So, you’ve spent thousands of dollars on a new car, signed the final pages of paperwork, got the keys, and drove home in your brand new car. Without a doubt, you felt great about your new purchase until a few days later your car refused to start, even after several visits to the mechanic. After freaking out and kicking the car in anger (we all know that feeling well), the biggest question that pops up is: Can I finally get rid of this piece of junk and get my money back? And the answer very well can be ‘yes’ if you live in California. Keep reading to see how lemon law works in California!
California Lemon Law: The Basics
If you have unknowingly purchased a lemon vehicle, most likely your life has been turned upside down emotionally and financially. But it shouldn’t! Luckily, there is a law that protects consumers who get stuck with defective vehicles and helps consumers put their hard earned money back in their pockets. It’s known as the California Lemon Law.
But before a vehicle can be qualified as a lemon under the California Lemon Law, specific criteria must be met. For example:
• The California Lemon Law applies if the vehicle still has the original factory warranty. The problem needs to be discovered within the first 18 months or 18,000 miles after the purchase.
• The vehicle must have a substantial defect that isn’t caused by the owner after the purchase and that impairs the vehicle’s use, value or safety, such as faulty brakes or steering;
• The vehicle should continue to have the defect after a number of repair attempts in order to qualify as a lemon. Thus, you must allow the manufacturer to make a “reasonable” number of attempts to repair the defect.
Does the Lemon Law Apply to Used Cars?
Luckily, the California Lemon Law applies to used vehicles but only if the used vehicle is sold with the manufacturer’s warranty (which is typically 3 years/36,000 miles but can be more for some manufacturers). So, before purchasing a used vehicle, be sure the original factory warranty is still in effect.
Cars covered by California Used Car Lemon Law include:
• Used cars or vehicles bought and used primarily for personal, family or household purposes.
• Used cars or vehicles with a gross weight that is below 10,000 pounds and used primarily for business purposes where 5 or fewer vehicles are registered to the company.
• Used cars or vehicles that sold with a written warranty.
• Lemon cars or vehicles repurchased by a manufacturer and then resold to consumers with a manufacturer’s warranty covering the defects.
If your used car goes under one of these categories, again the manufacturer should be given a reasonable number of attempts to repair it. If the substantial defect can’t be fixed after a reasonable number of repair attempts, your car will qualify as a lemon.
My Car is a Lemon! Now What
Does your newly purchased defective vehicle meet the criteria above? Perfect! Now there are two scenarios for you under the California Lemon Law. The manufacturer will either:
• Replace your vehicle;
• Refund you for the vehicle’s purchase price.
On top of that, the California Lemon Law requires the manufacturer to pay for the consumer’s attorney fees. Great, isn’t it?
Now you know why California is considered to have one of the best lemon laws in the United States!
Contact Margarian Law Firm for a Free Consultation
If you think you have a lemon vehicle and want to learn more about your rights under the California Lemon Law, contact Margarian law firm right away. Our attorneys will fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.
Call us today at (818) 553 -1000 for a fast and FREE consultation with one of our experienced lemon law attorneys.