If you live in Orange County, California, you know what a beautiful, breathtaking place it is. Whether it is the county’s lovely beach towns, exciting theme parks or luxury homes and yachts, this is one of the most iconic destinations in the state. Orange County now is the home of more than three million, making it the third-most populated county in California. According to Niche.com, Orange County is the fifth best place to live in the entire state.
Of course, no matter how pleasant a community Orange County is, there are times when things go wrong with our vehicles. In this county as in any other, vehicle owners have new or used cars, trucks and SUVs with serious reliability problems. If that describes you, the lemon law attorneys at Neale & Fhima may be able to help you.
Below is some important information about the California lemon law that you should know.
Used Car Warranties and Lemon Law Requirements
Most lemon law claims involve new vehicles under the original factory warranty. But what about buying a used car ‘as is’? This means you are taking ownership of the vehicle without warranty or lemon law rights. The same is the case for buying vehicles that are covered only by the dealership’s extended service agreement. Note that only defects that are covered by a factory warranty qualify for lemon law benefits.
There are three types of factory warranties you may see on a used car:
- Transferred new car warranty. Every new car has a warranty extended by the manufacturer. When the title changes hands after you buy a used car with an extended warranty, the remaining coverage will transfer to you. But you should be aware that some auto manufacturers will put limits on what transfers. Kia is one example: This company gives extended powertrain warranty coverage only to the original owner; if the warranty has expired on the powertrain on your used car, you would not qualify for lemon law benefits.
- Certified, pre-owned warranty. These warranties cover used vehicles that were inspected, refurbished and resold by the vehicle manufacturer. The terms of the warranty are often less comprehensive than the factory warranty.
- Lemon law buyback warranty. A successful lemon law claim can get you a vehicle buyback. To reduce losses, the manufacturer will fix the car and then resell it to someone else in Orange County. To resell it legally, the manufacturer has to offer at least a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty.
The balance of the car’s factory warranty usually transfers to you when you buy the used car. But it is a mistake to assume that your used car with an in-effect warranty is covered by the lemon law. The lemon law applies only to cars that are bought retail. If you buy a car in a private transaction, you do not qualify for lemon law protection. However, if you made a private party purchase of a vehicle that is still under factory warranty, you should talk to Neale & Fhima. You may still be able to file a claim, IF the original owner is willing to cooperate. They may be willing to execute an assignment of their lemon law rights to you.
Also, note that an unexpired warranty on a used vehicle sold at retail does not guarantee that you can make a valid lemon law claim. The manufacturer may try to fight the claim by saying the defect was due to modifications or a collision. Talk to one of our attorneys immediately if you run into this problem.
Is Your New or Used Car Breaking Down Constantly? Call an Orange County Lemon Law Attorney.
Many motor vehicles in Orange County may be almost brand new, but they still suffer from frustrating reliability problems that can affect value, safety and use. If you are having trouble with your new car, rest assured that California has one of the toughest lemon laws in the country. You, the consumer, have rights. Talk to an Orange County lemon law attorney at Neale & Fhima today for a free case review. We take lemon law cases in most parts of California, including Orange County, so call today.