What Exactly is a Lemon?
A vehicle that is called a lemon is one that has a lingering defect that greatly impairs its safety, value or use. In general circumstances, if the car has been repaired for the same problem within the warranty period without avail, the car is a lemon. Consult the Lemon Law Summary and State Statutes for you state because the laws vary from state to state. The specified warranty period does not have to match up with the Manufacturer’s Warranty.
Is Your Car A Lemon?
If you find several things you don’t like about your new car, but none of them prevent you from operating it safely, you don’t have a lemon. However, if your brakes won’t stop the car, or it won’t go in reverse, start on cold mornings or hot afternoons, opens doors by itself, and only reaches minimal speeds, you could, in fact, have a lemon. You must give the manufacturer enough of a chance to fix the problem. For most locations, having ten differing problems during the Warranty Period, your car is not considered a lemon. Some states only allow the manufacturer one chance to repair a defect that could cause serious injury. You could lose your consumer rights if you don’t follow proper procedures.
How Do You Know When to Hire a Lawyer? You need to first find out what the state within which you purchased or registererd your car requires of consumers. Some states will allow you to file a complaint if you have the correct documentation. Some states require you to hire an Attorney.
Who is Responsible for the Lawyer Fees? About half the states in the nation let you be reimbursed for attorney fees. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act allows you to be reimbursed for attorney fees if you win the case. Your attorney’s fee must be for actual time used in the case, not a percentage of the money recovered. Some states will make you reimburse the manufacturer for their attorney’s fees if they win the case.
Do Used Cars or Leased Cars Fall Under These Same Guidelines? Again, this varies in differing states. Some states do regulate used and leased cars via lemon law statutes. Other states regulate used cars with different laws. Still other states only regulate new vehicles. Other states refer you to an attorney to see if your car is covered if it is leased. Again, refer to your Lemon Law Summary and State Statutes to see what your state covers.
Are Motor Homes and Motorcycles Covered By Lemon Laws? The majority of states include the drive train portion of a motor home; this is the part of the vehicle that doesn’t include dwelling areas. Only a few states actually include motorcycles in their lemon law statutes.
Should you have a vehicle that isn’t covered specifically under your state’s lemon law, you still have other resources; Check out the Uniform Commercial Code and the Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. You may wish to see an attorney with knowledge of this area of the law.
How Can You Protect Your Investment?
Don’t wait until your new car is beyond warranty or the mileage limit to see if it is a lemon. Start protecting your consumer rights by recording with each and every repair visit you must make. Use our repair log to quickly and easily record your repair attempts. You must write everything down. Write down the date and time of the visit, exactly what was discussed and to whom you spoke. Then write down your grievances and keep a copy. Always keep a copy of your Warranty Repair Orders. If the dealer won’t give you a copy of this, make sure to document both your request and their refusal. Keep a written invoice from every repair. Sometimes the dealer won’t give you an invoice because you weren’t charged for the repairs. But, remember it is your responsibility to show that there were attempts at repair. A final invoice will itemize repairs. Ensure the dealer writes down your complaint on the repair order just like you say it is. The defect must be described exactly the same way for each repair visit or your rights may be negated. The date, time in and out, and odometer reading must also be written down. Most states address the issue of accumulative days’ stay in a repair shop. Should you find yourself broken down, make sure you write down the date and time of the failure, length of time you waited for help, if you had to rent a replacement car, and any other information you feel like including. If your case goes to court or arbitration, your emotional trauma could come to bear.
We specialize in Lemon Law in the following Metropolitan areas:
Bakersfield, Chico, El Centro, Fresno, Hanford, Corcoran, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Glendale, Madera, Modesto, Merced, Napa, Oakland, Fremont, Hayward, Oxnard, Thousand Oaks, Ventura, Redding, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ontario, Sacramento, Arden, Arcade, Roseville, Salinas, San Diego, Carlsbad, San Marcos, San Francisco, San Mateo, Redwood City, San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, Santa Ana, Anaheim, Irvine, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Goleta, Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Stockton, Vallejo, Fairfield, Visalia, Porterville, Yuba City