The California Lemon Law was established to provide consumer protections for auto buyers who find they have an unfixable problem with their vehicle. If you discover a major defect with your car that cannot be fixed after several repair efforts, you need to understand what protections you are offered under the California Lemon Law. Below are the top five things to know about this important law:
#1 The Auto Manufacturer Must be Given Enough Attempts to Fix the Car.
For your car to qualify for lemon law protection, you have to contact the auto manufacturer so they know about the problem. The car dealership needs to have enough time and attempts to fix the issue. If they cannot do it, then the car is deemed a lemon and you are eligible for a refund or buyback.
#2 Only Cars with an Active Warranty Qualify.
The lemon law applies only in situations where the vehicle is under factory warranty. The car’s reliability problem needs to be found within the first 18 months or 18k miles of ownership. If the problem that you find is not covered under the factory warranty, you may not qualify for lemon law relief.
#3 Used and Leased Vehicles Qualify.
Under the lemon law, used cars, as well as leased cars, are also covered as long as they have an active factory warranty. This is a good reason to use caution when you are looking at used cars. Before you buy it, inquire as to whether the vehicle has an active factory warranty. Find out what is covered under the warranty.
#4 Expect the Car Manufacturer to Fight the Claim.
It is almost automatic for the car manufacturer to fight the lemon law claim. They often will argue that the problem with the car is due to something you did while driving it. Also, remember the California lemon law is not an exact set of iron clad rules. The program is a set of guidelines to help consumers and auto manufacturers settle major repair disputes while giving each side the negotiating room to make a strong argument.
#5 The Lemon Law Applies Only To Cars Bought in California.
The law applies only to cars, trucks and SUVs bought in this state. But if you have a lemon bought outside of California, you still can qualify for lemon law protection under the federal lemon law – the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.
Do You Have an Unreliable New or Used Car?
As lemon law attorneys in California, Neale & Fhima reminds consumers that if you bought a new or used vehicle with major reliability problems, you could be entitled to compensation. The California Lemon Law protects you from owning unreliable new and used cars, trucks and SUVs that still are under the original manufacturer’s warranty. Contact one of our lemon law attorneys in Southern California today if you have a new or used car under warranty with recurring, serious reliability problems.