Our Dana Point Office
If you’ve recently purchased a new or used vehicle that is always malfunctioning and requires repeated trips to the mechanic’s garage, then it may be time to talk to a Dana Point lemon law attorney. California law provides protections for consumers who unknowingly buy lemons.
Don’t settle for a car that runs only some of the time. Contact a Dana Point lemon law attorney today to learn more about your legal rights.
Why Do I Need a Dana Point Lemon Law Attorney?
When you file a claim against a multinational car manufacturer, you want to make sure you have the “best of the best” when it comes to a lemon law attorney. You don’t want a real estate attorney or a tax attorney — you want a highly skilled Dana Point lemon law attorney with years of experience fighting big auto companies. At Neale & Fhima, our lemon law lawyers know how to take on car dealerships and manufacturers and win these cases for our clients. For a free initial consultation about your situation, contact us at (949) 661-1007. You’ll be glad you did!
How Much Does a Dana Point Lemon Law Attorney Cost?
Here’s the great news! Hiring a lemon lawyer costs you nothing up front! Our attorneys work on contingency, which means that we don’t get paid until you get paid. If we win your case, then our fees are paid by the auto manufacturer. If for any reason your claim is unsuccessful, then you owe us nothing and we don’t get paid. So there is little risk to you in hiring a Dana Point lemon law attorney and pursuing your claim.
How Many Chances Does the Dealer Get to Fix My Car?
California’s lemon law, also known as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, gives lemon car owners the right to a refund or replacement vehicle. But these remedies are not available at the first sign of mechanical trouble. The auto manufacturer (through its authorized dealer) is allowed a reasonable number of attempts to fix the vehicle before the owner can file a claim.
Determining how many repair attempts is “reasonable” can be tricky. It will depend on the circumstances, including the seriousness of the mechanical problem and whether the problem poses a threat of physical harm to the driver or passengers. It also depends on how long the car has been in use. The following rules of thumb apply to passenger vehicles with less than 18 months/18,000 miles:
|If the mechanical problem…||The dealer is allowed…|
|Affects vehicle’s use/value/safety||At least 4 repair attempts|
|Affects vehicle’s use/value/safety & poses risk of injury or death||At least 2 repair attempts|
|Affects vehicle’s use/value/safety & vehicle in repair shop more than 30 days||No additional repair attempts|
The guidelines above apply only to cars, light trucks, vans, and SUVs. If you own a different type of vehicle (like a motorcycle), or if your vehicle exceeds the 18 months/18,000 miles limit, we suggest you speak with one of our Dana Point lemon law attorneys to find out more about your specific circumstances. Call us for a free initial consultation at (949) 661-1007.
Used Car Lemon Laws in California
We often get asked the question, “Does California Lemon Law apply to used cars?” The answer is yes – under very specific circumstances. If you purchased a used car “as is” from a dealership or private party, then the lemon law does not apply. You just take your chances with “as is” vehicles. A good Dana Point used car lemon law attorney can explain the law in greater detail.
To establish a lemon law claim in Dana Point, California, your car must have at least one of three qualifying vehicle warranties. These include:
- Transferred New Car Warranty
All new cars come with a manufacturer’s warranty. When the title (ownership) of this vehicle changes hands during the warranty period, any remaining coverage transfers, too.
- Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Warranty
These warranties cover used vehicles that have been inspected, restored and resold by the manufacturer. These warranties are usually less extensive than original factory warranties, but sometimes buyers can upgrade CPO warranties for a fee. Only authorized dealers can sell CPO vehicles. So if you didn’t buy the vehicle there, you won’t have a CPO warranty.
- Lemon Law Buyback Warranty
Vehicles that are re-acquired by manufacturers after a successful lemon law case can sometimes be repaired and resold by the manufacturer. If so, offering a 12-month/12,000-mile warranty covering the prior defect is one of the law’s requirements.
If you’re uncertain whether your used vehicle is covered by one of these 3 warranties, our Dana Point used car lemon law lawyers would be glad to investigate. Just call us at (949) 661-1007 and we’ll help you sort it out.
Defects Covered by the California Lemon Law
The law states that auto manufacturers must offer lemon law buybacks for new cars if the manufacturer cannot repair a defect that has a substantial impact upon the
- value, or
- safety of that vehicle.
Whether the automotive defect has a substantial impact upon these things is an objective test. This means that your opinion about the matter is not considered. It is not enough for you to testify that you think the defect makes your vehicle unsafe to drive.
For a defect to affect your vehicle’s safety, the defect would need to be something that a reasonable person would think is unsafe. Also, regarding affecting the use or value of the car, what is critical is whether a reasonable person would agree that the defect has a substantial effect on use or value. So, some defects in your car that you find very annoying, such as a squeak, loud wind noise, or an AC that takes too long to blow cold air….sorry, these do not qualify for coverage under the lemon law…unless a reasonable person would pay less for the car or would not be able to use the car in a way that a car is usually used.
