At Neale & Fhima, a lemon law lawyer in Los Angeles fights for individuals who bought lemons. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, or if you need to assert your rights under California’s Lemon Law, contact us today for a free consultation.
California Lemon Law
What would Los Angeles be without cars, miles of freeways and traffic? Anybody who knows anything about the City of Angels knows that it is a car town, and your wheels say something about who you are. That’s why it’s so discouraging if you discover that you’ve purchased a lemon, spending more time getting the vehicle repaired than out on the road. Rather than being frustrated, take action!
All 50 states and the federal government have enacted some type of lemon law to protect consumers. In California, the statute is known as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, codified at California Civil Code sections 1792 to 1795.8. Under the California Lemon Law, you may be entitled to one of the following remedies:
- The manufacturer will replace the vehicle.
- The manufacturer will repurchase the vehicle.
- You can negotiate a cash settlement.
A Los Angeles lemon law lawyer at Neale & Fhima is familiar with lemon law claims, and we can file one on your behalf. Our firm has a 99% record of success in lemon law cases! To find out more about how we can help, call us for a free initial consultation at (888) 407-2955. You don’t have to put up with a vehicle that doesn’t run properly.
What Is a Lemon?
A “lemon” is a car, truck, SUV, or RV that has been defective from the day you drove it off the lot. It has never really functioned correctly despite repeated attempts to get it repaired by a mechanic. Whether it’s because of a broken axle, faulty transmission, defective brakes, malfunctioning seats or a wide range of other mechanical and electrical problems, these vehicles have spent too much time at the dealership’s service department. To determine whether you have a lemon law claim, find out if your new vehicle is still under the original manufacturer’s warranty. If it is, you may have a claim. If you own a used vehicle, then you will need one of three specific warranties to file a lemon law claim (outlined below). Before being eligible to file a claim, you need to have made a “reasonable number of attempts” to get your new or used vehicle repaired. Find out more in: Do You Have a Lemon?
A Lemon Law Attorney in Los Angeles Explains the “Buyback” Option
Under the Lemon Law buyback process, you must be able to demonstrate that your vehicle has “nonconformities,” which are defined as any defect or malfunction that is covered by the manufacturer’s original new-car warranty. Nonconformities significantly restrict the safety, use or value of the vehicle. A defect does not have to be expensive or life-threatening to be covered by the lemon law — it simply must compromise the safety or use of the vehicle.
Common defects that affect safety include:
- Malfunctioning mirrors
- Transmission is not smooth during starting and stopping
- Poor acceleration
- Bent or sprung chassis
- Braking problems
- Fuel gauges and speedometer don’t work
- AC does not work
- Steering malfunctions
- Door locks stick or don’t engage.
Here’s a quick primer on how the buyback works:
The process starts by sending a demand letter to the manufacturer. A lemon law attorney in Los Angeles can do that on your behalf. You will have to show that you made “reasonable attempts” to have a dealership or mechanic repair your vehicle, so keep all receipts, work orders and used parts from each one of your repair appointments. State law does not precisely define “reasonable number of attempts,” but there are some guidelines. California law says you may have an eligible lemon law claim in the following circumstances:
- The vehicle had a minimum of two repairs attempted for a defect that could lead to death or serious injury if it is driven.
- You brought the car or truck to the dealership at least four times to remedy the same defect.
- The vehicle has been at a dealership for repairs of the same defect for at least 30 days since you acquired it.
As you can see, there are several specific qualifications you must meet to file a lemon law claim. Find out more in: The Lemon Law Claims Process. If your attorney can prove all these things, then the manufacturer can be forced to buyback your lemon.
Deadlines and Documentation
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. The statute of limitations on a California lemon law claim is four years, so you need to take action soon.
Be sure to document the steps you’ve taken to try to get the vehicle fixed. These include:
- Phone calls to the dealership to complain about vehicle defects
- Copies of work orders and repair bills
- Credit card receipts for repairs
- The original vehicle bill of sale.
A Los Angeles Lemon Law Lawyer May Be Able to Help with Your Used Car
So, you’ve bought a used car and it turns out to be a clunker, and you’re wondering whether the California Lemon Law will cover a pre-owned car. Well, yes and no. If you bought the car “as is” from a private seller or car lot, then no, you do not have a lemon law remedy. If, however, you bought the used vehicle with one of three specific warranties, then yes, you likely have a lemon law case that is winnable. A Los Angeles lemon law lawyer can provide more details about specific terms of the law.
