. Sure some will buy it, but they won’t pay you nearly what you think it is worth. The best way to sell a used car with defects is to bring it in for repairs and improvements before selling so others will see what great condition your vehicle is in even though your vehicle has lower miles than most other cars around.


Final Words

If you were sold a used car in California and it turned out to be defective, you may not want to just accept that. California lemon laws give car owners the ability to demand a repair, a replacement, or a refund from either the dealer or the manufacturer. Call today to schedule your consultation with McMillan Law Group to determine what legal action is best suited for your situation.