In order to start a lemon law claim in California, there are certain steps that you should proceed through to ensure that your case is a successful one.
1. Allow the Manufacturer to Attempt to Repair Your Vehicle or Consumer Product
One of the very first things that any judge or arbitrator will look at when making a determination on a pending California lemon law case is whether or not the manufacturer was given multiple repair attempts to correct the problem in the vehicle or consumer product. That means, should you have a faulty consumer product, the first step that you should take should be to contact the manufacturer or dealership and schedule maintenance to correct the issue. Only when a fair number of attempts have been given to the manufacturer to correct the issue should you pursue a lemon law case. Simply put: a manufacturer cannot be held accountable for problems that they’re unaware of.
It’s critical to note that you should ensure the manufacturer is investigating the same issue each time you take the vehicle or item for a repair. Consult with an experienced attorney, such as Brett Shainfeld, for more advice as to whether or not you have given an adequate number of repair attempts to your manufacturer.
2. Make Accurate Reports During the Repair Process
This is not the time to be shy about the problems you’ve experienced with your consumer item or vehicle! Be sure to convey every detail of how your product is performing that seems to be the result of a defect, and do not hesitate to ask to see the repair order to ensure that your voice is being heard. This step is vital to later proving that you gave the manufacturer a fair number of opportunities to correct a recurring problem in the vehicle or product. Check over everything before signing the repair order, and feel free to ask the writer to include more information that may have been forgotten or omitted in the service write-up.
3. Keep Documentation of the Entire Process
That means every receipt; every service write-up; every piece of the original purchase paperwork and warranty information; absolutely anything and everything that could be of value in a court case later on. When the dealership conducts service, ask for a printout of the service order and any notes that the technician gave regarding the vehicle or consumer item. As many systems continue to transfer over from paper records to electronic-based, do not rely on the dealership to hold your records for you. You have the right to see a service write-up or invoice, and it is their responsibility to ensure that you leave with such paperwork.
Instances of businesses going out of business, changing location or file systems and information getting lost in the lemon law process are not uncommon, so take the matter into your own hands. Particularly for major purchases like an automobile, create a folder at home from the first date of purchase to keep all of your accompanying paperwork and add to it with any relevant documentation going forward.
4. Don’t Wait On Your Lemon Law Case
Once you feel that you’ve given an adequate number of repair attempts for the vehicle or consumer item, don’t hesitate to proceed further with a lemon law case filing. The fact of the matter is that the longer you wait, the further out from the original manufacture date you go and the more time that the manufacturer can use to build a defense from. In the case of an automobile, if you wait too long and get in an accident, it will be difficult to prove whether your vehicle’s faultiness is the result of being a lemon or from the damage in the wreck.
5. Hire Experienced Legal Counsel to Help
While you’re not required to have an attorney to present a lemon law case, it’s highly recommended that you do so. The manufacturer will surely be represented by powerful corporate attorneys who have ample experience in picking apart lemon law cases. Give yourself the best possible outcome by hiring a lemon law attorney that is well-versed in the nuances of lemon law. Reach out to Shainfeld today for more information on how to get your case started today!
Contact us today to talk about your lemon law claim in California.