If you have one of these warranties, you are in good shape:
- Transferred New Car Warranty
All new cars come with a warranty from the manufacturer, and when the title is transferred to a new owner during the warranty period, the warranty protections travel with the vehicle for the remaining coverage period.
- Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Warranty
Authorized dealerships sometimes sell Certified Pre-Owned vehicles, which means that these used cars have been inspected and any needed repairs and maintenance have been completed. The vehicles are then resold with a CPO warranty. CPO warranties are usually less comprehensive than new car warranties; but because there’s any warranty at all, these CPO vehicles typically have higher price tags than “as is” used cars. Only authorized dealers can sell CPO vehicles – no one else can.
- Lemon Law Buyback Warranty
Manufacturers sometimes re-sell lemons after buying them back from their original purchasers and making all necessary repairs. If manufacturers do this, they are required by law to provide a 12-month/12,000-mile warranty covering the prior defect.
Sometimes it’s a little tricky figuring out whether the California lemon law applies to your used vehicle. Our experienced Los Angeles used car lemon attorneys can help.
Lemon Law Legal Fees
Here’s the good news about legal fees. At Neale & Fhima, we work on contingency, which means that we don’t get paid until you get paid. Our legal fees are paid by the manufacturer as part of a settlement agreement or jury award. If for some reason your claim is not successful, you pay nothing. Sound reasonable?
Getting the Lemon Law Process Started
If you are getting nowhere with the dealer on repairing the car, we recommend you do the following:
- Write a letter to the manufacturer demanding that they buy the vehicle back (our Lemon Law lawyer in Los Angeles can help you).
- If the manufacturer refuses to buy it back, ask if there is an arbitration program available.
- To check whether the manufacturer has an arbitration program, call the California Department of Consumer Affairs Hotline – 1-800-952-5210.
- If it is possible, go to the arbitration hearing personally. You can accept or reject the findings of the arbitration panel. If you do not get satisfaction, call a Los Angeles Lemon Law lawyer at Neale & Fhima.
10 Reasons to Choose Neale & Fhima
With no shortage of law firms in Los Angeles, how can you tell whether one firm stands out from the crowd? Here are just some of the reasons why we believe we are the best choice for your California Lemon Law claim:
- We Do What It Takes to Win Maximum Compensation.While some lawyers do not like to take cases to court, at Neale & Fhima, we do what it takes to win. If you are not satisfied with your settlement offer, we will not hesitate to take your case to trial.
- We Have a Record of Success.We have a 99 percent success rate in personal injury, wrongful death, and Lemon Law cases. We will not waste your time, and we will not settle for anything less than fair compensation.
- We Are Recognized for Our Accomplishments.Our attorneys have been rated by SuperLawyers and have received an Excellent Avvo
- We Want You to Know Your Rights.We believe that it is important for you to know your rights. This is why we offer free consultations (learn more below) and regularly publish informative articles online.
- We Focus on Your Type of Case.Since we focus our practice solely on accident and Lemon Law claims, you can rest assured that we are fully equipped to handle your case. Unlike other lawyers who may stretch themselves too thin by handling all types of cases, we stay focused in order to maximize our effectiveness.
- We Provide Personalized Attention.At Neale & Fhima, your case will not be reduced to a file number. Our attorneys work with each client individually, getting to know the most intimate details to build stronger cases for maximum compensation.
- We Provide Serious Representation for Serious Cases.In our personal injury practice, we regularly represent clients who have suffered brain, spine, and other catastrophic injuries. We know how these injuries affect our clients’ lives, and we know just how important it is that you receive the full compensation you deserve.
- We Will Keep You Fully Informed.While we handle everything, it is still your We are happy to answer your questions, and we will provide you with regular updates as your claim progresses. If we receive a settlement offer, we will help you make an informed decision about whether to accept or push for more.
- We Provide Free Consultations.When you contact us about your case, the first step will be to sit down with one of our attorneys for a free consultation. Or, if you are unable to meet in person, we are happy to explain your rights and discuss your options over the phone.
- Our Fees are Paid by the Manufacturer.In Lemon Law claims, your legal representation is paid by the manufacturer if your claim is successful. If your claim is unsuccessful, you owe us nothing.
A Lemon Law Lawyer in Los Angeles Who Fights for Your Rights
If you have a vehicle under warranty with repair problems in Los Angeles, you could have a lemon law claim against the car manufacturer and dealership. Our attorneys are tough negotiators, and we don’t quit until we’ve represented our clients aggressively. Neale & Fhima has a 99% success rate with lemon law claims! To find out more about how we can help, contact us for a complimentary consultation at (888) 407-2955