Last year, BMW began a recall of over 36,000 vehicles that has since grown to include more than 300,000 1 Series, 3 Series, Z4 and X1 cars manufactured between March 2007 and August 2011.
The cars were recalled because of an electrical malfunction that causes the engines to stall and the brake lights to fail. And the issue is already known to have played a part in at least 19 cases of electrical faults in models involved in fatal crashes. This led to BMW widening the recall to cover more cars and have the faulty part replaced.
What Does This Mean for Lemon Law?
When we talk about recalls and faulty vehicles, lemon law is often brought into the conversation. Because the lemon law protects consumers who purchased faulty vehicles and entitles them to compensation (either monetarily or with a new car that’s free of issues), many wonder if a recall on their car could entitle them to pursue a lemon claim.
The short answer to that question is — it depends.
In most cases of a recall, the car’s manufacturer issues a notice that potentially affected cars should be brought back to the dealership or repair shop to have the faulty part repaired or replaced, usually at no charge to the consumer. If the car is repaired and the issue resolved, the vehicle’s owner won’t have any grounds to file a lemon law claim.
A lemon case is only successful if the car meets a set of strict criteria in order to be deemed a lemon. In California, the law states that a car must have two to four failed repair attempts to be called a lemon. So if the manufacturer does fix the problem, then the car isn’t a lemon and can be driven safely.
However, if the issue can’t be repaired, then the car’s owner may have grounds to pursue a lemon law claim.
What Should I Do If My Car Is Recalled?
If you have a car that is recalled by the manufacturer, you should take it in immediately for repairs. Be sure the keep thorough documentation of the problem and what’s done to fix it — including any diagnostic tests run and all the costs associated with the repair. Accurate documentation is your biggest ally if you need to pursue a lemon law claim.
Hopefully, any repairs made will fix whatever is wrong with the car, and you’ll be able to safely drive it for years to come. But if you do run into more problems, you should contact an expert lemon law attorney who can help.
Talk to Shainfeld Law
If you suspect your car is indeed a lemon, give us a call today for a free consultation. We can discuss the particulars of your case and give you advice on where you can go from here to get the compensation or repairs you deserve.
We have over 10 years of winning lemon law cases in the state of California, and we’d love to help you win yours.