California’s Lemon Law is designed to protect consumers who purchase and lease defective vehicles. If you believe that you may be driving a lemon, learn about the steps that you need to take to assert your rights under California’s Lemon Law.
At Neale & Fhima, we regularly represent clients who have purchased or leased a lemon and who are fed up with the constant trips to the dealership and empty answers. We have a consistent record of success that includes taking many of the major auto manufacturers to trial. If you believe that you have purchased or leased a lemon in California, we can help you enforce your legal rights. We invite you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation about your claim.
9 Steps to Prepare for Your California Lemon Law Claim
If you think you may have a lemon, here are nine steps to take to prepare for your California Lemon Law claim:
1. Determine if your vehicle is still under the original manufacturer’s warranty.
In order to pursue a claim under California’s Lemon Law, your vehicle must still be subject to the original manufacturer’s warranty when the problem arises. Some manufacturers offer longer warranties than others, so you will want to make sure that you know when your warranty expires. If you are not sure, then we can help you interpret the terms of your warranty.
2. Make sure that you have given the dealership a reasonable opportunity to fix the problem.
Under California’s Lemon Law, you must give the dealership a reasonable opportunity to fix the problem in order to be eligible to file a claim. What constitutes a “reasonable number of attempts” can vary, depending on the defect and the circumstances involved. There is no set number or formula.
3. Understand the options that are available for pursuing your Lemon Law claim.
Even if your manufacturer offers arbitration, arbitration is not the only option for pursuing your claim (nor is it the best). Most times filing a lawsuit is the most effective way to resolve your Lemon Law claim.
4. Learn about the remedies that are available for Lemon Law claims in California.
The two primary remedies that are available under California’s Lemon Law are:
- Replacement of the defective vehicle
- Repurchase of the defective vehicle
However, during the claims process, it may be worthwhile to consider other options, as well. These can include additional repair attempts, reimbursement for towing and other expenses, an extended service contract, cash settlement, and a variety of other options.
5. Learn about the statutory deductions that may apply to your claim.
In certain circumstances, there are deductions that will apply when the dealership repurchases your vehicle. For example, if your vehicle has damage beyond ordinary wear and tear, this may diminish the amount of your repurchase award. In most cases, a mileage deduction will apply, as well. You will want to make sure that you clearly understand the applicable deductions so that you know how much you can expect to take home from your claim.
6. Make sure that you do not run out of time to enforce your rights under California’s Lemon Law.
California’s Lemon Law has a four-year statute of limitations. But, despite the four year limitation period, waiting to file your claims will almost certainly hurt your chances for success. To protect yourself, you should get started with your claim as soon as possible.
7. Research California Lemon Law attorneys to represent you in your claim.
When it comes to a California Lemon Law claim, you do not want to pick just any attorney out of the online listings. Lemon Law claims are unique, and you want an attorney who has years of experience handling your specific type of claim.
8. Collect your records relating to your vehicle’s repair history for the defect.
As you prepare to file your claim, you will want to collect as many of your vehicle’s repair records as possible. You should also make copies of any notices that you sent to the manufacturer, and you should write down everything that you remember about your interactions with the dealership’s personnel. These could all be key evidence in support of your Lemon Law claim.
9. Schedule a free consultation.
Finally, you will want to talk with an attorney for a one-on-one consultation about your claim. This consultation should be free, and you should not be asked to pay a retainer fee or sign up to pay an hourly rate. Under California’s Lemon Law, the manufacturer can be forced to pay the claimant’s legal fees, and no experienced Lemon Law attorney should expect you to pay out of pocket to pursue your claim.
Find Out More About Your Lemon Law Claim
Continue reading to learn how to exercise your rights under California’s Lemon Law:
- Do You Have a Lemon?
- The Lemon Law Claims Process
- The Lemon Law: Essential Consumer Protection
- What Makes California’s Lemon Law Unique?
- Lemon Law FAQs
Contact a Southern California Lemon Law Attorney at Neale & Fhima
If you would like more information about enforcing your rights under California’s Lemon Law, contact Neale & Fhima today for a free consultation. To get started with your claim, call our California Lemon Law Lawyers at (888) 568-5405 or submit our online consultation form today.