California Lemon Law Attorney FAQ
Listed below are some of the most frequently asked questions in connection with our lemon law services. If you have a question that is not answered here, or you want to talk to us in further detail, please don’t hesitate to give us a call or contact us.
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The “lemon law” refers to a group of state statutes that provide a remedy to consumers against manufacturers of products, including automobiles, which repeatedly fail to meet certain standards of quality and performance. As of 1993, all fifty U.S. states have passed lemon laws. Each state has different standards and procedures, but all have similar coverage.
California’s lemon law protections are detailed under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act.
While each case is different, the most basic requirement of the California lemon law is that, during the manufacturer’s warranty period, a vehicle was serviced at a dealership twice for the same safety-related problem, four times for the same non-safety-related problem, or that it spent at least 30 days out of service.
Cars, trucks, RV’s, trailers, and boats are all eligible under the California lemon law. Motorcycles are reviewed by our office on a case-by-case basis.
You can legally take action if you feel you have been sold a lemon automobile or consumer product. Gathering your repair and sales records is the first step. If you’re not sure whether your vehicle might qualify, we encourage you to seek more information. Your dealership should be able to provide you with a full repair history, if you think you might be missing paperwork from previous repairs. We are always happy to answer any questions, whether or not your vehicle qualifies at this time.
According to the Song-Beverly Act, consumers with continued problems during the warranty period are entitled to have the manufacturer replace the defective vehicle or repurchase it. If the manufacturer elects to repurchase, consumers are entitled to receive back their down payment, their previous loan payments (including interest), and any amounts paid for vehicle registration, repairs related to the warranty complaints, and towing or rental costs incurred due to the warranty complaints, as well as having any outstanding loan balance paid off after turning the vehicle back in to the manufacturer. In effect, a repurchase “turns back the clock” on a vehicle purchase or lease contract.
Some consumers prefer to replace the vehicle, or a “cash and keep” settlement in which they retain the vehicle and receive money towards further repairs or the purchase of a new vehicle. We work with all our clients to find the solution that’s right for them.
By choosing us, you benefit from having your case handled by experienced California lemon law attorneys who specialize in lemon law and protecting buyers’ rights. You will also work with a law office which focuses its entire practice on vehicle lemon law cases. We manage your case with expertise and without undue delay, always focusing on a positive attorney/client-relations experience.
No. Our legal services are provided to consumers under state and federal laws that require product and automobile manufacturers to pay for the consumer’s attorney upon the successful resolution of a claim.
As long as the vehicle was still under the original manufacturer’s warranty at the time of purchase, you may still qualify for a settlement, depending on the vehicle’s repair history. Used vehicles are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Leased vehicles are subject to the same warranty benefits and limitations as purchased vehicles. However, please notify us of your lease end date, as it may be more difficult to pursue a lemon law action if you are no longer in possession of the vehicle.
Make sure the repair order accurately reflects the date you dropped off the vehicle for repair and the date you picked up the vehicle after repairs were completed. Make sure the dealership accurately describes your complaint in your words, not the dealership’s words.
I’ve taken in my vehicle for repairs several times, but I was never given a repair order or I haven’t kept records. What can I do?
You may be able to request the repair history directly from the dealer. Contact our office for more guidance on assembling your records.
Please note, we are not against car manufacturers or dealers in general. What we are against is fraud and broken promises. We do not file suit against dealerships in lemon law cases, and in most cases you should be able to continue receiving service from the same dealership without any change in the relationship.
Many service writers at the dealerships are as stuck as you. It is not their fault if the factory won’t authorize a repair, and often they feel terrible when they’re unable to get the manufacturer to provide the help they know their customers deserve. So if you’re in a frustrating situation at the service aisle, don’t take it out on the service writer – call us to go after the root of the problem.
While some cases are resolved within a few weeks after consulting a California lemon law attorney, other cases may take longer depending on the manufacturer, the vehicle’s repair history, or the California Superior Court’s calendar. We can give you a more personalized estimate of time after reviewing your case.
Please fill out a Free Case Review form or contact our office to get your case evaluated by a California lemon law attorney. All case evaluations are free and all information is kept strictly confidential.