Representing Santa Ana Residents with Lemon Law Claims
When residents of Santa Ana need help filing a lemon law claim, Neale & Fhima are happy to help them in every step of the process, from preparing a claim to repayment or replacement. An experienced lemon law attorney knows what is required for a successful claim and can make a daunting experience more manageable.
Vehicle manufacturers receive countless numbers of complaints and claims, and they are well-equipped to take advantage of consumers who lack experience in lemon law-related disputes. Manufacturers have the funding, legal teams and institutional advantages they leverage over consumers to minimize the payments they offer in resolving a claim. This is why hiring a lemon law attorney helps level the playing field; by hiring an attorney familiar with these claims, a car buyer can be sure they are represented by someone who has a track record of standing up to manufacturers and getting results for clients.
California’s lemon law is noted for being one of the strongest in the United States. It applies to new and used vehicles. It also applies to defects that impair the safety, functionality or value of a vehicle. Even if a vehicle’s warranty has run its course, the owner might still find success with a claim if repair attempts were made while the vehicle was still under warranty.
How Do I Know Whether I Have a Lemon?
The lemon law, known as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, gives you the right to a refund or replacement car if you have a lemon. But note that these remedies are not available to you for most types of mechanical problems. The manufacturer and dealership are allowed a ‘reasonable’ number of repair attempts before you can file a lemon law claim.
But determining what ‘reasonable’ is can be quite tricky. It depends upon the type of defect and whether the problem poses a serious risk to safety or vehicle value. It also will depend upon how long you have owned the car. Below are general rules of thumb, but you should review your situation with a Santa Ana lemon law attorney. He will be able to tell you if you have a possible lemon on your hands.
If your vehicle still has the factory warranty in effect and you have owned it for less than 18 months or 18,000 miles:
- If the problem affects the use, value or safety, the dealer has at least four repair attempts.
- If the problem affects the use, value or safety and poses a risk of injury or death, the dealer has at least two repair attempts.
- If the problem affects use, value or safety and the vehicle has been in the shop for 30 days or more since you owned it, the dealership has no additional repair attempts.
More Details About Defects Covered Under the Lemon Law
The California Lemon Law states that dealerships and manufacturers must buy back or replace your vehicle if it cannot repair a problem that has a substantial effect on use, value or safety of the vehicle. What does this mean?
For a defect to have an effect on vehicle safety, it must be something that a reasonable person would surmise is unsafe. A reasonable person also would have to think that the use or value of the car is affected by the defect. Thus, some defects, such as squeaks and rattles, annoying as they may be, do not qualify for lemon law coverage. But some of the defects that can affect use, value or safety include:
- Brake problems that reduce stopping ability
- Steering problems
- Multiple check-engine lights
- Bad windshield wipers
- Problems with dashboard gauges, such as speedometer and fuel gauge
- Faulty door locks
- Difficulty starting
- AC is non-functional
- Transmission gear changes are rough
- Battery fails regularly
- Erratic and/or poor acceleration.
If you think you have a lemon in California, talk to one of our Santa Ana lemon law attorneys today.
Five Centuries of Remarkable History in Santa Ana
Santa Ana is a large, ethnically diverse city located in the heart of Orange County. It serves as county seat and covers an area of 27 square miles. With more than 330,000 people, it is the fourth most densely populated major U.S. city. Santa Ana also comes in fourth place on a recent Forbes list of America’s safest cities. The downtown area just underwent a massive revitalization, and the city is now seeing an influx of young professionals and other new residents.
With so much going for Santa Ana at present, it is easy to forget that the city also has a long and intriguing past. Perhaps that is why many people here – including the newcomers – like to spend time reading and learning about the city’s history. We sure do. Below you will find what we consider to be some of the city’s most memorable events, going back nearly 500 years.
We hope you enjoy these glimpses into Santa Ana’s past; and if you find yourself in need of a local attorney with experience handling lemon law cases, we are here to help.
Exploration Gets Off to a Shaky Start
European exploration of present-day Orange County began in 1542. Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo sailed north along the Pacific coast that year, purportedly laying claim to the entire California coastline on behalf of Spain. It took Spanish explorers two centuries to return. When they did, it was a coastal expedition led by Gaspar de Portolá that included sea and land travel. The soldiers traveling up the coast by land reached the Santa Ana River on July 28, 1769. Shortly after arriving, they experienced something they probably did not expect – a strong earthquake, followed by several aftershocks.
Finding Refuge at “Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana”
Juan Pablo Grijalva was a Spanish soldier who petitioned the government for a grant of 63,000 acres of land that included what is now Santa Ana. He submitted his petition in 1801. By the time it was granted nine years later, Grijalva had died. Title passed to his relatives, one of which was Jose Antonio Yorba, who built a giant adobe hacienda at a site located near Friendship Park on the west side of Santa Ana. The home served as a gathering place not just for his family, but for ranch laborers and weary travelers as well. Yorba named the structure El Refugio, meaning “the Refuge.”
Mustard Fields for $8 an Acre
On October 10, 1869, William H. Spurgeon came to the area from the Midwest. He arrived on horseback, riding through fields of yellow mustard that came up to his thighs as he sat on his horse. Legend has it that he dismounted, surveyed the land from a tree (which he climbed to see over the mustard), liked what he saw, and bought 74 acres. This land would later become the City of Santa Ana. Purchase price? Just under $600.
The Glenn L. Martin Company Takes Flight
Glenn L. Martin may not have invented the airplane, but he certainly played a role in its development, earning a place in Santa Ana history in the process. In 1909, he rented an abandoned church on N. Main Street and used it as a factory for his prototypes. He gained notoriety among local residents for his barnstorming (stunt flying) during those early years. Later, after relocating his company to Cleveland and then Baltimore, he manufactured military aircraft used in WWII. A series of mergers eventually led to the creation of Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defense contractor.
Erecting a Million-Gallon Landmark
Those of us who live in the area have all seen the Santa Ana Water Tower. After all, it is impossible to miss it from I-5, regardless of which direction you are driving in. But did you know the tower was constructed back in 1928? Incredibly, the tank still serves the people of Santa Ana. It stands 153 feet high, holds one million gallons, and generates additional revenue for the city by functioning as a cell tower for communications companies. The water tower received a makeover in 2007 and now displays the city’s slogan, “Santa Ana. Downtown Orange County.”
Do You Have a Lemon Vehicle in California? Call a Santa Ana Attorney Now.
If you’d like to file a claim or if you would like to discuss whether your vehicle might be eligible for lemon law claim, we encourage you to contact Neale & Fhima to speak to our lemon law attorneys. We are proud to offer Santa Ana residents our skill and experience to get them maximum results. Contact us for advice on filing a lemon law claim in California today.