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The ABCs of The California Lemon Law

What is the California Lemon Law?

The California Lemon Law protects consumers if they purchase a vehicle or other consumer products or services, which turn out to be defective. As a remedy, the law requires the manufacturer to replace the product or refund the purchase costs if he cannot repair it after a reasonable number of attempts.

How many attempts are allowed under the California Lemon Law?

In order to fix and repair the nonconformity of the vehicle, the manufacturer is allowed a reasonable number of attempts. The concept ‘reasonable’ is conditioned by all the circumstances surrounding the purchase. However, California’s Lemon Law contains certain guidelines, which determine if a reasonable number of repair attempts have been made.

How shall I know if I can resort to the California Lemon Law?

In order to resort to the law, you need to find out if your product qualifies as a lemon. In particular, the product must fail to meet standards of performance and quality based on the contractual descriptors. It must have a substantial defect, which is both covered by the warranty and cannot be fixed after repair attempts. Be careful to the product finish and appearance, as well as its fitness for all purposes. The court may consider these factors when deciding whether a product qualifies as a “lemon”.

How long is the statutory protection under the California Lemon Law?

The California Lemon Law applies throughout the warranty period attached to the product or the vehicle. In this case, you need to check the availability of the warranty along with other necessary documents.

Does the California Lemon Law apply to pre-owned vehicles?

If you have bought a pre-owned vehicle, and the manufacturer provides warranty, then your purchase is protected under the statutes of the California Lemon Law. The law applies throughout active warranty, which the manufacturer or dealer have provided. However, you need to carefully check the wording under the California Lemon Laws since they may not be as specific as they are when it comes to new vehicles.

What if the purchase contract is with the dealership?

Even if your purchase contract is with the dealership, the manufacturer is the one to be responsible for the warranty and shall refund or replace your vehicle.

Can I choose between a replacement vehicle and a refund?

You have the option to either choose a refund or accept the replaced vehicle. In case you choose a replacement vehicle, the manufacturer shall replace and provide you with a substantially identical vehicle. If you choose a refund, you are entitled to receive all the amount of money you have paid for the vehicle. The refund may also include a deduction for mileage offset.

What if I receive no refund or no replacement for my vehicle?

If you feel that the manufacturer had reasonable time and opportunity to repair your vehicle, but failed to fix the nonconformity, you may want to consult with an attorney. The Margarian Law firm with experienced attorneys will offer a free consultation and will further assist you with your case.

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