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Understanding California Lemon Law Time Limits

| by Michelle Yang, Esq.

Our California Lemon Law Attorneys have evaluated over 40,000 inquiries over the last 3 years alone. One of the most frequent topics we discuss with consumers is the specific timeframe available to file a successful lemon law claim.

So, how long is the lemon law good for? Is there a time limit? What are the nuances of the California Lemon Law Statute of Limitations? This article will answer all of those questions.

If you’d like detailed information specific to your situation, call us now for a free consultation. Otherwise continue reading for everything you need to know about the California Lemon Law time limit, how to qualify, and how to file a successful claim. Let’s get started! ¿Hablas Español? Contáctenos ahora para recibir más información.

California Lemon Law Statute of Limitations:

In California, the Lemon Law grants you a four-year window to file a lemon claim. The California lemon law time limit begins when the defect is first found and brought in for repairs under warranty.

California Lemon Law Statute of Limitations: How Much Time Do You Have?

It’s crucial to keep your repair receipts, copies of any correspondence with your dealership, and detailed records of all events so that the claim (and timeframes) can’t be disputed.

Of course, the sooner you file, the higher the likelihood of success. If you wait more than 4 years, it’s significantly harder to file a valid claim.

The Timeframe for Filing Lemon Law Claims in California

Many consumers incorrectly believe that this timeframe begins when you buy or lease the vehicle, but this is not true! Additionally, despite what you may read on certain websites or hear from individuals, the Lemon Law provides consumer protections that go beyond the initial 18 months or 18,000 miles of vehicle ownership.

Common Misconceptions & What You Should Know

Preparing to File Your Lemon Law Claim:

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Duration and Depth of Protection: California’s Lemon Law extends its shield for the full term of the vehicle’s warranty period. It’s not limited to just the initial 18 months or 18,000 miles.  The Lemon Law protects consumers against defects that substantially impair the use, value, or safety of your vehicle.
  • Protection Beyond Warranty: If issues with the vehicle arise while under warranty and persist, your consumer rights under the Lemon Law may continue to be enforced even after the warranty period has passed.
  • Qualification Criteria: For a vehicle to qualify under the Lemon Law, it must have a substantial defect that cannot be fixed after a reasonable number of repair attempts, typically considered to be two or more, especially if the defect could lead to serious injuries. Alternatively, if the vehicle is in the repair shop for more than 30 days (cumulative) for warranty repairs, it may also qualify.
  • Legal Recourses Available: Should your vehicle be determined as a “lemon,” under California’s Lemon Law, you might be entitled to either a replacement vehicle or a refund of the purchase price. Additionally, manufacturers are typically required to pay for the consumer’s attorney fees and costs in successful Lemon Law claims.

Increase Chances of Success With Your Lemon Law Claim

Increasing Your Chances of Lemon Law Success

Navigating through the complexities of the California Lemon Law within the stipulated time limit is crucial to safeguard your rights and secure a favorable outcome.

It’s always better to act sooner than later. At Cali Lemon Lawyers, we specialize in ensuring you don’t walk this path alone. Our experienced team is here to simplify the process, protect your lemon law rights, and drive towards a winning resolution. Contact Cali Lemon Lawyers today to file a lemon law claim. Together, let’s turn your sour experience into a victory, ensuring that the only one stuck with a lemon is the manufacturer, not you.

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