Living in the Santa Clara Valley has its benefits. The bay and surrounding mountains make for a pleasant climate with none of the harsh weather found along the coast. The economy is strong. San Jose is home to at least a dozen private companies that employ 1,000 or more people. The city has an opera and a ballet, professional sports teams, and the oldest public university on the West Coast. Residents also enjoy 16,000 acres of parks within the city limits.
That is not to say the people of San Jose have everything. In fact, everybody living here seems to be in short supply of the same thing – free time. This is a busy place. It is the most populated city in the Bay Area. It also has the most expensive housing market in the U.S. What do you get when you combine these two factors? A whole lot of people working long hours to make ends meet.
If this describes you, you probably do not appreciate it when an auto dealership wastes your time. After all, warranty repair work may be free, but you do not get compensated for the inconvenience. Lemon vehicles – those with recurring mechanical problems the dealer is unable to fix – are a headache no matter where you live. But they are especially problematic for South Bay residents on tight schedules.
Everyone who contacts our office about a lemon law claim is dealing with a unique set of circumstances. Some paid cash for their vehicle, some financed, and others leased. Most are dealing with major mechanical problems like defective engines, transmissions, steering components, and electrical systems. A few are even dealing with a used lemon car covered by a transferred or certified pre-owned warranty.
Regardless of the circumstances, though, potential clients tend to ask the same questions about how California’s lemon law works. Here are three of the most common:
It depends. To qualify for lemon law protection, you must have purchased the vehicle through a retail transaction in California. The defect must be one that substantially affects the vehicle’s value or your ability to operate it safely. The vehicle and the defect must be covered by the factory warranty. Finally, the dealer must have tried (and failed) to repair the defect more than once.
You have a choice. A successful lemon law claim entitles you to a refund of the purchase price. This will include any taxes and fees you paid at the time of purchase, but the refund will be reduced by an amount reflecting your prior use of the vehicle. Or, if you prefer, you can opt for a replacement vehicle. The manufacturer will pay the taxes and fees associated with taking possession of the new vehicle.
Yes. From a consumer’s perspective, the choice of whether to hire a lemon law lawyer is an easy one. The architects of California’s lemon law understood that most individuals lack the resources, legal expertise, and negotiating skill to take on a large auto manufacturer. So they drafted the law in a way that makes manufacturers responsible for a successful claimant’s attorney fees.
We spend a lot of time helping consumers who have purchased or leased defective vehicles in San Jose. Whether we meet clients face-to-face or discuss their cases over the phone, our interactions have taught us a lot about the local culture. Ingenuity, resourcefulness, and risk-taking define this city. So much so, in fact, that San Jose and the rest of Silicon Valley is considered home to the world’s most creative problem solvers.
As lemon law attorneys, we like to think of ourselves as problem solvers, too. The large foreign and domestic car companies are notorious for failing to comply with lemon law requirements of their own free will. They employ all sorts of tactics to avoid their responsibilities – including blaming drivers for causing mechanical problems that, in truth, originated at the factory. After decades of practicing law in California, we have seen all the tricks these companies use, and we have our own strategies for defeating them.
Stop wasting your valuable time making trips to the dealership repair shop. The San Jose lemon law lawyers at Neale & Fhima are available to discuss your case right now. Call (888) 407-2955 or send us a message using the form below.
“Aaron, Courtney, and team were all very professional and helpful when helping with my case. I’d recommend this law firm to anyone! ” – Luis Gonzalez, 5 / 5 ★★★★★