Representing Mission Viejo Residents in Lemon Law Claims
The Mission Viejo lemon law attorneys at Neale & Fhima are proud to represent clients in this area who want to file lemon law claims. California’s lemon law is one of the strongest consumer protection laws in the nation. If you’ve purchased a defective vehicle and want compensation from the manufacturer, we will help you in every step of the process. Just call (949) 661-1007.
It’s important for consumers in California to understand that the lemon law is much more far-reaching than popularly believed. For example, most consumers understand that the law applies to new vehicles under warranty, but it can also be applied to used vehicles and cover vehicles after their warranties are no longer in place, provided that a consumer attempted repair while the vehicle was still under warranty.
Lemon laws also provide a path toward repayment or replacement even if the defect wasn’t safety-related. If a defect impaired the value or use of a vehicle, consumers may still be reimbursed.
Our Mission Viejo attorneys also offer legal representation to clients across the state. We use our skill and experience to make sure our clients are treated fairly. Without a lawyer’s assistance, the process of filing a claim and dealing with a resistant manufacturer can seem overwhelming.
Overview of California Lemon Law
California’s lemon law is intended to protect consumers who discover a serious repair problem with their purchased or leased vehicle that is still under warranty. Key features of the law include:
- The lemon law applies to any problem under warranty that affects the use, value or safety of the vehicle. Even if you purchased the car used, the law applies as long as the warranty is in effect.
- If the auto manufacturer cannot repair the problem, it is required to replace the vehicle with a new one like it or refund your money. The choice is yours. However, the manufacturer will charge you for mileage you put on the vehicle.
- Auto manufacturers have a ‘reasonable’ number of attempts to repair the vehicle before it is called a lemon. This is normally defined as four tries to fix the same problem. But in the case of a serious, safety-related problem, such as poor brakes, they have only two attempts. And, if the car has been in the shop at least 30 days and has not been fixed, you may be entitled to a refund or replacement.
- The auto manufacturer or dealer will probably fight a lemon law claim. The dealer could argue that the repair problem was caused by your abusing the vehicle. Or, the dealer may say the problem is not covered by the original factory warranty. Another common tactic is to argue that they did not have enough chances to fix the car.
The Mission Viejo lemon law attorneys at Neale & Fhima are pleased to help the residents of this city with their legal needs. Just call (949) 661-1007.
Don’t Believe These Lemon Law Myths
You might have heard that the lemon law applies only to new vehicles or that you can get a recovery only if a defect is found within 18 months or 18,000 miles. This is not true. The lemon law is much more flexible than most Californians believe. It applies to used and leased vehicles, so long as some of the repair attempts were made during the warranty period.
The most important element of a lemon law claim is the existence of a warranty; so even if a vehicle isn’t new, you might still be able to use the lemon law for a replacement or a refund. We encourage you to reach out to Neale & Fhima for a free, no-obligation consultation at (949) 661-1007.
Why Do People Choose Neale & Fhima?
We evaluate your case at no cost. We offer free consultations to help give you a clearer picture of your case’s chances of success and what to expect from the process of a lemon law claim.
We seek maximum recovery in your case. We won’t settle for the bare minimum. We make sure you get the recovery you deserve.
We have a track record of success. Our attorneys have combined experience of more than four decades in the legal field. Neale & Fhima continue to maintain a 99 percent success rate, securing over $50 million in compensation for their clients.
You’ll work with a lawyer, not a paralegal. Your attorney will handle most of your claim. We don’t farm out your case to a paralegal or legal assistant.
We make it a priority to be accessible to our clients. We like to get to know our clients, and we always make ourselves available to answer any questions or address concerns you might have. If you can’t make it to our offices, we can even work with you over the phone to handle your claim.
If we don’t win your case, you pay nothing. We carry all legal costs if your claim is unsuccessful. We know how important a recovery is for you, and we believe in our ability to deliver results, which is why we offer no-fee legal representation.
Types of Defects the California Lemon Law Covers
If you have a major reliability problem with your new or used car under the factory warranty, you may qualify for relief under the California Lemon Law. The manufacturer is required to buy back or replace a vehicle with a defect that ‘substantially impairs’ the use, value or safety of the auto.
But whether a defect has a substantial effect on the use, value or safety of the car is an objective test under the law. Thus, your opinion about the defect does not decide whether or not the car is a lemon. For instance, it is insufficient for the owner to state in court that the defect makes the car unsafe to drive. For the defect to have a substantial impact on safety, the defect needs to be something that a reasonable person would think is unsafe.
Regarding use or value, what is key is whether a ‘reasonable person’ would think the defect affects use or value. So, a defect you may believe is very annoying, such as a wind noise from the driver’s side, would not qualify for lemon law coverage, UNLESS the problem is so severe that it would cause reasonable people to not want to buy the car or to pay less for it.
Some of the defects that can affect use, value or safety include:
- Check-engine lights illuminate often
- Problems with auto steering
- Major brake defects (not squeaking or squealing)
- Fuel gauge or speedometer issues
- Poor acceleration
- Air conditioner inoperable (being slow to cool does not qualify)
- Battery will not hold a charge
- Major paint problems that affect value
- Transmission does not shift properly.
Good Stewardship on Display in Mission Viejo
Once your vehicle’s problem has been addressed, it is worth taking a close look at the many wonderful things about Mission Viejo. For example, ask a few dozen people from Mission Viejo to name their favorite city park and you may not hear the same answer twice. That is because this small suburb in Orange County has nearly 50 city parks to choose from. Among these is M. M. O’Neill Park, named after the matriarch of an early ranching family, who famously said:
“Take care of the land, and the land will take care of you.”
-Marguerite M. O’Neill (1879 – 1981)
The city’s developers certainly took this advice to heart when they built Mission Viejo in the 1960s. They took extraordinary measures to preserve and enhance the area’s natural beauty – not because it always made financial sense, but because it was the right thing to do.
Here are some examples of how residents and city planners in Mission Viejo care for their community:
Reducing Vehicle Traffic
Based on DMV registration records, there are more than 34 million vehicles on the streets of California. That is nearly one vehicle for every man, woman, and child in the state. Early in its history, Mission Viejo made it a priority to avoid the congestion and pollution that come with excessive personal vehicle use. It achieved this goal by:
- Evenly distributing schools, parks, and other amenities so they are within walking distance of every home in the city
- Constructing a network of pedestrian and bike paths, including a three-mile loop around Lake Mission Viejo
- Offering local shuttle buses (powered by natural gas) at no cost to city residents.
Creating Outdoor Recreational Opportunities
California dominates the list of sunniest U.S. cities. In fact, we are the only state with two major population centers (Sacramento and Los Angeles) that enjoy sunshine more than 70 percent of the time. Mission Viejo takes full advantage of Mother Nature’s gift by offering a variety of outdoor activities, including “geocaching,” a local scavenger hunt game for today’s tech-savvy youth.
Contact a Mission Viejo Lemon Law Lawyer Now
As successful lemon law lawyers at Neale & Fhima, we believe auto manufacturers should do the right thing when a new car turns out to be defective. Unfortunately, manufacturers sometimes put their own interests first. If this has been your experience, please contact us for advice on filing a lemon law claim in California. Just call (949) 661-1007 today for a complimentary consultation.