Electric vehicles are growing in popularity, especially in California. Everywhere on the road these days you see Teslas, BMWs, Fords, and Nissans that run on electricity rather than gasoline. So you may have some questions about electric vehicles lemon law in California. Let’s take a closer look at the law and the state’s automotive trends.
California has a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) goal of 1.5 million vehicles by 2025, so the number of electric vehicles being sold statewide is rapidly on the rise. As of 2020, nearly 1.8 million EVs were registered in the U.S., more than three times the number in 2016, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). A recent Pew Research Center survey, shows that 9% of American adults said they now have an electric or hybrid vehicle, and 39% of these adults said they were somewhat or very likely to consider buying an electric vehicle the next time they purchase a car, truck or SUV.
California is far and away the largest market for electric vehicles: it is home to 42% of all EVs registered nationwide. Florida and Texas are a distant second and third. It is expected that the EV market will grow exponentially in the next few years.
However, as the EV market grows, defects in electric vehicles are undoubtedly rising. Just like with gas-powered cars, manufacturers of EVs many times make mistakes in design or production which lead to chronic defects and recalls. When this happens, an experienced lemon law attorney can help you seek a legal remedy.
A lemon lawyer is your best advocate if you’re seeking legal recourse after discovering that you’ve purchased a lemon. At Neale & Fhima, we have a 99% success rate in electric vehicles lemon law claims! Our team stands head and shoulders above the rest. Attorney Aaron Fhima is a tough negotiator with a keen legal mind. He understands the complexities and nuances of the California lemon law, and he knows how to win. The lemon law is a fine example of how the state legislature empowers consumers, but when it comes to clarity, the text leaves a lot to be desired. We can simplify and explain the law to you and create a legal strategy to get you a refund or replacement vehicle. Our satisfied clients attest to our outstanding client service.
At Neale & Fhima, our attorneys have successfully handled hundreds of EV lemon law claims filed by clients who bought defective electric vehicles. We are not afraid to go up against large dealerships and manufacturers to fight for the justice you deserve. Here are the ways we can help with your EV lemon law claim. We will:
Our EV lemon lawyer is on standby now to take your call. Contact Neale & Fhima at 888-407-2955 for a free initial consultation.
The lemon law applies to electric cars, trucks, and SUVs as well as their combustion-engine counterparts. The lemon law also covers RVs, travel trailers, motorcycles, boats, and other motor vehicles. It covers new, leased, and some used cars. It also covers ATVs and off-road recreational vehicles.
California has one of the most comprehensive lemon laws in the country. Under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, if you purchase a defective electric vehicle, you are entitled to a refund, or the vehicle can be replaced at the manufacturer’s expense. However, you must prove that it’s a lemon according to California law, and you must have made a reasonable number of attempts to have the vehicle repaired before filing an EV lemon law claim in court.
Generally, electric vehicles are believed to be safe. This doesn’t mean, however, that an individual electric car didn’t come off the assembly line with a defect. A recent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) report says that electric vehicles are at least as safe as conventional vehicles, and insurance data shows EV injury claims are substantially less frequent than for gas vehicles. Kelley Blue Book echoed the praise for safety among EVs in its list of Best Safety Rated Electric Cars of 2021. Coming in at No. 1 on the list is the 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV, followed by the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek EV and the 2021 Volvo XC90.
There are certain types of defects that are more common to electric vehicles. Some of these include:
The large lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles can be defective. Unlike batteries in gasoline-powered vehicles, the large and sophisticated battery in an EV is very expensive. When it has a defect, it’s a big problem. These batteries are also very sensitive to extreme heat and cold. Heat causes a battery to degrade prematurely, and cold can significantly curtail the range of the battery.
Just how often or how severe the EV fires are is now being studied by the auto industry. Consider these recent recalls by EV manufacturers due to concerns over lithium-ion batteries:
Clearly, there are some manufacturing defects or design abnormalities within these EV batteries that are making them prone to fires. In 2021, GM ordered new battery packs that, according to the company, resolve a series of manufacturing defects, though the long-term success of these newer batteries remains unclear.
Battery fires appear to fall into two categories:
More expensive EVs often have sophisticated navigation systems that are very 21st Century. While these can provide a great deal of driver satisfaction, they can also result in a huge headache if the navigation, radio, AC, doors and other electrical system is defective.
Furthermore, EV vehicle still contains mechanical components like the drivetrain and suspension system, which experience defects and can form the basis for successful lemon claims. If you are experiencing any type of electrical or mechanical problems with your electric vehicle, give us a call to discuss your legal options.
