Understanding California’s Lemon Law: How Does it Work and More?

Making a new vehicle purchase represents a significant investment, one that comes with the expectation of reliable service and performance. However, for those unlucky few who end up with a faulty vehicle, or a ‘lemon’, the experience can be frustrating. Fortunately, California offers consumers strong protection in such cases through the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, more commonly known as California’s Lemon Law. In this article, we’ll delve into what this law is, how it works, and how the Margarian Law Firm, with its 16-year exclusive focus on automotive litigation, can assist.


What is the California Lemon Law?
California’s Lemon Law is designed to protect consumers who have purchased or leased a new or used vehicle with serious manufacturing defects that the dealer cannot fix within a reasonable number of attempts. If your vehicle is determined to be a ‘lemon’, the law requires the manufacturer to either replace the vehicle or refund the purchase price.


Which Vehicles are Covered?
The law predominantly applies to new vehicles, including cars, trucks, SUVs, and the chassis, chassis cab, and drivetrain of a motorhome. Used vehicles are only covered if they are still under the manufacturer’s new car warranty.


What Constitutes a Lemon?
A ‘lemon’ is a vehicle with substantial defects that affect its use, value, or safety and that the manufacturer or dealer cannot repair within a reasonable number of attempts. Typically, this means two attempts for defects that could cause death or severe bodily injury, or four attempts for other substantial defects. If the vehicle has been in the shop for more than 30 days (not necessarily consecutive) for warranty repairs, it could also be considered a lemon.


What are the Remedies?
If your vehicle qualifies as a ‘lemon’, you may be entitled to a refund or replacement. A refund generally includes the purchase price, sales tax, registration fees, and any out-of-pocket expenses related to the defective vehicle, minus an offset for the consumer’s use of the vehicle. Alternatively, you may choose to have the manufacturer replace the defective vehicle with a new one.


The Margarian Law Firm Advantage
If you find yourself dealing with a lemon, the Margarian Law Firm can help. With over 16 years dedicated exclusively to automotive litigation, our team has the expertise to navigate the intricacies of California’s Lemon Law. We handle every aspect of your case, from evaluating its merits to drafting a demand letter, gathering evidence, and, if necessary, representing you in court.
We work on a contingency basis, meaning we only get paid if we win your case. And if we do win, the manufacturer is required to pay our attorney’s fees.
In conclusion, while buying a ‘lemon’ can be an unfortunate experience, California’s Lemon Law provides a strong recourse. And with the Margarian Law Firm on your side, you can navigate this complex process with confidence and peace of mind, knowing that we are committed to getting you the justice you deserve.

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