Californians love their motorcycles. In Southern California, you can ride your motorcycle all year long due to the great climate.
The enduring reputation of some motorcycles, like Harley Davidson, can put them in the same price bracket as a car. But what happens if you buy a new motorcycle and it spends more time in the shop than on the road? Do you have any rights if your motorcycle is defective?
You do have rights! Fortunately, California’s lemon law includes motorcycles. The lemon law for motorcycles, however, can be confusing. Look no further.
If you have a Harley Davidson motorcycle and believe you may have a lemon law claim, the Lemon Law Experts can help. Our experienced Harley Davidson lemon law attorneys will fight for your rights if you purchase a Harley that turns into a mechanical nightmare.
At this time, we represent only Harley Davidson purchasers in their lemon law claims, but we describe California’s lemon law for all motorcycles below.
What Is the Motorcycle Lemon Law in California?
The motorcycle lemon law in California is nearly identical to the lemon law for vehicles. The motorcycle lemon law holds manufacturers responsible for defective motorcycles under warranty.
A motorcycle may be a lemon if it consistently fails in its performance and quality. Under the lemon law, manufacturers may have to do some of the following if a motorcycle is a lemon:
- Provide accessible and adequate repair services;
- Repair your motorcycle within a reasonable amount of attempts;
- Offer to replace or rebuy your motorcycle if it cannot be repaired; and
- Pay the motorcycle buyer’s attorney fees and costs.
If a manufacturer has willfully violated the lemon law, they may also be liable for civil penalties.
Manufacturers do not often voluntarily take these actions if you have a defective motorcycle. Usually, you will need to fight to get the manufacturer to do the right thing. An experienced motorcycle lemon law lawyer can take the manufacturer to task and advocate for you in these stressful circumstances.
Which Motorcycles Are Covered by the Lemon Law?
California has one of the strongest lemon laws in the country, and fortunately, it includes motorcycles. The California lemon law covers consumer goods such as “new motor vehicles” used primarily for personal, household, or family reasons. A new motor vehicle under the law includes a motorcycle.
The lemon law covers street-legal motorcycles registered with the state of California. In addition, the motorcycle must have been purchased with a warranty and must still be covered by the warranty.
You also must have purchased the motorcycle from a dealer or manufacturer. Unfortunately, a motorcycle that you bought in a private sale is not covered under the law, even if it is still under warranty.
What Makes a Motorcycle a Lemon?
Not just any problem under warranty makes a motorcycle a lemon. Some indications that your motorcycle is a lemon include if your motorcycle:
- Is at the repair shop for an extended time (longer than 30 days);
- Has an excessive number of visits to the repair shop for warranty repairs; or
- Was sold with serious defects.
If the manufacturer made more than a reasonable amount of repair attempts or your motorcycle has spent excessive time in the shop, you may have a lemon. But if you caused the problem with your motorcycle, unfortunately, it is not covered under the lemon law.
Motorcycle safety is critical. A manufacturer’s failure to make your motorcycle safe for your use may render it completely unusable.
A Harley Davidson motorcycle that falls within the above categories may be a lemon and require some advocacy. If you have a Harley Davidson motorcycle with consistent problems, contact our experienced Harley Davidson motorcycle lemon law attorneys in California immediately.
What Should I Do If I Believe My Motorcycle Is a Lemon?
Manufacturers rarely volunteer to remedy your problem. They do not work for you. Therefore, it is up to you to keep records and advocate for your rights. If you believe that your motorcycle is a lemon, you should do some legwork to help build your case.
Keep an Eye on Your Odometer
The California lemon law requires your motorcycle to be under warranty to qualify. Motorcycles typically come with a warranty covering up to a specific time (e.g., one year) or a certain number of miles (e.g., 10,000 miles).
You may think you have plenty of time, but once your motorcycle passes the warranty’s mileage limit, you will not be able to bring a claim under the lemon law.
Take Your Motorcycle in for Repairs
The motorcycle lemon law in California requires that the manufacturer repair your motorcycle within reasonable attempts. A manufacturer cannot fix problems that are unknown to them.
Sure, you are busy, and taking your motorcycle back and forth to the repair shop can be time-consuming. However, a manufacturer must know about the problems with the motorcycle and have the opportunity to correct them. Thus, you must bring your motorcycle in for repairs as soon as you notice a problem.
It is also a good idea to bring your motorcycle to a mechanic certified to handle your motorcycle brand or directly to the dealer’s shop. This way, the manufacturer cannot argue that they did not know about the issues or that a non-certified mechanic caused the problems.
Report All Your Motorcycle’s Problems
The manufacturer must know about your motorcycle’s problems to be covered by California’s lemon law. You should report every concern you have about your motorcycle to the repair shop. When you receive the service order, check that all the issues you reported are listed on the service order before you sign it.
Keep All Your Records
Even if you take your motorcycle to the dealer’s repair shop, you cannot rely on them to keep accurate records for your motorcycle lemon law claim.
Do not throw away any of the documents that you receive from the shop, including receipts, invoices, and work orders. You never know when a dealer or shop will move or go out of business. Keep all your records!
Consult with an Experienced Motorcycle Lemon Law Lawyer
You do not technically need a lemon law attorney to file a lemon law claim in court. Lemon law claims, especially for motorcycles, however, can be complicated. There are many moving pieces and deadlines. Filing a lawsuit in court can be confusing.
Be your best advocate and consult with an experienced motorcycle lemon law attorney in California as early as possible. Many attorneys offer free consultations. For example, the Lemon Law Experts provides a free case evaluation if you believe you bought a defective Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Plus, California’s lemon law requires that manufacturers pay your legal fees in your lemon law case. Experienced motorcycle lemon law attorneys in California can help you fight for your rights.
What Is the Time Limit for Filing a Motorcycle Lemon Law Claim in California?
If you suspect that your motorcycle is defective, you must keep a couple deadlines in mind. First, you must bring your motorcycle in for repairs before the warranty expires. While the warranty is still in effect, you must report all the defective conditions you suspect, as described above.
There is also a limited amount of time to file a claim in court. This time limit is called the statute of limitations. In California, you must file your motorcycle lemon law claim within four years of discovering your motorcycle’s defect.
Four years may seem like a long time to file a complaint, but you shouldn’t wait until the last minute. You should consult with a motorcycle lemon law attorney in California well before the statute of limitations expires.
Hire an Experienced Harley Davidson Motorcycle Lemon Law Attorney in California
Figuring out the motorcycle lemon law in California can be overwhelming. If you believe you have a defective Harley Davidson motorcycle, the Lemon Law Experts can help.
We’re the premier lemon law firm in California. We’ve recovered millions of dollars for our clients. Our Harley Davidson motorcycle lemon law attorneys in California have fought for owners just like you. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.