If you have recently purchased a vehicle and are concerned that you may have inadvertently purchased a vehicle that had previous problems, you may have ended up with what’s considered a lemon. In this page, our attorney, Howard D. Silver of Los Angeles, will answer common questions about lemon law.
- What is California’s Lemon Law?
- What Are the Exact Requirements for My Car to Be Considered a Lemon?
- My Vehicle Isn’t Under Warranty Anymore. What Do I Do?
- I Had My Vehicle Serviced Under an Extended Warranty. What Then?
- What is a Lemon Buy-Back?
- What is a Cash-and-Keep Settlement?
- Does California Lemon Law Apply to “Certified Pre-Owned” Vehicles?
- Does California Lemon Law Apply to Business Vehicles?
- What is Manufacturer’s Arbitration?
- I Leased My Vehicle and Believe It’s a Lemon. What Can I Do?
- What Are the Requirements for New Car Lemon Law?
- What Must Be Broken to Be Considered a Lemon?
- Are Motorcycles Covered by California Lemon Law?
- Are Motor Homes Covered Under California Lemon Law?
- How Can I Afford A Lemon Law Attorney?
- How Long Will a Lemon Law Case Take?
- How Can I Get Help With My Lemon Law Case?
What is California’s Lemon Law?
According to California law, a consumer can seek a refund or replacement vehicle if a manufacturer can’t repair a vehicle within a reasonable number of attempts and if the defect significantly affects the use of the vehicle or makes it unsafe.
What Are the Exact Requirements for My Car to Be Considered a Lemon?
The Song-Beverly Act states that your vehicle is a lemon if:
- There were at least two unsuccessful attempts at repairing your vehicle and your vehicle is unsafe OR
- A manufacturer or dealer attempted and failed to repair the same issue at least four times
- Your vehicle has been out of service for 30 total days due to repairs while under warranty
- Your vehicle began being repaired for its defect while it was still under warranty
- The repairs to your vehicle occurred within the first 18 months or 18,000 miles of ownership
My Vehicle Isn’t Under Warranty Anymore. What Do I Do?
If you began having your defective vehicle serviced while your vehicle was under warranty, you will most likely still qualify for compensation.
I Had My Vehicle Serviced Under an Extended Warranty. What Then?
California lemon law does not extend to extended warranties, but you should consult with our attorney as a precaution.
What is a Lemon Buy-Back?
When a manufacturer buys your vehicle back from you because it has been successfully proven that it was a lemon, this is known as a lemon buy-back or manufacturer buy-back. This means that the manufacturer must reimburse you for all payments toward the vehicle including the registration and licensing fees, payments, outstanding loans, and more. Manufacturers will attempt to make deductions based upon mileage on the vehicle and anything you’ve added to your vehicle after the purchase, which is why it’s best to have a lawyer representing your best interests.
What is a Cash-and-Keep Settlement?
If the manufacturer won’t buy your lemon back, they can pay a settlement which means you’ll keep the vehicle, but also receive cash back as a refund for the defects involved.
Does California Lemon Law Apply to “Certified Pre-Owned” Vehicles?
Vehicles can be considered “certified pre-owned” and still be covered under lemon law. If your pre-owned vehicle turns out to be a lemon, you can not only file suit under lemon law, but you may also be able to claim that the dealer didn’t thoroughly and accurately inspect the vehicle before sale for further compensation.
Does California Lemon Law Apply to Business Vehicles?
Yes. But, it only applies to five or less business-related vehicles. Click here to find out more about the types of lemon law.
What is Manufacturer’s Arbitration?
This is a form of legal consultation and interaction between a consumer and the manufacturer. This can be done with or without an attorney representing you, however, our attorney always recommends contacting him first because manufacturers have teams in place for this exact occurrence and have more experience that the average person. Our attorney will help you get the answers and solutions you need.
I Leased My Vehicle and Believe it’s a Lemon. What Can I Do?
A leased vehicle is covered in the exact same way as a purchased vehicle. If you believe it is a lemon, contact our attorney so we can help you get the manufacturer or dealer to buy it back from you.
What Are the Requirements for New Car Lemon Law?
California law stipulates that your vehicle must be bought and used for personal and family use, weigh less than 10,000 pounds and be used for business use, be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, or be the chassis or chassis cab of a motor home.
What Must Be Broken to Be Considered a Lemon?
To qualify under California lemon law, your vehicle’s defect must a serious defect that can affect your vehicle’s functionality or your safety. This can include the following:
- Seat belts that malfunction
- Defective brakes
- Defective airbags
- A sunroof that won’t close
- Issues with the gas pedal sticking or not working properly
- Electrical problems
- Environmental problems like your air conditioning or heat
- Defective door locks
Are Motorcycles Covered by California Lemon Law?
In order for a motorcycle to qualify under California lemon law, the following must occur:
- The motorcycle was purchased in California
- Your motorcycle is under warranty
- The warranty covers the issue with the motorcycle
- You requested repairs for the defect from the manufacturer or manufacturer-authorized repair shops, but the problem was not able to be fixed
Are Motor Homes Covered Under California Lemon Law?
California does have consumer laws that will cover motor homes, but not their entirety. The portions of a motor home that are covered are the chassis, cab, living quarters, or portions of the motor home required for propulsion. A motor home must meet the following qualifications to be considered a lemon:
- There were two or more unsuccessful repair attempts for a serious or deadly defect within the first 18 months or 18,000 miles of ownership
- There were four or more unsuccessful repair attempts by a manufacturer or dealer within the first 18 months or 18,000 miles of ownership
- The motor home was out of service for more than 30 days in the first 18 months or 18,000 of ownership
How Can I Afford A Lemon Law Attorney?
When you are having issues with your vehicle and believe it to be a lemon, the most important thing is to get yourself help. At The Law Offices of Howard D. Silver, we are dedicated to helping Californians that are struggling because of their vehicle. We offer free consultations and ensure that a manufacturer or dealer has to pay the court costs. Your lawsuit is taken on a contingency-fee basis meaning that we do not charge anything while we work your case and reimburse ourselves once the process ends with a favorable outcome for you. If we don’t recover anything, we don’t charge anything.
How Long Will a Lemon Law Case Take?
Because of our attorney’s extensive experience, he will know within 30 days whether or not a manufacturer will be buying back your vehicle and how to proceed thereafter.
How Can I Get Help With My Lemon Law Case?
Contact our attorney, Howard D. Silver, today for a free case review. We are proud to serve Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, and throughout California. Contact us today by filling out the form on this page or calling us (855) 341-2611.