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The Lemon Law Process

So, you’ve got a lemon. While it’s not ideal, it’s inevitable -- vehicles can’t be built perfectly 100% of the time. When your vehicle repeatedly fails to meet the manufacturer’s warranty after a reasonable number of attempts at repair, you may be entitled to a refund or replacement. Even if your vehicle isn’t considered a lemon, you may be eligible for cash compensation. Read on to learn how the lemon law process can work in your favor.

Getting A Refund For Your Lemon

If you are the original purchaser of a lemon, you are entitled to a refund of the following:

  • Your down payment and any monthly payments you’ve made.
  • The balance of your loan.
  • Collateral charges, i.e. sales tax, finance charges, and prorated registration and service contracts.
  • Rental car, tow truck, and any other expenses that are a direct consequence of your lemon.

If you leased a lemon, you are entitled to:

  • Your down payment.
  • Your monthly lease payments.
  • All remaining lease payments.
  • Collateral charges, i.e. sales tax, finance charges, and prorated registration and service contracts.
  • Rental car, tow truck, and any other expenses that are a direct consequence of your lemon.


Getting A Replacement Vehicle

During the lemon law process, if you choose to replace your lemon, your replacement vehicle must meet the following criteria:

  • It must be essentially identical to your lemon at the time you purchased or leased it.
  • It must include the same service contract.
  • It must include any and all factory or dealer enhancements that came with the purchase of your lemon, i.e. undercoating.

You will still be reimbursed for rental cars, tow trucks, and any other expenses that are a direct consequence of your lemon, and the manufacturer will be held responsible for sales tax and license and registration fees for your new vehicle.

Lemon Law Tips

Act fast.

Don’t hesitate when it comes to filing a lemon law claim.  As soon as you’ve brought your vehicle in for a reasonable amount of repairs to no avail, start the lemon law process.


Ask about Technical Service Bulletins.

Ask your service writer if there are any TSBs or recalls related your issues, and if so, make sure they make a note of it on the work order.


Make sure your reports are dated.

Ensure that all of your work orders, repair orders, and receipts are correctly dated. Keeping accurate and orderly paperwork is extremely important to making the lemon law process as quick and smooth as possible. 

Keep all documentation.

Repair orders, repair invoices, work orders, contracts, receipts, purchasing documentation — any paperwork you obtain while trying to fix your vehicle will be extremely helpful to your case. 


Remember who worked on your car.

As a general rule, keep track of the names of the people who do work on your car. Write down their names on your paperwork. 


Ask for a new repair order each visit.

If you keep returning to the dealership with the same or different issues, make sure that the dealership creates a new repair order for each and every visit so that you can easily prove that multiple attempts were made to repair your car. 


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You’ll Never Pay Legal Fees Out of Pocket

Whether we win or lose (did you hear we have a 99% success rate?), you’ll never get stuck with out-of-pocket legal fees. Lemon laws require manufacturers to cover all legal costs associated with pursuing a lemon law claim, so there’s no reason not to fight for the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a free evaluation. Even if you’re unsure of whether or not your vehicle qualifies as a lemon, we’re happy to listen to your case and let you know how the lemon law can work for you.

With years of experience in lemon laws and a sole focus on consumer protection, Shainfeld Law is leading the way when it comes to all things lemon. Led by California lemon law attorney Brett Shainfeld and boasting a 99% success rate, Shainfeld Law takes pride in our passion, dedication, and hard-earned experience when it comes to defending the consumer rights of our clients. Our team is highly knowledgeable and experienced, and our relatively small size makes our customer service personable and unparalleled. With consistent, fast, and rewarding results, we’ve created the >most powerful lemon law firm in California and beyond.

Your Los Angeles Lemon Attorneys

750 N. San Vicente Blvd., Suite 800,
Los Angeles, CA 90069

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Understand your rights Under Consumer Protection Laws.

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If You Think that You Qualify, Give Us a Call

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What's Not Covered By Lemon Law?

  • Damage by animals or nature
  • Negligence or lack of routine maintenance
  • Lack of attempted repairs while under warranty
  • Buyer's remorse 
  • Damage by a third party
  • Modifications to the vehicle
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