How to File a Lemon Law Claim
Helping Californians Get their Money Back
Have you recently discovered you purchased a lemon? If you bought a defective vehicle that is still under its original warranty, you may be eligible to have your vehicle repurchased or replaced under the state’s lemon law. The best way to successfully win a claim in California is to understand the steps involved in filing a lemon law claim.
At Cali Lemon Lawyers, we help clients file claims to better ensure that the process runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. While you can file a lemon law claim on your own, most warranties cover attorney fees in the event you purchase a lemon that needs to be returned. Working with a lawyer can also remove a significant amount of stress from your shoulders. Read on to learn more about the process or give us a call to discuss your case in detail.
State and Federal Lemon Laws
Federal lemon law covers all vehicles purchased within the United States. Two important federal laws that affect lemon law claims include:
- The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act: This federal law provides protection to consumers who purchase products that come with a warranty and are worth over $25. The goal is to offer a streamlined process for consumers to bring a warranty suit against a manufacturer while also deterring manufacturers from selling defective products and using unfair warranty agreements. The act also provides for the awarding of attorney’s fees in lemon claims.
- The Uniform Commercial Code: This law grants consumers the right to a refund or the replacement of a product that is considered a lemon if purchased within the U.S.
Additionally, the California Lemon Law (Civ. Code § 1793.22) protects Californians whose vehicles under warranty are defective and cannot be fixed after a “reasonable” number of repair attempts. The vehicle manufacturer must either replace or repurchase the vehicle based on the consumer’s preference.
In California, lemon law also applies to used vehicles when they are still under a manufacturer’s warranty. If you purchased a used vehicle that is no longer under warranty, it is unlikely lemon laws will apply to your case—unless you can prove that the seller knowingly mislead or forced you into purchasing a defective vehicle.
The Steps for Filing a Lemon Law Claim
If you have purchased a vehicle you believe may be a lemon, we recommend doing the following as soon as possible:
- Take your vehicle to the dealership for repairs: Under state law, your dealership gets multiple chances to fix the defect before you can file a claim. Visit your dealership for repairs at least twice; if your vehicle is still malfunctioning after that, you may indeed have a lemon. Don’t forget to ask for and hold on to any copies of receipts and other documentation you receive from the dealer.
- Record and report any and all concerns: Next, gather all relevant documentation that backs up your lemon law claim. This includes a copy of your purchase or lease agreement as well as the receipts from your repair shop. Also, make sure your car is still under warranty—otherwise, you won’t have a claim. (However, if you bought your vehicle in for repairs while your car was under warranty and it only recently expired, you should be able to file a claim.)
- Hire an experienced lemon law attorney near you: As soon as you can, consult with a California lemon law attorney about your case to better understand your legal rights and options. Filing a complaint against a manufacturer requires legal expertise—plus, major manufacturers often hire their own defense attorneys to represent them in lemon law claims.
From there, we will handle the filing of your lemon law claim which includes contacting the manufacturer, negotiating a settlement, taking them to trial if they refuse to comply. Our Los Angeles lawyers are experienced litigators who are willing to go up against even the largest vehicle manufacturers on your behalf.
We Are Here to Help You
If you can show that the vehicle you purchased under warranty has been taken to the repair shop multiple without results, the better your chances for securing a successful claim under California’s lemon law. Cali Lemon Lawyers is available to answer any questions you may have regarding the legal process and/or if you’re looking for comprehensive and effective legal representation.
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