- November 3, 2021
- Categories: Lemon Law
There are several factors that can affect a lemon law claim. California law is clear that you must be able to check certain boxes before initiating a lemon law claim. Some of these factors include:
- Nature of the defect
- New or used vehicle
- Statute of limitations
- Proof of repair attempts
- Quality and skill of your attorney.
California has one of the most consumer-friendly lemon laws in the nation that ensures your protection. Under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, if you purchase a defective vehicle, you are legally entitled to a refund, or the vehicle can be replaced at a manufacturer’s expense. However, you must prove that it’s a lemon according to legal guidelines, and that’s where a skilled California lemon law lawyer can help. If it turns out that you do have a lemon, you can:
- insist that a manufacturer repurchase your vehicle
- insist that a manufacturer replace your vehicle
- negotiate a cash settlement in some cases.
The lemon law attorneys at Neale & Fhima stand head and shoulders above the rest. We serve multiple locations throughout Southern California, and we have a winning track record. We are tough negotiators and experienced litigators. To find out more about how we can help, call us for a free consultation at 888-407-2955.
What types of items can affect Lemon Law claims?
So, what exactly is a lemon? A “lemon” is a car, truck, utility vehicle, SUV, travel trailer, RV, motorcycle, or other vehicle that is defective. Whether the problem started immediately when you drove the vehicle off the dealership lot or it began many months later, the defect is persistent, and mechanics can’t seem to fix it. From navigations and radios that don’t work properly to an engine that burns too much oil, there are many types of mechanical and electrical problems that can render a vehicle defective. These vehicles have spent too much time at the repair shop and not enough time on the road. The California Lemon Law (Civ. Code, § 1793.2 et seq.) is explained in greater detail on the California Attorney General’s website.
Nature of the Defect
To prevail in a lemon law claim, you will have to show that the defect compromises the …
- value, or
- safety of your vehicle.
A wide variety of defects or vehicle issues are covered by this requirement, you do not need to have an issue which compromises the safety of your vehicle to have a successful lemon law claim. Issues such as paint defects, or air conditioning malfunctions rise to the level of a lemon law claim.
Common defects that affect safety include:
- Poor acceleration
- Radio and navigation problems
- Suspension problems
- Engine issues
- Electrical issues
- Noise complaints
- Braking problems (not just squeaking)
- Air conditioner malfunction
- Battery dies regularly, or drains irregularly
- Steering issues
- Transmission issues.
These items also affect the value and use of your vehicle. You can hardly resell a vehicle with a radio screen that freezes or doesn’t work, and an air conditioner that will not blow cold airy certainly affect the use and enjoyment of your vehicle.
New or Used Vehicle?
The rules are somewhat different depending on whether you have a new or used vehicle. A majority of new cars often qualify for a lemon law claim. Some used cars are covered, but not all. For a used car to quality, you must have one of three specific warranties. These include:
- Transferred New Car Warranty
- Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Warranty
- Lemon Law Buyback Warranty
The best way to find out if your new or used car qualifies is to talk to a California lemon law lawyer. He can assess your unique situation and advise you about whether you can file a claim and the chances of being successful.
Statute of Limitations
Another factor that can affect lemon law claims is timing. The statute of limitations under California’s Lemon Law is four years. The clock starts when you first noticed or should have noticed the defect. However, even if you feel you’re beyond the four years, reach out to our California lemon law attorneys who can advise you of your options. Don’t delay, call us if you believe your vehicle is lemon.
Proof of Repair Attempts
This factor is critical. You won’t be successful in a lemon law claim until you can prove that you made …
- “reasonable attempts” to have a dealership or mechanic repair the defect.
What does that mean? Well, the law doesn’t say precisely how many trips to the mechanic you must make, but you have to prove that you presented the vehicle to have repaired. The law states that at a minimum at least 2 repair attempts must occur of an issue that is likely to cause substantial body harm or death. That’s why it’s important to keep all receipts, work orders and used parts from each one of your repair appointments.
Quality & Skill of Your Attorney
All attorneys are not created equal, and you want an aggressive, winning attorney on your side. Don’t settle for second best. At Neale & Fhima, we have a 99% success rate in lemon law cases. Few attorneys can top that! To learn more about our top-notch lawyers, you can read our attorney bios. You can also check out our client testimonials and read what our satisfied clients have to say.
Why Should I Choose Neale & Fhima?
We know that there are a lot of lemon law lawyers in California to choose from, but we believe Neale & Fhima stands head and shoulders above the rest. That’s because we have an outstanding pattern of success in handling lemon law claims for our clients! We have a winning track record, and our attorneys are among the best and the brightest. The team at Neale & Fhima is committed to each client’s case and we give you our full attention.
Here are a few of the reasons you should choose us:
- Years of Experience. Our attorneys have more than 40 years of combined experience representing clients throughout Southern California.
- Our Lawyers Win Cases. Neale & Fhima enjoys a 99% success rate. We think this says a lot about the skill of our attorneys. While we cannot guarantee the outcome of any particular case, you can take comfort in knowing your claim is being handled by lemon law lawyers who have a track record of success.
- We Value Client Relationships. High-volume law offices tend to think of clients as nothing more than a case file. The file gets passed around until it ends up with a paralegal or junior associate who just wants to finish it and move on. Neale & Fhima is different. We enjoy getting to know our clients. It also helps us craft settlement agreements that meet their individual needs.
- We Know the Law. California’s lemon law is a fine example of how the state legislature can empower consumers. When it comes to clarity, however, the text of the statute leaves much to be desired. Our attorneys understand the quirks of the statute, as well as the many court opinions interpreting it. We put this knowledge to work for you.
- No Surprises. A handful of manufacturers control most of the U.S. auto market. We repeatedly go up against these same companies. This allows us to anticipate how they will respond to claims involving specific models and mechanical defects. Our attorneys will share these insights with you from day one, so you are never in the dark about what to expect.
- Free Consultations. We will always discuss your situation with you in a free initial consultation before you make any decisions about a claim.
Contact a California Lemon Law Lawyer Today
The lemon law process starts by filing a legal claim against the 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 we are aggressive and know how to win. Neale & Fhima has a 99% success rate with lemon law cases. We are not intimidated by the manufacturers’ attorneys, and we are determined to secure the best possible outcome on behalf of our clients. To find out more about how our California lemon law lawyers can help you, give us a call at 888-407-2955. The initial consultation is free.