The state of California has a lemon law that protects consumers from getting stuck with a car that has many things wrong with it and the manufacturer can’t or won’t make it good. You do need to take action, so know your lemon law rights.
Know Your Lemon Law Rights
It used to be “buyer beware,” but these days in California you don’t have to be stuck with a lemon if you don’t want to be. If the car you purchased has serious problems, the manufacturer can be forced to make good if they are unable to fix those problems.
Is Your Car Covered by the Lemon Law?
The Lemon Law covers new and used vehicles that are sold or leased and come with a new car warranty. They include trucks, cars, SUVs, motorhomes, business use vehicles and personal use vehicles. The lemon law is in effect for you during the term of your original new car warranty.
There are certain criteria that need to be met to declare your vehicle a lemon, giving you the protection under the law. If your vehicle qualifies then the manufacturer will be forced to either replace your vehicle or buy it back.
Here are the qualifications of a lemon:
- The malfunction of the vehicle has the potential to cause death or serious injury. The manufacturer has tried at least 2x to fix it and the problem persists.
- The manufacturer has tried at least 4x to fix the same warranty problem.
- The vehicle has been out of service for a period of at least 30 days (not necessarily consecutively) for 1 or more warranty repairs.
- The problem substantially reduces the value of use for the consumer and is not a result of abuse.
- The consumer needs to contact the manufacturer about the problems in writing, if it states that in the vehicle’s manual.
How to Use the Lemon Law
Read the Lemon Law pages carefully and if you find that you qualify to use the Lemon Law, you can contact California’s arbitration certification. This arbitration is free for you to use, however you’ll likely have the best experience by using an attorney that specializes in Lemon Law cases.
There was a recall in 2015 of certain cars that contain an engine named Theta II. The problem was that this engine had manufacturing debris inside it that could cause it to suddenly burst into flames. The recall wasn’t handled as well as it should have been, according to the US Department of Justice. You might own one of these cars today.
Cars with the Theta II
This recall was for car makes Hyundai and Kia that had the Theta II engine. There were over 1,000,000 cars recalled in the USA. These models were Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe sport utility vehicles. And Kia recalled models Optima, Sorento and Sportage cars.
A former engineer for Hyundai had said they should have recalled more cars than they did over this problem.
Depending on the results of the DOJ investigation, Hyundai and Kia could be forced to pay huge fines for this engine problem. In the recent past both Toyota and VW were forced to pay billions for the problems and/or misrepresentations of their vehicles.
If you own one of the Kia car models listed below, you might check with your dealer to have your engine checked for debris damage.
- 2011-2013 Optima
- 2014 Optima
- 2012-2014 Sorento
- 2011-2013 Sportage
Here are the Hyundai models:
- 2011-2012 Sonatas
- 2013-2014 Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe Sport
Lawsuits started after the car maker Hyundai refused to pay for the thousands of dollars it took to repair the damaged engine. Kia was also sued over their handling of their recall.
The recall problems are an ongoing investigation by the USA Department of Justice. They will ultimately determine if Hyundai and Kia did enough to take care of this problem with the manufacturer debris and slush left in the engines of these automobiles.
At A1 Performance Auto Repair European Specialist, we post occasional recall information at a courtesy to help keep our customers informed.
Sometimes a car makes noise when braking and it is normal and other times it is trying to tell you something. It is important you know the difference, so you will have it checked out when a repair is needed.
Car Makes Noise When Braking
Whether or not the noise your car is making is something going wrong will depend on the type of noise.
If your car makes noise when braking and it is a grinding sound, it generally means something is wrong. Usually it means your brake pads are completely shot. You’re just grinding your rotors. You need to have your brakes inspected right away. It could be a simple fix, though. Maybe a little stone is stuck in there somewhere causing the noise. The mechanic can remove it and you’re fine. But that usually is not the case.
That high pitched squealing is one of those things than can drive drivers mad, much like fingernails on the chalkboard. Usually this is an indication that your brake pads are worn down enough to hit the wear indicator. The squeal is intentional. It lets you know you need new pads. Or, it can mean the calipers are sticking. It can also mean that the clips that hold the pads are broken. Any of these options mean you need to have a mechanic inspect the brakes.
If you just had your brake pads replaced, this sound is just a temporary problem. In a few days the pads will have broken in enough and that noise goes away.
Getting Brakes Inspected
A1 Performance Auto Repair does brake inspections and repairs. Stop by anytime to have us take a look at your brakes to see why your car makes noise when braking.
Most people don’t need to know how to check their brakes. They just have the auto mechanic check them periodically. But, there are a few things you can do at home to check your brakes.
How to Check Your Brakes
If you’re concerned that it might be time to replace your brakes, you’re probably right. Most people don’t suddenly have a feeling their brakes are going bad without reason. You’ve probably picked up on a sign whether you consciously realize it or not. So, here are a few things you can do to get a good idea it is time to take your car into the mechanic to have a professional opinion on the subject.
To the Floor with the Pedal
If your brake pedal seems to go a lot closer to the floor than it used to then it is time to have the car brakes looked at by your mechanic. There could be several reasons it is doing this and all the reasons will require your mechanic. It could be a fluid leak or completely worn out brake rotors. You need to take the car in right away.
Squealing and Grinding
There can be a little rust built up on the rotors from driving on flooded roads. Over a few days the rust will be worn off by normal braking. That is nothing to worry about. However, if the sounds continue, take it in to your mechanic.
Look through the open parts of your wheel to see if there is ¼” of brake pad. If it is lower than that, take it into your mechanic soon, but when convenient. You’ll likely need a new set of pads.
A1 Performance Auto Repair
Stop by A1 Performance Auto Repair whenever you have concerns about the performance of your car. We’ll be happy to take a look at it.