At Lemon Law Now , our California lemon law attorney understands there may be a lot of confusion about whether a vehicle meets the requirements of a “Lemon.”
Many believe that if their vehicle needs to be repaired shortly after purchasing or leasing it, they are driving a lemon. The reality is, simply needing repairs that fall under the manufacturer’s warranty is not enough to seek Lemon Law protection.
According to our California Lemon Law Now the vehicle must have a substantial defect that is covered by the manufacturer’s warranty and impairs the car’s safety, value, or use.
What does that mean for your vehicle’s eligibility? It depends. And is not only determined by the actual defect, but the number of attempts the manufacturer’s warranty was pursued to fix it without success.
What is a Reasonable Number of Repair Attempts?
While there are common signs that your car may be a Lemon, including substantial problems with the steering, engine, or transmission, there is not a single defect that automatically makes a vehicle eligible for Lemon Law recovery.
Instead, the vehicle must meet one of the following reasonable repair attempt standards to qualify for California Lemon Law protection:
- The defect leads to a significant safety issue — where bodily harm or death could occur through its use — and remains unfixed after two repair attempts
- The defect is not considered a significant safety issue but remains unfixed after four attempts
- The vehicle remained in the repair shop for more than 30 days
It is important to note, minor defects — like loose door handles or detached radio knobs — do not meet the legal definition of a substantial defect in the State of California. Neither does a defect caused by abuse. However, a defective paint job might.
That is why it is important to speak with our Lemon Law attorney in California to discuss your vehicle defect(s), the warranty that covers it, and your attempts at having the issue fixed by the dealership or manufacturer-approved repair shop.
Simple Starter Questions to Potentially Qualify for a California Lemon Law Claim
Since there is so much to know about the California Lemon Law, it is easy for consumers to misunderstand their rights. If you are unsure whether your defective vehicle qualifies for legal relief under the California lemon law, ask yourself the following questions — then contact our skilled Los Angeles lemon lawyer for help pursuing your claim quickly and effectively.
- Is the vehicle a car, truck, motorcycle, SUV, or similar vehicle?
- Was your vehicle purchased or leased in California?
FYI: Military personnel who are residents of, or are serving in, California can file a California lemon law claim no matter where they purchased or leased their vehicles.
- The vehicle’s defect substantially reduces the vehicle’s value, use, or safety.
- Is your defective vehicle covered by the manufacturer’s warranty?
- Was the vehicle purchased for personal use, or business use(with the business owner having five or fewer vehicles registered in his or her name), and is under 10,000 pounds?
- Has the manufacturer, dealership, or certified mechanic made the qualifying number of repair attempts to apply for lemon law relief?
- Can you prove the vehicle’s problems were not caused by its owner or lessee’s abuse?
Timing is Important to Your California Lemon Law Claim
In the state of California, a vehicle falls under the Lemon Law Presumption when any of the previously noted reasonable repair attempts occurred within 18 months or 18,000 miles of purchasing your vehicle.
If you believe your vehicle may qualify for Lemon Law protection, contact our experienced lemon law attorney in California at Lemon Law Now,by calling (310) 295-1888 or request a free consultation online to learn more about how we can help outline your vehicle’s warranty terms and repair history to pursue the manufacturer for a cash settlement or replacement vehicle, so you can put your time at the dealership behind you.