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California lemon law problems

Car Problems Covered by California Lemon Law


California lemon laws were made to protect car owners from unacceptable problems. If you’ve purchased a defective vehicle, you are entitled to a legal remedy under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act. You must, nevertheless, show that your vehicle is a lemon in accordance with regulatory requirements.

A faulty automobile, truck, RV, utility vehicle, motorcycle, SUV, recreational vehicle, or any other vehicle is commonly referred to as a “lemon”. It doesn’t matter if problem occurred just after you drove the car off the lot or even years later. If the car is under warranty, the defect is chronic and persistent, and no dealership seems to be able to remedy it, your car can qualify as a lemon.

There are numerous issues that might cause a vehicle to be deemed defective, and would therefore be covered by the lemon law. The problems can range from broken windows to a stalling engine, to radio issues, and battery faults.

According to the California Lemon Law, your vehicle’s issues must have “nonconformities,” which are defined as any flaw or malfunction covered under the product warranty. Nonconformities severely limit the vehicle’s:

  • Safety
  • Value
  • Use

There are numerous problems that potentially jeopardize the vehicle’s safety, and most of the time it doesn’t necessarily matter how big or small. If the car’s automated seats have a flaw, for example, the the unpredictable manner in which they move might be enough to justify a lemon law claim.

If it turns out you do have a lemon, you have two options:

  1. Have your vehicle repurchased by the manufacturer
  2. Get a replacement vehicle from the manufacturer.

In some situations, you may be able to reach an agreement for a financial settlement. To find out if you have a lemon law claim, call Cali Lemon Lawyers for a free consultation with an experienced lemon law attorney. Our firm has a 99 percent success rate!

Getting a Refund or Replacement Vehicle

You have the right to a refund or a new automobile from the manufacturer if your car fits the lemon law conditions in California. The procedure for obtaining this relief differs by state, but all states require that you first notify the manufacturer. Most states compel you to go to arbitration prior to going to court if you are not granted a satisfactory settlement.

What do Lemon Laws Apply to?

California lemon laws include a wide range of cars, including:

  • Cars
  • SUVs
  • Pick-up trucks
  • Vans
  • Boats
  • Fleet and commercial motor vehicles
  • Travel trailers
  • Motor homes – drive train, chassis, and chassis cab
  • Motorcycles

What Qualifies as an Issue Under the Lemon Law?

Lemon law application

We are frequently asked which automobile faults are covered by the California Lemon Law and which are not. The lemon law covers a wide range of issues that are too many to list here, although they typically manifest as symptoms impacting one or more systems, such as:

  • The braking mechanism
  • Engines in action
  • System of transmission
  • Suspension mechanism
  • Coolant system
  • Steering system
  • Electrical system
  • Mechanical latches and doors

If you’ve had these repaired several times, you should speak with an experienced, passionate, and educated attorney about your case for legal advice. We can assist you in determining the flaws in your vehicle and your legal options. Please call us or fill out the online evaluation form to meet our attorneys, get your questions answered, or request a confidential case evaluation.

Lemon law issues

Understanding the Term ‘Material Defect’

In general, if you can show that there is a material problem, you may have a lemon on your hands. A material defect is defined as a flaw in a vehicle that affects its usage, value, or safety.

When a fault impacts a vehicle’s use, it implies you are not able to drive it the way it was designed to be driven.

If a flaw lowers a vehicle’s value, it means you are not able to sell it for what it would be worth if it weren’t for the defect.

When a fault compromises a vehicle’s safety, it means the motor vehicle cannot be driven without endangering the passengers, driver, and other road users.

Defining Substantial Defects Under Lemon Laws

A “substantial defect,” such as malfunctioning brakes or steering, is a condition covered by the warranty that impairs the car’s use, safety, or value. Minor defects like loose radio knobs and door handles do not qualify as “substantial deficiencies” under the state lemon law. The distinction between a “minor” and a “substantial” flaw is not always evident, as it is with most legal definitions. Some less evident flaws, such as faulty paint jobs or foul odors, have been discovered to constitute significant flaws.

