When we buy a car, we expect it to be free of defects and reliability problems. But it is more common than you might think for consumers to be confronted by the harsh reality of a lemon purchase.
The good news is that the California lemon law can be used by consumers to obtain a vehicle replacement or repurchase for a serious reliability problem for a vehicle still under warranty – even if that vehicle is used.
Need to Know: What Is the Lemon Law for Used Cars in California?
Many consumers understand that new vehicle purchases are covered by the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, but they may not realize that even used vehicle purchases can be protected if certain conditions are met.
Your used vehicle might still be covered by California’s lemon law if…
- It is still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.
- It was previously repurchased by a manufacturer and sold to you with a manufacturer’s warranty covering the repaired defects.
- It is protected by another written warranty.
The key takeaway for used car buyers is that the existence of a warranty means that your purchase is protected, and you should take action if your vehicle turns out to be a lemon.
If you’re not sure what your legal options are, or if you simply want to maximize the chances of a successful claim, then you should contact Neale & Fhima to make sure you get the treatment you deserve.
California’s lemon law is the strongest in the nation, and it offers consumers protection against defective vehicles. Let’s look at some the most basic aspects of the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act.
What the Lemon Law Offers Consumers
Does your car qualify as a lemon? A vehicle in California may be defined as a lemon if:
- Two or more attempts at repair have been attempted for the same problem that could cause injury or death within the first 18k miles or 18 months of the purchase of the vehicle.
- Four or more repair attempts were made for the same problem within the first 18 months or 18k miles that the vehicle was purchased.
- The vehicle has been at the dealership lot for 30 or more days in the first 18 months or 18k miles.
Can you prove that you have made a reasonable number of repair attempts on your vehicle for a problem that affects its value, use or safety? To maximize your chances of success in a lemon law claim, it is recommended that you consult a lemon law attorney.
What Are Your Options under the Lemon Law for Used Cars in California?
If it is determined that the vehicle is a lemon, you have two choices:
- The manufacturer can replace the car with a new one that is the same make and model and has the same options.
- The manufacturer can repurchase the vehicle and refund the entire purchase price, including license fees, sales taxes, registration fees and any other governmental fees, minus a reasonable deduction for mileage on the vehicle.
Also, you could be entitled to the reduced value of the car due to the problems with it. This is known as ‘cash and keep,’ where you may retain ownership of the car but still receive monetary compensation.
How to Win a Lemon Law Case
In many situations, a consumer will have a lemon vehicle but is not entitled to any remedies because they did not have the vehicle serviced properly. Make sure that you take the car in for all scheduled maintenance.
Also, keep all of the documents that you get from the dealer when you buy the car. Keep all service records, receipts and any expenses that you incurred with the vehicle. Present those records to a lemon law attorney and he will take the case from there.
Talk to a California Lemon Law Attorney Today
Are you having difficulty with your used vehicle that is still under the original factory warranty? If you have taken your car into the dealership several times for the same serious reliability problem, you could be eligible to file a California lemon law claim. You may be entitled to a vehicle repurchase or replacement. For more information, please contact southern California lemon law attorneys Neale & Fhima.