If you purchased a car, truck, or SUV that turns out to be a clunker, don’t despair. A Bakersfield lemon law attorney may be able to help. Under the California lemon law, you may have a legal remedy that refunds the price of your vehicle or replaces it with a new one. So, get started today.
You will first need to inform the auto manufacturer, in writing, that you are filing a claim. While you can do this on your own, you may find that using a Bakersfield lemon law attorney will make the process easier and more effective. Lemon law attorney fees are paid by the auto manufacturer if the claim is successful, and attorneys typically do not take on cases that they believe are unwinnable.
At Neale & Fhima, we have a 99% success rate in Bakersfield lemon law cases. Rather than being frustrated, take action! Give us a call. We can assess your claim, answer your questions, and explain your legal options.
If your purchased or leased vehicle is still covered by the original factory warranty and you are having regular repair problems, you may qualify for lemon law protection. California law requires all car manufacturers and dealers to repair vehicles if the factory warranty is still effective. If they are unsuccessful after several tries, you could be entitled to a legal remedy.
Bakersfield has one of the most consumer-friendly lemon laws in the nation that ensures vehicle owners’ protection. Under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, if you purchase a defective vehicle in Bakersfield, you are legally entitled to a refund, or the vehicle can be replaced at the manufacturer’s expense. However, you must prove that it’s a lemon according to legal guidelines, and that’s where a skilled Bakersfield lemon law lawyer can help.
Unfortunately, not every lemon law claim is smooth sailing in Bakersfield. The car dealer and/or manufacturer may file a rebuttal to your claim. One of the most common issues raised is that the dealer did not have enough opportunity to repair the car. Keep in mind also that the lemon law applies to new, leased, and some used vehicles.
Bakersfield is located in Kern County, which has a population of more than 878,000 people. There are 508,550 vehicles registered by the DMV in Kern County, and the majority of households own two or more vehicles. This means there could be hundreds or even thousands of lemons on the road in Bakersfield and Kern County.
Bakersfield, California, has long been considered a ‘stopping point’ between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The major thoroughfare for vehicles in Kern County is the Golden State Freeway (I-5), though Bakersfield is served locally by State Routes 58, 99 and 178. Many people find that living and working in Bakersfield is pleasant and affordable, given its thriving agricultural and oil industries. There are hundreds of miles of bicycle paths to enjoy, and almost 60 parks. With the Sierra Nevada Mountains a short drive away, outdoor activities are popular. But to enjoy these things, you must have a vehicle that is reliable and safe.
Proving a Bakersfield lemon law case begins with establishing that your car, truck, or SUV has a defect that substantially impacts its USE, VALUE, or SAFETY. This means the defect needs to be significant, though it doesn’t have to be life-threatening. Things like a small paint scratch would likely not rise to the level of a lemon law claim.
Common defects that affect safety include:
Next, you must show that you made a “reasonable” number of attempts to get your vehicle repaired at an authorized dealer, but the defect persists. The law isn’t always clear about exactly how many repair attempts you must make before filing a legal claim, but here are some general guidelines:
To legally prove that you tried to have the defect repaired, do these things:
A common reason Bakersfield lemon law claims fail is that the consumer does not keep sufficient records of repair attempts. Do not let this happen. Keep good records of every trip you make to the dealership. Keep all invoices, repair orders and receipts. Make sure that the problem is precisely described in the invoice paperwork. Get the names of all service writers who help you. All of this will be to your benefit when it comes time to file a lemon law claim. All repair attempts must be made at an authorized dealership or representative of the manufacturer to qualify for lemon law protection. Do not try to make the repairs yourself, and don’t ask a neighbor or local independent mechanic to work on your vehicle.
The statute of limitations for a lemon law claim in Bakersfield is four years from the date a consumer knew or should have known that the vehicle had a serious defect. This does not mean that if you have had your vehicle for more than 4 years, you can’t bring a lemon law claim. Our lawyers at Neale & Fhima have successfully “lemoned” cars and trucks that are more than 10 years old.
If you have purchased or leased a lemon, you want to start the buyback process as soon as possible. After the statute of limitations runs out, a judge may dismiss your case. Don’t hesitate to contact our legal team if you have questions about the statute of limitations. Gather copies of your work orders, repair bills, and payment receipts and call an experienced lemon law lawyer today.
If you win, the car must be 1) replaced or 2) repurchased for its original value, minus mileage (which is calculated using a buyback formula). If there is an outstanding loan on the vehicle, the manufacturer will pay off the loan directly to the lending institution. The manufacturer will also pay taxes, fees, and the original down payment on the vehicle.
Your chances of prevailing in a lemon law case in Bakersfield will always be higher with an attorney fighting for you. Dealers and manufacturers do not like to pay lemon law claims and will block your efforts. Fight back with an experienced lemon law attorney at Neale & Fhima.
Our Bakersfield lemon law attorneys look forward to working with Bakersfield residents on their possible lemon law claims. You don’t have to remain frustrated with a car or truck that spends more time in the shop than out on the road. Call us today for a free consultation at 888-407-2955.