If you have purchased a vehicle which turns out to be defective the California lemon law may apply to your case. California lemon laws, like lemon laws of all 50 states have been enacted to protect the consumer that purchases or leases a vehicle qualifies as a lemon. What follows is a brief summary of the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, better known simply as the California lemon law.
A summary of the provisions of the California lemon law:
Although the law is complex, there are specific key conditions that must be met for the vehicle to qualify.
* The vehicle must be used primarily for family, personal or household purposes. Motorcycles, those areas of RVs that are used as livable space and off-road vehicles are not covered.
* There must have been two attempts made to fix the fault if the defect is such that it may cause death or serious injury (brakes, steering, etc). If the defect is one that affects the use or value then four attempts at repair must be made and in all cases the vehicle may be a lemon if it is in for repair for an aggregate total of 30 days.
* The period of cover is the entire period of the manufacturer’s warranty.
* The California lemon law does not apply if the fault was caused by abuse by the consumer or the terms of vehicle was not maintained in accordance with that specified in the warranty.
What can you do if you think your vehicle is a lemon?
Even if the vehicle does not turn out to be a lemon, there is no way to determine this when it is first purchased. If it does turn out to be a lemon you will need complete documentation when you make your claim. Always, under all circumstances, keep copies of all repair orders, invoices and correspondence and maintain a log of the time the vehicle is in the shop. Without evidence it will be difficult to substantiate your claim.
You must deal with the dealer you purchased the vehicle from and was responsible for the repair attempts. If the dealer does not comply with your request, contact the vehicle manufacturer.
If you do not get satisfaction from either the dealer or the manufacturer the best thing to do is hire a seasoned lemon law attorney. It does not cost you anything to hire an attorney, if they lose the case you have no obligation, if they win, and you hope they do, their fees are paid by the manufacturer.
Like all laws, the California lemon law is complex. If you have reason to believe the vehicle you purchased is a lemon you are invited to visit LemonLawAmerica.com for more detailed information and details of attorneys that can help.