California Lemon Law Attorneys

When you purchase a new vehicle, you should not have to worry about mechanical problems, safety or breakdowns. But what if you bought a new car in southern California and are faced with constant trips to the dealership for repairs? The California Lemon Law protects buyers and lessees from major warranty defects that the manufacturer or dealer cannot fix. If you think you have a lemon, it would be helpful to become familiar with some of the common terms regarding the California lemon law.

If you think after reviewing this page that you may have a lemon on your hands, please contact the Lemon Law attorneys at Neale & Fhima to help you file a claim against the dealership or manufacturer. We can help you to obtain the financial justice you deserve, which could even include a cash settlement. Call 949-661-1007 today.

Glossary of Terms

  • California Lemon Law: This state law requires the manufacturer that cannot repair a vehicle to replace or repurchase the vehicle after a ‘reasonable’ number of attempts have been made to repair it. There is not a specific number of reasonable repair attempts required, but the Lemon Law does contain guidelines to determine when a reasonable number of attempts were made. See ‘Lemon Law Presumption’ for more.
  • Consumer: The law covers consumers as follows: A person who buys/leases a new vehicle from a car manufacturer or dealership; a lessee for a term of more than four months; and any person to whom the car, truck or SUV is transferred during the written warranty.
  • Lemon Law Presumption: Within the Lemon Law, there is a presumption guideline that presumes a vehicle is a lemon if the criteria below have been met within 18 months of vehicle delivery or 18,000 miles on the odometer:
    • The auto manufacturer or dealer made two or more tries to repair the problem under warranty that is likely to cause death or serious injury if the car is driven.
    • The auto manufacturer or dealer made four or more attempts to repair the problem.
    • The car has been undriveable for more than 30 days – not necessarily in a row – while being repaired for warranty issues.
    • The repair issues are covered by warranty, they reduce the use and value of the vehicle, and were not caused by consumer abuse of the car.
    • If these criteria are satisfied, the Lemon Law shall presume the buyer is either entitled to a replacement or a refund of the purchase price.
  • New Vehicle: The Lemon Law covers new cars, trucks and SUVs, including a new vehicle that is used for personal and family purposes; a new vehicle with a total weight under 10,000 pounds bought or used mostly for business purposes; both purchased and leased vehicles.
  • Nonconformities: The law covers nonconformities defined as any defect or malfunction that is covered by the written new vehicle warranty and impairs the value, safety or use of the vehicle for the consumer.
  • Reasonable Number of Repair Attempts: The manufacturer or dealer must make a reasonable number of attempts to rectify the warranty problem. There is no specific number stated in the law. But see ‘Lemon Law Presumption’ for guidelines on this matter.
  • Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act: This is the official name of the California Lemon Law. It was passed in 1970 and requires all car manufacturers to buy back or replace faulty products after they are unable to fix a problem after a reasonable number of attempts. The law was amended in 2007 to apply to people in the U.S. Armed Forces who are residents of or are stationed in California, regardless of where the vehicle was purchased.

Neale & Fhima Lemon Law Attorneys Serving Southern California

If you bought or leased a vehicle that has serious and repeating warranty issues, you may have a lemon law claim against the vehicle manufacturer. Neale & Fhima is an experienced lemon law firm, serving Orange County, California, customers for years, including those who purchased a defective vehicle from one of southern California’s many auto dealerships. If you need legal advice about a vehicle with serious repair and warranty issues, please call 949-661-1007. Or, you can complete the contact form below.