Lemon Law Attorneys in Oakland
Oakland certainly has its share of new car dealerships, most of them located right downtown on Broadway. This makes comparison shopping convenient. But if you are visiting the city’s dealerships looking for your next vehicle, there is one important factor that may not have occurred to you – how will the dealership treat you if your car breaks down during the warranty period?
Auto dealers must honor the warranty provided to you by the manufacturer. California’s lemon law takes it one step further, though. Not only must they honor the warranty, but they must do so quickly. Excuses and delays by a dealership’s repair department are no good. If they cannot make the repairs in a reasonable number of attempts, you get a refund or replacement, and they get stuck with the lemon.
Of course, to achieve this outcome, you must be able to enforce your rights. California’s lemon law helps with this, too. It allows you to hire a local Bay Area lemon law lawyer at no cost. The law firm of Neale & Fhima provides this service. You can contact us now, or keep reading to learn more about the lemon law, as well as some interesting facts about the city of Oakland.
Understanding California’s Lemon Law
Not everyone with a problematic vehicle has the right to demand that the manufacturer take it off their hands. Buybacks, replacement vehicles, and other lemon law remedies are available only if the following criteria are met:
- The vehicle is covered. The vehicle must be under warranty when the defect is “discovered.” The law assumes a defect is discovered on the day the owner first brings the vehicle to the dealership for repair. Only warranties issued by the manufacturer qualify – extended warranties and service contracts do not. In most cases, the vehicle must have been purchased or leased from a dealer in California.
- The defect is covered. California’s lemon law applies only to serious defects. The law defines these as defects that substantially impair the vehicle’s use, value, or safety. Most problems that justify repeated trips to the repair department will meet this standard. Note that the defect must involve a part or function of the car covered by the warranty.
- The dealership had the opportunity to make the repairs. Obviously, the owner must give the dealer a chance to fix the vehicle (at no cost to the owner). That is the purpose of a factory warranty. Following the first repair attempt, the dealer is allowed a reasonable number of additional attempts to get it right. What is reasonable depends on, among other things, the danger posed by the defect.
Even when these requirements are met, things can still go wrong. A lemon law claim must be documented, negotiated, and resolved prior to the statute of limitations deadline. Occasionally, filing a lawsuit is necessary. Our attorneys can handle these matters on your behalf.
East Bay Lawyers Who Appreciate Local History
Neale & Fhima is committed to serving the people of Oakland, and we opened a lemon law office right across the bay to help us do it. We also enjoy discussing the historical events that shaped the city’s character. Here are a few of them:
- Native peoples lived in what is now the Oakland area for thousands of years with little contact from foreigners. This changed in 1772, when Spanish explorers arrived and purported to lay claim to the land on behalf of King Charles III.
- In 1820, the Spanish governor of California issued a land grant to Don Luís María Peralta as a reward for his military service. In addition to Oakland, the Peralta land grant included the surrounding areas of Emeryville, Piedmont, and Alameda, as well as Berkeley to the north and San Leandro to the south.
- Oakland incorporated in 1852, two years after California became a state. This was the Gold Rush period, and people were determined to build wealth fast. The first mayor of Oakland, Horace Carpentier, got a bit too greedy however. In 1855, he was removed from office after arranging to take personal ownership of Oakland’s waterfront.
- The earthquake of 1906 led to a massive influx of new residents from San Francisco. Unfortunately, Oakland experienced a disaster of its own in 1918, when an influenza outbreak killed 1,400 of the city’s residents.
- Oakland experienced strong economic growth during WWII. The shipbuilding, food canning, and rail industries attracted workers from across the United States, particularly the Southwest and the Deep South. These migrations are one reason the city enjoys such a diverse population today.