Because electric vehicles are such a recently launched product, case law is currently developing around electric vehicle lemon law nationwide. Let’s take a closer look at recent cases …
Tesla is one of the most well-known and prestigious electric vehicles on the road today. It is the fastest-growing auto brand worldwide and the leading electric vehicle brand. Tesla’s vehicle deliveries reached nearly 500,000 in 2020.
One of the early Tesla electric vehicle lemon law claims in California was filed in 2016 by the owner of a $162,000 Tesla Model X, saying the car exhibited “weird” behavior. The high-profile lawsuit was filed in Placer County Court in Roseville, CA. The plaintiff claimed the vehicle’s electronically actuated, dual-hinged falcon wing doors slammed shut on his leg and caused property damage when they malfunctioned. The plaintiff also alleged that the Tesla auto pilot was dangerous in the rain; the touch navigation screen froze repeatedly; and the auto park feature was defective, among other things. The owner, Barrett Lyon, even made a video to help prove his point. Video Link: https://youtu.be/pYJqej_ER2E Ultimately, Tesla took back the vehicle and settled out of court.
A 2014 Tesla lemon law claim in Wisconsin alleging technical defects in a Tesla Model S resulted in a $126,836 settlement. The vehicle reportedly spent 66 days in the repair shop in the first 6 months of ownership. Before settling the case out of court, Tesla loudly criticized the vehicle owner in the company’s blog.
OTHER ELECTRIC VEHICLE MANUFACTURERS
There are now many manufacturers of EVs, from economy cars to luxury SUVs. Some of these are:
The attorneys at Neale & Fhima will aggressively represent you in an EV lemon law claim, and we are committed to success in every one of these cases.
A “lemon” is a car, truck, utility vehicle, SUV, or other EV type that is defective. Whether the problem started immediately when you drove the EV off the dealership lot or it began many months or even years later, the defect is chronic, and mechanics can’t seem to fix it. From sound systems that don’t work to defective batteries to malfunctioning navigation systems, there are many types of mechanical and electrical problems that can render an electric vehicle defective. These vehicles have spent too much time at the repair shop and not enough time on the road.
The lemon law in California states that your EV must have “nonconformities,” which are defined as any defect or malfunction that is covered by the manufacturer’s original warranty. There are many defects that could affect the vehicle’s safety, but there is no requirement under the law that the defect threatens imminent danger to you and your passengers. If you’re unsure if you qualify for an EV lemon law claim, talk to one of our attorneys. The phone call is free.
The process starts by filing a legal claim against the electric vehicle manufacturer. Our attorneys can do this for you. We expect resistance, because auto manufacturers work hard to defeat lemon law claims and reduce financial payouts. But our lemon law lawyers are aggressive and know how to win. We are not intimidated by the manufacturers’ lawyers, and we are determined to secure the best possible outcome for you. To prevail in an electric vehicle lemon law claim, you will have to:
That’s why it’s important that you have proof of your attempts to have the vehicle fixed — keep all receipts, work orders, and used parts from each of your repair appointments.
The statute of limitations for filing an EV lemon law claim in California is four (4) years from the date a consumer knew or should have known that the vehicle was a lemon. This doesn’t mean that if you have had your EV for more than 4 years, you cannot bring electric vehicles lemon law claims. Our attorneys at Neale & Fhima have successfully “lemoned” vehicles that are over 10 years old. So, don’t be discouraged if your vehicle is older. We still may be able to help.
A successful electric vehicles lemon law claim puts you in the driver’s seat because you can select the type of compensation you want. Here are the two primary remedies:
The manufacturer will take possession of the EV and issue you a refund of the purchase price (reduced by the value of your use of the vehicle prior to the first repair attempt). If you financed the EV, the manufacturer will refund the payments and down payment and pay off the loan. You will also receive a refund of registration fees, taxes, etc.
The manufacturer will take possession of the EV and provide you with a new one. It must be an identical or substantially similar vehicle. The manufacturer will pay the registration and taxes on the new EV, but you will not receive a refund of fees or finance charges paid on the original vehicle. This option requires the consent of both parties.
In some circumstances, Neale & Fhima may be able to negotiate an additional option called a “cash and keep.” This would allow you to retain possession of the EV and receive a cash payment to compensate for the defect.
Here are 3 good reasons to choose Neale & Fhima to handle your electric vehicles lemon law claims:
If you’re frustrated because you’ve purchased or leased a lemon electric vehicle, take action! The California lemon law may provide a legal remedy. The lemon law attorneys at Neale & Fhima consistently win cases, helping clients secure a replacement vehicle or complete a lemon law buyback. We know there are a lot of lemon law attorneys to choose from, but few have the decades of experience and winning track record that Neale & Fhima does. We treat our clients like family, and we’ll fight hard to get the justice you deserve. Call Neale & Fhima today at 888-407-2955 to find out how we can help. The initial phone call is free.