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California Used Car Lemon Laws

In California, used cars that qualify under lemon laws include:

  • used vehicles purchased for personal, family, or household use
  • used business vehicles that are under 10,000 lbs and registered to a business with five or fewer registered vehicles.
  • used vehicles that were sold with a written warranty
  • used lemon vehicles that were repurchased by the manufacturer and resold to consumers with a warranty covering the defects.

If any of California used car lemon laws criteria apply to you, contact our Los Angeles office today so we can get the used car lemon law process in California started for you. If you’re struggling with a used car that’s still under warranty, you deserve compensation and protection. We’re well-versed in California used car lemon law and can get you the results you deserve.

Yellow Car Cutoff

What constitutes a “reasonable number” of repair attempts in California used car lemon law?

“Reasonable number.” You’ll hear this phrase a lot in association with California used car lemon law. What exactly does it mean? In California lemon law, manufacturers are only allowed a certain number of attempts at fixing your car before you can start to pursue a lemon law claim. Listed below are the criteria needed to be considered a “reasonable number” of repair attempts:

  • Your vehicle’s issues are such that they could cause death or bodily harm, the car has been in for repair two or more times, and the manufacturer has been notified of need for the repairs.
  • The car been in for repairs four or more times and the manufacturer has been notified of the need for repairs.
  • The issue has caused your car to be out of service for more than 30 days since your car was purchased.

How Do Extended Warranties Apply to Used Car Lemon Law?

Many consumers get talked into purchasing what is commonly known as “extended warranties” for their used vehicle, a means to double-down on insuring their purchase from any damage to the vehicle from the previous owner that didn’t initially show up at the time of purchase. 

What you should understand, for the purpose of used car lemon law in the state of California, is that these extended warranties do not qualify as warranties at all; they would be considered more akin to a “service contract”. Lemon law is indeed designed to hold manufacturers and dealers up to their word when it comes to vehicle warranties, but extended warranties are not written in the same spirit. Rather than conveying that the manufacturer promises the vehicle is in a good and safe condition to operate, an extended warranty is a third party’s promise to repair a vehicle should it have certain faults. 

Legally speaking, this is a critical distinction to make when examining a used car lemon law case in California. If you purchased a vehicle with strictly an extended warranty only, there will be a strong chance that your vehicle may not qualify under the lemon law. The lone exception to this rule is when an extended warranty specifically states that the selling dealer is responsible for handling repairs themselves, and not through a third party. In such a case, it is critical that you speak with an experienced lemon law legal specialist like those at Lemon Law Now for more information on how your case would qualify under California’s used car lemon law.

White Car with Invisible Background

How Does the Used Car Lemon Law Protect When You Have A Dealer Warranty?

When dealers provide a warranty on a used vehicle, you are protected as a consumer in two ways. First and foremost, a dealer warranty protects the parts and components of a used vehicle much in the same way that a warranty for a new vehicle would. The range of components may be more limited as compared to a new vehicle, but the warranty functions much the same; the dealership must repair within a reasonable number of attempts or offer a refund/replacement.

Implied Warranties

The other way that you’re covered is that all used cars sold in California with a dealer warranty of any type are protected by the state’s lemon law statute that imposes an “implied warranty of merchantability”. This implied warranty lasts for a minimum of thirty days; if the dealer’s warranty lasts for longer than thirty days, then the implied warranty follows suit for the same period. 

The strongest benefit of this implied warranty is that, while dealer warranties may only extend to certain components of the vehicle, the implied warranty spans the entirety of the vehicle. This may sound like pure gold, but it should be noted that the implied warranty is as basic as it can get. It only states that the vehicle be safe and reliable to use during the warranty period, so any type of defect that cannot be shown to affect the safety or maneuverability of the vehicle will not fall under the implied warranty. If, however, something like the brakes, which may not be listed in the dealer warranty, is not functioning properly during the dealer warranty, the existence of the dealer warranty will confer the implied warranty, which will cover the brakes and entitle the vehicle owner to a repair or refund. The implied warranty may also waive certain fees or deductibles that are listed in the dealer warranty. 

