Is your car a lemon by California law?

According to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), buying a new car is second only to buying a new home when it comes to the most expensive purchase many consumers will make.  

At those prices, no one expects that they’ll be making repeated trips to the dealership because of a significant problem with their new car. Unfortunately, about 150,000 or 1% of new cars each year turn out to be “lemons.”  

A lemon car is one that requires repairs soon after being purchased. Lemon cars usually have problems in one of the major vehicle systems including the brakes, engine, transmission, electrical system, and/or car’s computers – that detract from the value and safety of the vehicle.

The good news is that every state has enacted some form of “lemon law” to protect consumers who are unfortunate enough to have purchased one of these defective cars. However, in order to be able to take advantage of these lemon laws, you have to know what qualifies as a lemon according to your state’s law and how you can get a replacement car or a refund.

California laws cover the following vehicles that come with the manufacturer’s new vehicle warranty:

  • New cars
  • Used cars
  • Pickup trucks
  • Vans
  • SUVs
  • Many vehicles purchased or leased primarily for business use
  • Vehicles purchased or leased for personal, family, or household purposes

Lemon law requirements in CA

The lemon law requirements in the state of California are as follows:

  1. The car must have a “substantial defect or defects”
  2. The defect or defects in question must be covered by the car’s original warranty from the manufacturer
  3. The defect or defects must affect the use, value, or safety of the car
  4. The car must have gone through a reasonable number of repair attempts without success 

While there is no “set” number of repair attempts, California has established a set of guidelines – the Lemon Law Presumption – for determining when a “reasonable” number of repair attempts have been made.

Still not sure if your car is a lemon?

Thousands of lemons are sold to car buyers in every state in the country each and every year. California consumers of these defective vehicles have recourse under the federal lemon law, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, as well as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, California’s lemon law, which in some cases provides better protection

Is your car a lemon according to California’s Lemon Law? If so, the manufacturer must either replace the vehicle or refund its purchase price, whichever one you prefer. 

Hiring an attorney that specializes in handling lemon law cases can give you a definite advantage because they are very knowledgeable about the lemon laws. At The Law Offices of Robert F. Brennan, we handle the majority of our lemon law cases on a contingency fee which can usually be collected from the manufacturer. 

Call our office to schedule a free consultation with a Lemon Law attorney.

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