The serious flaw must develop within a particular amount of time or within a specified number of miles in every state. Abuse cannot be the cause of the condition.

What Types of Problems Does the Lemon Law Cover?

Every motor vehicle is different, and the problem you are having could have been visible the day you drove it off the lot, or it could have developed weeks, months, or years after you bought it. It can be large or little, overt or covert. The crucial thing is that the fault is a nonconformity that impacts the vehicle’s safety, use, or value.

A few of the common issues that affect safety include:

  • Engine Stalling
  • Engine Not Starting
  • Engine Overheating
  • Hard Starting Engine
  • Rough Running Engine
  • Lack of Power
  • Engine Misfires
  • Transmission Slipping
  • Transmission Jerking
  • Transmission Hesitation
  • Hard Shifting From Transmission
  • “Surging” of Engine
  • Car “Pulling” To One Side
  • Engine Vibrations
  • Brake Vibrations
  • Steering Vibrations
  • Blown Fuses
  • Black Smoke from Exhaust
  • Turbocharger Malfunctions
  • Check Engine Light Coming on
  • Airbag Light Coming on
  • ABS Light Coming on
  • Other Warning Lights Coming on
  • Defective Brakes
  • Premature Brake Wear
  • Abnormal Brake Noises
  • Defects in the Suspension
  • Oil Leaks
  • Fuel Leaks
  • Transmission Fluid Leaks
  • Coolant Leaks
  • Power Steering Leaks
  • Electrical Malfunctions
  • Engine Running Hot
  • Malfunctioning Headlights or Tail-lights
  • Malfunctioning Turning Signals or Brake Lights
  • Defective Airbags
  • Premature Tire Wear
  • Uneven Tire Wear
  • Flickering Dash Lights
  • Malfunctioning Air Conditioning
  • Malfunctioning Windows, Doors, Etc.
  • Abnormal Noises

You must have made a “reasonable number of repair attempts” to get your new motor vehicle repaired before you can file a claim. While the law is ambiguous as to how many trips to the technician constitute a “reasonable number” of repair attempts, you must first give the dealership a genuine chance to remedy it before taking legal action.

Lemon law problem

How Does the Car Lemon Law Work Regarding a Used Motor Vehicle?

The California Lemon Law covers some secondhand autos, but not all. Lemon law protection for used cars differs from those for new cars, so speaking with a California lemon law attorney is the best way to find out if your used car qualifies. He or she can examine your specific case and advise you on whether you are eligible to file a lemon law claim and the likelihood of success.

How Does a Lemon Law Buyback Work?

The procedure begins with a legal complaint against the manufacturer. This is something that our lawyers can help you with. Since automakers fight hard to defeat lemon law claims and decrease financial payouts, we expect opposition. We, on the other hand, are proactive and know how to win. We are unafraid of the manufacturers’ lawyers, and we are committed to achieving the best possible result for our clients. To win a lemon law case, you need to be able to:

  • Demonstrate that the fault jeopardizes the usage, value, or safety of your car
  • Make a “reasonable attempt” to have the defect repaired by a mechanic or dealership

This is why you must have proof that you attempted to have the motor vehicle repaired, meaning that you must keep all receipts, used parts, and work orders from every one of your repair appointments.

Car problems

Do Not Drive Unsafe Vehicles

It is critical to recognize that many of the aforementioned auto difficulties make driving a vehicle dangerous. If your car’s engine, brakes, or steering are malfunctioning, you should stop driving it. If your vehicle’s safety features, such as dashboard lights that aren’t working or an airbag that isn’t working, you should be aware that these problems can lead to accidents, injuries, and even death. While some lemon problems are simply inconvenient or expensive, others could jeopardize your safety and the safety of other people around you.

Unsafe driving

Understanding Your Warranty

The problem that is affecting your vehicle’s use, safety, or value must be covered by your car’s express warranty. This written warranty is usually included with your new or used automobile when you buy or lease it, and it may be located in the glove compartment alongside your vehicle’s owner’s handbook. Before you buy a car, make sure you read the warranty carefully to understand your responsibilities, such as regular auto maintenance.

