Our San Diego Office
San Diego is definitely a car town, and if you want to visit hot spots and enjoy the beautiful weather, you must have a vehicle that is safe and running smoothly. That’s why it’s such a huge disappointment when you discover that your new car has chronic defects. Whether it’s a faulty engine, broken navigation system or brakes that don’t work, all of these problems spell disaster for your weekend plans. When your vehicle is spending more time in the mechanic’s garage than it is on the road, you probably have a lemon.
If this sounds like your situation, talk to a lemon law attorney in San Diego to discuss your legal options. At Neale & Fhima, our San Diego lemon law attorneys have won thousands of cases for consumers against virtually all auto manufacturers. For a free consultation, call us at 888-407-2955.
A Lemon Law Attorney in San Diego Explains the Law
• Under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, if you purchase a defective vehicle in San Diego, you are legally entitled to a refund, or the vehicle can be replaced at the manufacturer’s cost. However, you must prove that it’s a lemon according to legal guidelines, and that’s where a skilled San Diego lemon law lawyer can help. Contact Neale & Fhima, California lemon law lawyers.
California law defines a “lemon” as an SUV, car or other vehicle that, almost from the beginning, has had electrical or mechanical problems. Whether it is because of broken engine parts, slow acceleration or lots of other problems, these vehicles don’t drive safely and reliably no matter how many times you take them in for repairs. If you want to file a San Diego lemon law claim, check to see whether your new vehicle is still under the original manufacturer’s warranty. If it is, you probably have a claim. If you own a used vehicle, then you will need one of three specific warranties, which are explained below. Find out more in: Do You Have a Lemon?
If it turns out that you do have a lemon, you can either 1) have the automaker repurchase or replace your vehicle or 2) negotiate a cash settlement with the automaker. Find out more in: What to Do if You Have a Lemon.
The Lemon Law also requires the auto manufacturer to pay the vehicle owner’s legal fees as part of a settlement agreement or jury award. This helps car owners receive every penny of their award. To learn more about the consumer-friendly San Diego lemon law, call us at 888-407-2955.
A San Diego Lemon Law Lawyer Can Determine Whether You’re Covered.
Not all defective cars are covered by the Lemon Law. To qualify under the lemon law:
- The vehicle must have been under a manufacturer’s warranty (new or certified pre-owned) when the first repair attempt is made. If you bought the vehicle “used,” the manufacturer’s warranties are transferrable. So, if that used car has an unexpired warranty, it’s likely covered. Your attorney can confirm this fact.
- The gross weight of your car, truck, van, SUV, or other passenger vehicle must be under 10,000 pounds. “Transportation-related parts” (drive train, suspension, etc.) of a motor home also qualify. Motorcycles, boats, and other recreational vehicles qualify as well. Ask us during your free consultation.
- The vehicle must have been purchased or leased in California. There is an exemption for active members of the armed forces living in California at the time of the claim, even if the vehicle was purchased in another state.
The defect must be covered by specific types of warranties when at least some of the repair(s) were made. Additionally:
- The “defect” must substantially (and objectively) impair the vehicle’s “use, value, or safety.”
- Repairs have been unsuccessful after a “reasonable number” of attempts by an “authorized dealer.” The number of attempts varies case by case. However, courts have ruled that one attempt is never sufficient; but they have ruled that a repair attempt occurs each time the customer brings the vehicle into the dealership for that purpose, regardless of whether or not the dealership actually tries to effect repairs.
San Diego Lemon Law and Used Vehicles
Some used vehicles are covered under California’s Lemon Law, depending on whether your car or truck has one of three specific warranties. If you do, then you may be protected. Here are the three types of warranties that qualify:
Transferred New Car Warranty
As a buyer of a recent model used car, you very likely have a copy of the new car warranty. When a titled vehicle is sold to a new owner and the car or truck is still under its original warranty period, the warranty protections transfer to you for the duration of that period.
Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Warranty
A “Certified Pre-Owned” vehicle has more protections than typical used cars. Only authorized dealerships can sell CPOs, so if you bought your car or truck elsewhere you likely do not have this type of warranty. Certified Pre-Owned means that these used vehicles have been repaired, inspected and resold by the manufacturer, and therefore they come with a CPO warranty.
Lemon Law Buyback Warranty
If you buy a used vehicle that was once a lemon (but the manufacturer repaired it and resold it), then you should have received a “lemon law buyback warranty.” Automakers are required by law to provide new owners of these buyback lemons with a 12-month/12,000-mile warranty covering the lemon’s defect.
An experienced lemon law attorney in San Diego can help you sort your way through this complicated collection of used car warranties to determine whether you can file a claim for your defective vehicle.
Lemon Law Attorneys in San Diego Define Your Rights
Here’s what you have a right to ask for:
Under the California Lemon Law, the vehicle owner has two primary remedies:
- The manufacturer must refund the amount of money paid for the vehicle, including finance charges, fees, cost of factory options, shipping, taxes, DMV fees, and out-of-pocket costs for repairs, towing, and rental cars. The total amount can be pro-rated based on the customer’s use of the vehicle prior to the first attempt to repair the defect.
- The customer can elect to replace their vehicle with a new one that is similarly equipped and free of the defect cited in the Lemon Law claim. The manufacturer must pay the taxes and other fees associated with the replacement. Both customer and manufacturer must agree to the replacement remedy. If the manufacturer insists on a repurchase (refund), the customer must accept that option.
It’s a mistake to delay and wait too long. The statute of limitations under California’s Lemon Law is four years. If you have purchased or leased a lemon, start collecting copies of your repair bills, warranty and other notes detailing the problems.
The successful San Diego lemon law attorneys at Neale & Fhima have won thousands of settlements for car owners, and we can help you, too. Our cases involve vehicles from almost all auto manufacturers. If you believe you have a lemon, contact us at 888-407-2955.
Call Neale & Fhima Today
It’s too hard to figure out lemon law issues on your own, so call a skilled San Diego lemon law attorney at Neale & Fhima today. We’d be glad to discuss the ins-and-outs of lemon law and advise you about whether you qualify for a lemon law claim. We’ve helped hundreds of clients just like you, and we have a 99% success rate in these cases. Call us today at 888-407-2955.