Related Link:

Car White Shield Cutoff Right in California

Common California Lemon Used Car Manufacturers

Client Testimonials

I spoke directly to Mr. Shainfeld who helped guide me through the lemon law process. He was always responsive to me both via phone and emails. He was prompt and professional. Hopefully I do not have any further issues with my car in the future, but if I do I will contact Shainfeld Law.


Prompt and Professional

Brett and his team was truly amazing to work with. From my very first contact through their chat capabilities on their website to the very last conversation with Brett. Being our first lemon claim for our 2018 Audi e-tron we were intimidated by what the process could be and didn’t know what to expect. Brett and his team made everything so easy to understand and seamless.


Amazing to Work With

I had a great experience working with Brett Shainfeld. Easy to talk to and quick to respond, he explained the process clearly from the first phone call and kept me updated on the progress. Everything was done through email and on the phone which made it fast, easy and very convenient.


Fast, Easy and Very Convenient

Cannot recommend Brett Shainfeld enough. Courteous, professional, quick to respond, and up front with my case and questions. If you think you have any car issues and might consider finding a lemon law attorney, just stop right here and contact Brett. Got me quick results and helped me out with the whole process.


Courteous, Professional, Quick to Respond

Brett is Amazing! Everything done by telephone and never met him and only by speaking to him regarding my case I felt like he was a good friend to speak to. He’s very upfront and down to earth and says it straight up.


Brett is Amazing

I could NOT have selected better representation! Mr. Shainfeld worked quickly and helped us reach a great settlement fairly quickly! I elected to pickup my final settlement check from his office, otherwise I would have never had to set foot in his work space.


Excellent Representation

Thank you so much for all you’ve done and for being so patient with me and all my questions/concerns. Happy to have this behind me and do it so simply. It was a pleasure working with you.


A Pleasure to Work With

Brett has been THE MOST helpful lawyer when it came to dealing with my lemon BMW. His knowledge blows all these other clowns out of the water. Extremely attentive, under promises and over-delivers. Just give him a call!

Most Helpful Lemon Lawyer

Brett was truly amazing to work with. Everything was so easy — from our initial call to the very last conversation.  This was our very first lemon claim (2018 Audi e-tron) and was slightly intimidated by what the process could be and didn’t know what to expect. Brett and his team made everything so easy to understand and seamless. He’s quick, efficient, very reliable. He is super clear up front with the process and quickly answers any questions you have. I would highly recommend Brett if you are looking for lemon law attorney. We couldn’t have done it without him.

Everything Was So Easy

After the torture we went through with our dealership on our Lemon Law car and the subsequent challenge of trying to find a responsive, knowledgeable attorney to represent our case, we were at our wit’s end and highly skeptical when we found Brett Shainfeld. However, we found Brett to be clear, communicative, immediately responsive and confident. He adapted quickly to our preferred mode of communication (electronic or voicemail, rather than live discussions), and consistently kept us informed as to what was happening with our case, as well as what to expect next. And the best part is that he successfully negotiated our case with the manufacturer.

Great Experience

Brett was the best attorney we’ve had the opportunity to work with. If we ever need a Lemon Law attorney again, we won’t hesitate to use Brett. He’s very conscientious, keeping us appraised of what’s going on. If we leave a message or e-mail for him, he’d respond to is in a very timely manner. We will not hesitate to use his services again in the future. We’ll also recommend him to anyone & everyone who needs a good Lemon Law attorney.

Best Lemon Law Lawyer Ever

My lemon law settlement was done in about 2 and 1/2 months. Brett Shainfeld was very professional and answered all my questions through phone calls and emails regarding $ and etc… I’m in San Francisco and he was in southern cal…and everything turned out well.

Excellent Work

Brett, I’d like to thank you for your help throughout my case. During the course of my representation, you and your firm provided me with an unmatched customer service and always immediately responded to my questions. I could not have been any happier with the end result and always felt protected having your firm on my side. Words fall short in describing your firm’s prowess & dedication. I highly recommend your firm to anyone seeking assistance when in comes to consumer protection laws.

I could not have been happier

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