Most automotive warranties cover the faults and problems mentioned above. There may, nevertheless, be exceptions if:

  • The defect is the result of a traffic collision or some type of driver abuse or overuse.
  • An aftermarket element, such as a custom suspension, is to blame for the fault.
  • The flaw is the product of normal wear and tear.
  • Your vehicle was not properly maintained by you.

Understanding warranty

Understanding Shop Time and Repair Attempts Under Lemon Laws

You must first demonstrate that you provided your automobile or truck manufacturer a reasonable number of attempts to rectify the fault before receiving a refund or new vehicle. If your car has been in the shop for weeks or has been in for related issues several times, you may have a lemon case.

It is critical to maintain track of the repairs. Furthermore, it is essential to keep and copy both your drop-off repair orders and your pick-up repair documentation if you want to build a lemon law case against the manufacturer and show that they could not fix your vehicle.

You can ask the dealership for a copy of the vehicle file or a record of warranty claims they have made to the manufacturer about your car, even if you have not kept a complete record of repairs.

Is There a Time Limit for Filing a Claim Under California’s Lemon Law?

Yes. California’s Lemon Law has a four-year statute of limitations. In most cases, the earlier you file, the better. If you’ve bought or leased a lemon vehicle, start saving copies of your repair bills and contact a lemon law attorney as soon as possible. You are going to feel more frustrated the longer you wait.

Why Should You Choose Cali Lemon Lawyers?

We know there are plenty of lawyers out there; however, most of them don’t have the same level of experience or success with lemon law matters as Cali Lemon Lawyers. Our legal team is comprised of the brightest and best in the field. We have hundreds of satisfied clients, of which many of them have written five-star testimonials for us.

Here are a few reasons why you should pick us:

Years of Practical Experience

Our charismatic attorneys have a combined expertise of a few decades representing individuals throughout California.

Our Attorneys Win Lemon Law Cases

Our attorneys have a track record of success. Cali Lemon Lawyers has a success rate of 99 percent. This, we believe, speaks volumes about our attorneys’ abilities. While we cannot promise the outcome of any one case, you can be assured that your claim is being managed by lemon law attorneys with a proven track record of success.

We Value Our Attorney-client Relationships

Client relationships are important to us. In general, clients are often treated as nothing more than a case file in high-volume law firms. The file is handed around until it reaches a paralegal or junior associate who simply wants to complete it and go on with their life. Cali Lemon Lawyers is a unique duo. We take pleasure in getting to know our customers. It also aids us in crafting settlement agreements that are tailored to their specific requirements.

We Have Knowledge Regarding All Lemon Laws

The lemon legislation in California is an excellent illustration of how a state legislature can empower citizens. In addition, the statute’s text, on the other hand, leaves a lot to be desired in terms of clarity. Our lawyers are familiar with the statute’s intricacies as well as the numerous court decisions that have interpreted it. We put our expertise to work for you.

There Are No Surprises

The majority of the vehicle market in the United States is controlled by a small number of companies. We keep coming up against the same businesses. This enables us to anticipate their responses to accusations concerning specific models and technical flaws. Therefore, you are never in the dark about what to expect as our attorneys explain how these insights may affect your claim.

Cali Lemon Lawyers Offers a Free Consultation

Before you make any choices about a claim, we always review your circumstances with you in a free first consultation. Make sure to contact us for a free case evaluation today! Furthermore, we offer reasonable attorney fees that do not break the bank.

Contact Cali Lemon Lawyers Today!

Lemon laws are not always straightforward: between dealing with ensuring you made a reasonable number of repair attempts or getting a new motor vehicle, there is a variety of factors one needs to consider. Fortunately, you do not have to do this by yourself. Cali Lemon Lawyers has a team of experienced attorneys waiting to help you!

Contact our local office for a consultation if you’re having trouble with repairs at the manufacturer. We offer a free consultation regarding your lemon law dispute. We are excited to be of service to you and help you stop driving around in a vehicle with a safety defect. Our experts pride themselves on the attorney-client relationship offered; therefore, you can rest assured that you are in good hands!

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Lemon Law California

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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