What Defects Affect Vehicle Safety?
There are many defects that could affect the vehicle’s safety, but there is no requirement under the law that the defect actually endangered you. So, if the car has a defect with its automatic mirrors, the mere fact that they work unpredictably could be enough to be the basis of a lemon law claim.
Common defects that affect safety include:
- Check-engine lights
- Steering issues
- Braking problems (not squeaking)
- Faulty windshield wipers
- Fuel gauges and speedometer don’t work
- Door locks don’t work
- Won’t start
- Poor acceleration
- AC does not work
- Transmission is not smooth during starting and stopping
- Battery dies regularly.
More Facts About Dana Point Lemon Law
When it comes to consumer rights, knowledge is power. Here are some important rules governing the lemon law claims process that every car owner should know:
- The lemon law applies to vehicles that are purchased or leased.
- A successful lemon law claim entitles vehicle owners/lessees to their choice of remedy: a replacement vehicle; a refund (buyback); or, in some cases, a cash settlement.
- To qualify for lemon law protection, the vehicle’s mechanical problem must be covered by a valid factory warranty at the time of the first repair attempt.
- Because factory warranties are transferable, used cars may qualify under California’s lemon law.
- The lemon law covers boats, ATVs, camper trailers, and other recreational vehicles (these vehicles fall within the law’s general provisions that apply to consumer goods).
Does all of this sound a little complicated? No worries! That’s what a Dana Point lemon law attorney is for. We can simplify all of this for you and help you determine whether or not you have a legal claim. Call us for a free initial consultation at (949) 661-1007.
Client Review of Our Lemon Law Attorney
I would love to give Neale & Fhima more than 5 stars! I had gone to 3 different law firms about a lemon law case and was turned down. I am so thankful I was able to find Neale & Fhima online. I called and with no hesitation Aaron said, “YES, we can take your case!” He answered all my questions and replied in a timely manner. Best customer service I have encountered, from the front end to the attorneys. I highly recommend Neale & Fhima law firm with no doubt! Thank you so much Aaron.
– Evelyn Cardona
How Does a Dana Point Lemon Law Lawyer Build a Case?
A Dana Point lemon law lawyer gathers facts, evidence and repair records and receipts to build a case against the vehicle manufacturer. Whether the defect affects the use of the vehicle or its safety, a skilled lemon lawyer knows how to prove various elements of the case. An attorney can prove that the components fail to do what they were designed to do. He knows that the brakes need to be able to stop the car within a reasonable stopping distance, the air conditioner must cool the car, and the car’s locks must secure the vehicle.
Remember, a defect is required to be covered by the lemon law only if a “reasonable person” would deem it unsafe or the defect has substantial impact on the use or value of the vehicle. A Dana Point lemon law attorney who has extensive experience handling these types of cases is your ideal advocate to argue that you have the perspective of a “reasonable person.”
“Use” under the lemon law accounts for the circumstances of the owner, too. If the defect prevents the seat warmers from working properly, this might not affect use for most of us. But what if the owner has poor leg circulation and the non-functional seat warmers prevent him from driving for more than 10 minutes? Also, poor air conditioning can affect consumers in Dana Point far more than those who live in San Francisco, which has cooler weather.
Why We Have Lemon Law Attorneys in Dana Point
First-time visitors to Dana Point are taken aback by the sheer beauty of the place. Steep cliffs overlook the ocean, boats fill the harbor, and a row of elegant homes lies along the beach.
Those who stay even a brief time discover there is more to Dana Point than meets the eye. There is a long and fascinating history here – one filled with stories of Spanish missionaries, marauding pirates, and proprietors who dreamt bigger than their pocketbooks.
Dana Point has increasingly become a tourist destination, which means more cars on the road and more traffic. Nobody wants to be driving a defective car that is always breaking down and causing inconvenience for the owner and other motorists. That’s why we have lemon law attorneys in Dana Point. You don’t have to go to a neighboring town to find a legal advocate if you own a lemon. We’re right here for you, just a phone call away at (949) 661-1007.
A Dana Point New Car Buyer’s Paradise
Just north of modern-day Dana Point, along Camino Capistrano, a string of auto dealerships attracts new car buyers from across the region. All the major dealers are here, including Nissan, Kia, Honda, Toyota, Ford, Chrysler, Mazda, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and Volkswagen. Anytime one of these manufacturers sells a defective vehicle to an unsuspecting customer, our law firm can help.
We Are Here to Help You
You are not alone and don’t have to suffer endlessly with a defective vehicle. If you are tired of repeatedly taking your new or used car to the mechanic, paying huge repair bills, and being stuck without a reliable car, then it’s time to contact a Dana Point lemon law attorney for help. At Neale & Fhima, we represent every client with the determination and commitment that they deserve. We will not rest until we hold the auto manufacturer accountable and pursue legal relief for each of our clients. For a free initial consultation about your case, contact us at (949) 661-1007. We are here for you.