To many, the oceanside hamlet of Laguna Niguel, with its rolling hills, wilderness parks, and panoramic views of the azure Pacific, is the perfect escape from the frantic action in the rest of Southern California. From Treasure Island Park down the Pacific Coast Highway with its breathtaking vistas to Dana Point, the community’s seashore is probably the cleanest stretch of beach between LA and San Diego. Is it any wonder why many who have visited chose to put down roots in this favored community wedged between the ocean and the hillside vistas beyond the I-5?

Neale & Fhima is proud to be a part of Laguna Niguel. We are pleased and honored to help local car owners who need lemon law representation. Below is the basic information that constitutes California’s lemon law that we offer our friends and neighbors.

What Vehicles are Covered by California’s Lemon Law?

California’s lemon law covers only passenger automobiles with relatively low mileage. Here is how it works:

  • To qualify, a vehicle must:
    • be a new, used, or leased vehicle with under warranty,
    • suffer from a recurring mechanical defect, and
    • the defect substantially impairs the vehicle’s use, value, or safety.
  • A vehicle will not qualify if:
    • it was purchased or leased outside of California (active military are exempt)
    • the owner bought it through a private-party transaction
    • it is part of a business-use fleet comprised of five or more vehicles which are registered in California.
  • Special protections apply if a vehicle:
    • has been in use less than 18 months/18,000 miles, and
    • brought to the dealer 4 or more time within that timeframe.

Whale Watching off Dana Point Near Laguna Niguel

Whale-watching tours out of Dana Point Harbor – about 15 minutes south of Laguna Niguel – are popular excursions. Resident whales and thousands of dolphins live in the waters immediately off Dana Point.  Gray whales pass through from November through April on their migration from Alaska to Mexico, then make the return trip with calves in tow. It is not unusual to see a blue whale, the world’s largest at 150 tons and 110 feet long. Some tour boats have underwater portals for up-close viewing. While at Dana Point, also visit the Ocean Institute, which offers whale-watching tours and special programs and events.

The Institute maintains two tall ships, the Pilgrim, a 130-foot vessel used in overnight and dockside programs, and the Spirit of Dana Point, a 118-foot topsail schooner. Both are centerpieces of the Institute’s largest annual event, the Toshiba Tall Ships Festival, which is held every September. Seven or eight tall ships from up and down the coast join the fleet, and the event features pirates, singing, cannon battles and a chance to sail on a tall ship.

Had Enough? Is it Time to Get Rid of Your Lemon?

Consumers who successfully establish their lemon law claim in California will choose from two remedies: a refund of the purchase price by selling their vehicle back to the manufacturer or a replacement from the same car company. Most choose the refund, for obvious reasons. Owning a lemon car usually destroys any brand loyalty the consumer once had for the carmaker. A refund allows the consumer to buy a different vehicle from another manufacturer.

Those who choose to resell their lemon to the manufacturer must accept the fact that they will not get their full purchase price back. It will be prorated to account for the owner’s use of the vehicle prior to the mechanical problems. If you want to know the prorated value of your vehicle, one of our lemon law attorneys will be glad to provide you with this information during your free consultation.

Neale & Fhima Helps with your Laguna Niguel Lemon Law Claim

We help clients in Laguna Niguel and throughout Southern California file strong reimbursement claims for their defective vehicles. But in spite of the strength of our state’s lemon laws, manufacturers often find ways to reduce the compensation they offer consumers. We strongly protect our clients’ full compensation rights to make sure they receive the full and fair lemon law payment they deserve.

If you or a loved one has a lemon vehicle and is a resident of Laguna Niguel, contact our experienced lemon law attorneys at Neale & Fhima to arrange a free case evaluation. We will stand up to manufacturers and make sure they treat you fairly. If we take your case, the law requires the car maker to pay our legal fees if we win. If we don’t win, you owe nothing.

Here are some other resources to people interested in learning more about the lemon law: