A step-by-step assessment to determine lemon law eligibility
SAN DIEGO, CA, May 05, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ — There are several important steps laid out under California law that help consumers determine when and if their defective vehicle qualifies for lemon law remedies. A step-by-step list is helpful in determining whether your car, truck or SUV is eligible.
The Los Angeles County Consumer and Business Affairs division offers helpful insights into when a vehicle owner can file a California Lemon Law claim. The lemon law applies when an owner has made a “reasonable” number of attempts to have their chronically defective vehicle repaired, which is called the “Lemon Law Presumption.”
According to LA’s Consumer and Business Affairs, the Lemon Law Presumption applies if all the following are true:
• The problems your car is having are covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.
• The problem first occurred within 18 months of delivery or within 18,000 miles, whichever came first. (For major defects after this time frame, talk to an attorney.)
• The problem reduces the use, value or safety of the vehicle to you, and the problems were not caused by abuse.
• If the warranty or owner’s manual requires it, you have notified the manufacturer about the problems. (It’s best to have this in writing.)
In addition to all of the above, one of the following must also be true:
• You’ve taken the car in for repairs four or more times for the same problem and it’s still not fixed.
• You’ve taken the car in for repairs two or more times for a problem that is severe enough to cause death or serious bodily injury and it’s still not fixed.
• The vehicle has been in the shop for more than 30 days (not necessarily in a row) for repair of any problem covered by the warranty.
What Is a Lemon?
A “lemon” is a car, SUV, truck or other vehicle that has never really worked correctly. Whether it’s due to a problem with the chassis, faulty brakes, malfunctioning mirrors or a host of other mechanical or electrical problems, these vehicles never function correctly no matter how many times you take them in for repairs. To determine whether you have a Lemon Law claim, check to see whether your new vehicle is still under the original manufacturer’s warranty. If it is, you probably have a claim. If you own a used vehicle, then you will need one of three specific warranties to have a Lemon Law claim. These warranties include a transferred new car warranty, Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) warranty, or a Lemon Law Buyback warranty. The California Lemon Law is also referred to as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act.
What Does the Lemon Law Cover?
The Lemon Law covers:
• Pickup trucks
• Motor homes
• Dealer-owned vehicles
• Leased vehicles
• Vehicles used by companies for business purposes.
The Lemon Law does not cover:
• Vehicles without warranties or bought “as is”
• Vehicles that are not registered under the California Vehicle Code, such as off-road vehicles
• Vehicles with after-market parts, such as van conversions
• Vehicles that have been damaged or abused by owners.
Remedies and Statute of Limitations
If it turns out that you have a lemon, your options are 1) to have the manufacturer repurchase your vehicle, 2) to have the manufacturer replace your vehicle or 3) to negotiate a cash settlement with the manufacturer. When you hire Neale & Fhima, our lemon law lawyers will help you explore your options so you can choose the best one for your situation.
The statute of limitations under California’s Lemon Law is four years. If you have purchased or leased a lemon, start collecting copies of your repair bills, a list of dates that you attempted to have the car fixed, and any used parts you were given by the mechanic. Then call an attorney. The longer you wait, the more problems you will likely have with your vehicle.
At Neale & Fhima, we have a 99% success rate with lemon law cases. We fight aggressively on behalf of our clients to help them get the justice they deserve. No one should have to drive around in a vehicle that keeps breaking down all the time. That’s so frustrating! Let our lawyers help. For a free initial consultation, call us at 949-661-1077.
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