At Shainfeld Law, our Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade metro area lemon law attorney knows it’s difficult for California residents to determine whether their vehicles fall under California’s Lemon Law protections. After all, this is a complex area of law that many drivers are unfamiliar with, which is why we are here.


The first sign that your vehicle may be a lemon is that it exhibits a defect that cannot be fixed after a reasonable number of attempts. In short, you consistently take your car, truck, or SUV to the dealership for the same reason, and there’s no remedy.

The question is, what is causing this problem? Is it a manufacturing design flaw? Or a defect?

While they are technically two different issues, they both apply to California’s lemon law. Here is what vehicle owners in California need to know about their options to pursue a claim.

What is the Definition of a Vehicle Design Flaw?

Design flaws are inherent issues in the vehicle’s blueprint or design specifications. They are part of the vehicle’s original plans and affect all units of the same model.

They are not the result of the manufacturing process but stem from the initial planning stages.

Since flaws are part of the vehicle’s design, they can affect its overall performance, safety, or reliability and may include:

  • EV Battery Fires.
  • Faulty Airbags
  • Fuel Tank Ruptures.
  • Ignition Problems.
  • Inadequate Braking System.
  • Suspension Problems.
  • Tire Tread Separation.
  • Unintended Acceleration.

While not an exhaustive list, design flaws can significantly impact the safety of any vehicle and may make it eligible for a California lemon law claim.

What is the Definition of a Vehicle Defect?

Unlike design flaws, vehicle defects are problems that arise during the manufacturing process.

These issues are not part of the vehicle’s design but occur due to errors, faults, or irregularities during production and may include:

  • Faulty Transmissions.
  • Electrical Issues.
  • Material Failures.

Defects often affect only specific units or batches of vehicles rather than the entire model line.

Under California lemon law, a vehicle may be eligible for a lemon claim if it has substantial problems that impair its use, value, or safety. These flaws can be defects or design flaws, but the California lemon law is applied differently, each applicable based on their unique circumstances.

Is Your Car Experiencing a Defect or a Design Flaw?

If you believe your California vehicle may be a lemon and is still under the manufacturer’s warranty, contact our experienced Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade metro area lemon law attorney at Shainfeld Law, P.C., today by calling 888-609-2593 or request a free consultation online to learn more about your rights as a California consumer and pursue a legal remedy that fits your needs.