With all the auto dealerships in Berkeley up and down San Pablo and Shattuck, you have lot of options. You do your research, test drive a few models, fill out the paperwork, and then finally buy your new ride. Then after all that, two months later, your car will not start and the manufacturer cannot seem to fix it. Do you have any options to replace your lemon? You sure do; call a Berkeley lemon law attorney to learn about them.

The lemon law experts at The Law Offices of Consumer Law Experts help protect the rights of Berkeley consumers. Call and request a free consultation today: (310) 442-1410.

What are California lemon laws?

California lemon laws refer to the legislation that deals with consumer protection laws in the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act. Essentially, the law protects customers when they purchase defective or shoddy goods such as automobiles. The statutes stipulate that when a manufacturer tries several times and fails to fix a substantial problem with a vehicle under warranty, it must offer a replacement or refund.

The laws cover various types of vehicles, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, SUVs, motor homes, RVs, business-owned vehicles, and boats. Lemon laws cover used, new, leased, and purchased vehicles under warranty in California.

What qualifies as a lemon?

“Lemon” is a nickname for a car that a consumer found was defective only after purchase. In order to qualify for recovery under California lemon law, the following has to apply:

  • Substantial problem – The vehicle must have a defect that substantially and adversely affects the car’s safety, value, or use. Also, the manufacturer’s warranty must cover the problem.
  • Unsuccessful repair attempts – The manufacturer must have made a “reasonable number” of attempts to fix the issue. California law does not specify how many attempts is “reasonable” for autos, but in most cases, four attempts suffice, or two attempts if the defect is one that can potentially cause serious or fatal harm.
  • Out of service – The car must have been out of service due to repairs or nonconformities for at least 30 days since you bought it. The days do not have to be consecutive.
  • Notification – Many manufacturers require that you notify them in writing about the issue. Check with your lawyer from The Law Offices of Consumer Law Experts, PC to see if that is something you need to do.

You must also ensure you bring your claim within four years.

Is there anything else I should know?

Once you have determined that you have a lemon, you can request either a refund of the purchase price or a repurchase. It is worth noting that you may not receive a full refund or receive a replacement free of charge.

This is because California law allows manufacturers or sellers to deduct for mileage driven between discovering the defect and bringing the car in for the defect.

For example, if you purchased a car for $15,000 and took the car in for repair at 12,000 miles, the manufacturer will take that number, divide it by 120,000 and then multiply the amount by $15,000. This would lead to a deduction of $1,500. You may also have to pay that amount if you opt to receive a replacement.

The process usually takes a few months, but you can expedite the process by hiring a lawyer.

Can I get help with the process?

If manufacturers saddled you with a lemon, California law is on your side. And so are we. Our lemon law experts at The Law Offices of Consumer Law Experts can help you hold the manufacturer accountable for your lemon car. We can ensure that they either give you a replacement or a refund, as well as compensate you for associated miscellaneous expenses and legal fees you accrued.

Contact our office today at (310) 442-1410 and speak to a Berkeley lemon law attorney about your options for your lemon law claim.