The California lemon law was created in an effort to prevent customers from being duped by manufacturers or dealerships into purchasing defective automobiles or other items. The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, often referred to as the Song-Beverly Lemon Law, permits Californians to demand reimbursement for the amount they spend on the automobile as well as any other costs incurred as a result of the lemon.
A faulty vehicle should either be purchased back by the manufacturer or replaced by the manufacturer at no cost to the owner in most instances.
What is the best way to determine whether or not my vehicle qualifies under Lemon Law?
When it comes to used, new, and leased automobiles in our state, the lemon law might apply — as long as the automobile is still protected by the manufacturer or dealership guarantee.
As per California lemon law criteria, your car may be declared a lemon if any of the following conditions are met:
- There is a “fault” in the automobile that is significantly affecting the value, safety, or usage; and
- The attempt of fixing the car has been done at least twice by the manufacturer or dealership and such efforts have failed; or
- The car has been stranded in the shop of about 30 days or even more days for repairs, whether or not the repairs were completed in a single session.
- Finally, the fault was not caused by the vehicle being used in an illegal manner.
What do I have a right to under the Lemon Law?
If your car satisfies the provisions of California’s lemon law, you are eligible for a complete repurchase (refund) of the purchase amount paid for the vehicle, as well as any incidental expenditures incurred. Instead, you might ask to be provided with a replacement car or one of comparable value.
Your refund or replacement should be worth at least as much as the original purchase price and if you have incurred any fees or expenditures by reason that your car is a lemon, then the manufacturer or the dealer should be able to reimburse you for all the costs which include fees paid to the attorney, the court, rental cars, taxi fare, payments on loans incurred, costs for financing, registration fees, and many more.
Are You Having a Dispute With Your Automobile Dealer?
Making and Filing a Report or Complaint Against an Automobile Dealer
Dealers of new as well as used motor vehicles are licensed and regulated by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), so if you are having some problems or disagreement with a motor vehicle seller, make sure that you notify the DMV’s Division of Investigations or register an online complaint.
Program for Motor Vehicle Board Mediation
The New Motor Vehicle Board offers an informal mediation service to assist you in resolving disagreements with new vehicle dealers, so if you are involved in a contractual disagreement either from buying or leasing or a warranty/repair disagreement, you may seek assistance through the Consumer Mediation Services Program.
Lemon Law Dispute Resolution Program of the BBB
There are a number of customers that are thinking that it is essential to file complaints with their local Better Business Bureau or BBB with regards to local firms and the Better Business Bureau offers a Lemon Law Dispute Resolution Program that assists consumers in resolving warranty disputes with participating manufacturers.
For questions that you may have regarding vehicle service contracts or disputes over reimbursements for the terminated service contracts, you can contact the California Department of Insurance through their hotline as well.
Recovery Fund for the CMVRC
Is the dealership where you acquired or leased your vehicle no longer in business and has violated the terms of your agreement? If yes, then you have the Consumer Motor Vehicle Recovery Corporation’s (CMVRC) Consumer Recovery Fund that will assist you when a licensed dealer has been declared bankrupt or goes out of business. If the CMVRC validates your claim, you may be eligible for compensation for economic damages incurred as a result of the dealer’s breach of the terms of your sales contract. For further information or to submit a claim, please visit the CMVRC website or contact 800-961-6175.
Concerns Regarding Safety and Automobile Recalls
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) supplies data on car safety and recalls and it has a wealth of information regarding kid safety seats, including ratings, recalls, and proper use. You can pay a visit on the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or call its Auto Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236, for you to gather more information.
Suspecting that Your Car is a Lemon? Here’s What You Should Know
The very first thing you’ll need to do is get in touch with a California Lemon Law Attorney for assistance. They will be willing to facilitate you in understanding your rights as well as evaluating your situation. Manufacturers are not unusual in their attempts to defend themselves against lemon law lawsuits. Fortunately, the majority of lemon law attorneys will operate on a contingency basis. This implies that you will not be required to pay any out-of-pocket expenses and will still have a high likelihood of success.
Any and all repair data relating to the automobile and its unique problem should be kept safe. A paper trail can help you to prove your point and what is also included in the documentation should be a photocopy of the repair order that details the vehicle’s issues and previous repair history. It’s a good idea to create duplicates of these papers and keep them in a secure location for future reference. Please also include photocopies of your warranty and any contact you have had with the manufacturer. Keeping note of any additional expenditures incurred as a result of the vehicle’s issues is also a smart idea, just take rent-a-car as an example.
It’s critical that you tell the manufacturer of the problems as soon as possible. It’s possible that they have a mechanism in place to deal with lemon law allegations. Consumers are protected under the California Lemon Law, however, it is still highly recommended that you consult with an attorney in order to completely understand your rights and obligations and inform your attorney if you believe that the dealership has misrepresented the condition of the car before purchase or the cost of the repairs. If this is the case, you may have a claim for Auto Fraud on your hands as well. Upon receipt of your claim, your attorney will analyze it and inform you of your choices and potential results.