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.