What is a Warranty?
A warranty is an acknowledgement by the manufacturer or seller that they have not made a perfect vehicle or good. Not every vehicle or good is made perfectly. As a result, the manufacturers or sellers issue a warranty/promise to repair the good if anything goes wrong with it during a specified period of time. The warranty period differs by manufacturer or seller and can be anywhere from one month to six months to 10 years. It is important for you to review the terms of the warranty that comes with your vehicle or other consumer good.
What are the Lemon Laws?
The lemon laws are federal and state consumer protection laws that were enacted to protect consumers who have purchased (or leased) defective consumer vehicles or goods. The law provides that when a manufacturer cannot repair a vehicle or other consumer good after a reasonable number of repair attempts and the defect is substantial, it must either replace the defective good or refund the consumer’s money.
If I Qualify Under the Lemon Laws, What am I Entitled to?
If your consumer good or vehicle qualifies as a lemon, then you are entitled to receive a replacement or refund, which consists of your down payment, monthly payments, registration, taxes, and incidental expenses such as rental car or tow expenses, plus reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. The manufacturer is entitled to deduct a usage fee for the value of the miles placed on the vehicle up to the first time it was taken in for repair work for the problem or defect that resulted in it being a lemon.
What is a Lemon Law Buyback?
A lemon law buyback is when the manufacturer repurchases your vehicle because it is a lemon. A repurchase consists of a refund of all the money you spent towards the purchase or lease of your lemon vehicle, which includes the down-payment, all of your monthly payments (including tax and finance charges), and a pro-rated portion of your registration, minus a usage fee. The usage fee is the value for the time that you drove the car “trouble-free.” The repurchase also includes reimbursement for any incidental or consequential expenses that you had as a result of your lemon, such as rental car or towing expenses. Additionally, the balance of your loan on your vehicle will be fully paid.
What is a Vehicle Replacement?
A ‘vehicle replacement’ is where you will receive a vehicle that is of similar make and model to the one that is a lemon. However, the replacement will most likely be a vehicle in the current year model. Your current loan amount (or the term of your lease) will remain the same and for the same duration as the original loan or lease. Your sole expense will be payment for the time you enjoyed your vehicle prior to it being a lemon and additional taxes (if applicable).
Does the Lemon Law Apply to My Used Vehicle?
Yes. A used car can and often does qualify under the lemon laws as long as it was sold with a written warranty. Often times, used vehicles are sold while still under the manufacturer’s warranty and/or a warranty from the dealer. If this is the case, then your used car may qualify under the lemon laws.
Does the Lemon Law Apply to My Leased Vehicle?
Yes. A leased vehicle is covered by California’s lemon laws as long as it was leased with a warranty.
Do I Still Have a Lemon Law Claim if My Vehicle is Out of Warranty?
Depends. If the first repair attempt for the problem or defect occurred during the warranty period, then the vehicle may still qualify for a refund or replacement, if other requirements are met. Call the Lemon Law Experts for a further explanation on this topic.
What is the Lemon Law Presumption?
In California, your vehicle is presumed to be a lemon if any of the following occur within the first 18 months or 18,000 miles of purchasing or leasing your vehicle:
- 4 or more repair attempts for the same issue;
- 2 or more repair attempts to fix an issue that can cause injury or death; or
- Your vehicle is out of service for more than 30 days for any repairs.
In California, if any of these criteria are met, your vehicle is presumably a lemon and you are entitled to a refund or replacement vehicle.
What if the Problems with My Vehicle Happened After 18,000 Miles or 18 Months?
You may still have a claim. The lemon laws provide consumer with protection as long as the problems took place during the warranty period. In many situations, you may still qualify for lemon law protection even if your vehicle is not outside the warranty period. You may have a valid lemon law claim as long as the first repair attempt for the defect occurred during the warranty period.
Do Motorcycles, Boats, Motor Homes, RVs, and Other Consumer Vehicles Qualify Under California’s Lemon Laws?
Yes. All of these types of vehicles qualify for protection under California’s lemon laws as long as they were purchased or leased for personal, family or household purposes
How Long Does the Lemon Law Process Take?
The length of time related to each lemon law case is unique to each set of individual facts. Some of our cases resolve within 90 days and others can take much longer. In order to maximize your potential for recovery it is important that you discuss your case with an experienced lemon law attorney as soon as possible so that you will have proper guidance from the outset of your case.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Lemon Law Attorney?
There should be no up front costs or retainer fees when hiring a lemon law attorney. Both federal and state lemon laws require the manufacturer to pay for your reasonable attorneys fees and costs or make a reasonable contribution towards your attorneys fees and costs, for a successful case.
How Will I Know if My Vehicle or Other Good Qualifies Under the Lemon Laws?
There is no quick or easy answer to this question. This is why it is important to speak with the Lemon Law Experts who will conduct a free case evaluation and tell you whether you have a claim worth pursuing. Call the experienced Lemon Law Experts today and speak directly with a lemon law attorney who will conduct a fast and free case evaluation for you and explain the lemon law process.
How Do I Know Which Lemon Law Lawyer to Choose?
The Lemon Law Experts of Consumer Law Experts have handled thousands of California lemon law cases. We boast a fantastic success record and we have recovered $Millions for our lemon law clients. By hiring our firm, you are working with the best lemon law attorneys in California. The manufacturers know who we are, the defense attorneys know who we are, and the judges know who we are. You need the lemon law experts to step in and get you the compensation that you deserve. Call today for a case evaluation.