Senate Bill 1718: Lemon Law Protection for Consumers Changes Recently Senate Bill 1718. This bill alters Lemon Law protections for new vehicle owners. It modifies Lemon Law coverage by reducing the number of failed repair attempts from four to two on defects likely to cause death or serious bodily injury before a vehicle is considered a lemon. It also expands Lemon Law protection to those vehicles with a manufacturer’s weight rating of less than 10,000 pounds that are bought or used primarily for business.
Call us today and exercise your California lemon law rights. We look forward to hearing from you on (949) 464 – 8529 or (415) 480 – 4770
If you are a California consumer that ended up with a “lemon” and need a statewide lemon law attorney that serves the city you live in, we are here to provide free help and consultation.
If you have a problematic “lemon” car, truck, SUV, or van, you may be entitled to protection and restitution under the California lemon law. The California lemon law provides for a repurchase (buyback) of the qualifying problem vehicle, or a new vehicle replacement.
Your California lemon law rights can be enforceable on the automobile manufacturer. That’s where we come in. We enforce the lemon law in California. We enforce a consumers California lemon law rights.
Many California consumers have purchased what is known as a “Certified Pre-Owned” used car. This is a vehicle that is sold by the franchised dealer for that make/brand, and the manufacturer provides the consumer with a written warranty. A valid California lemon law claim can be invoked on “Certified Pre-Owned” vehicles. Your California lemon law rights for a valid lemon law claim are essentially the same as though you had purchased the vehicle new.
Residents of California that lease a vehicle have the same California lemon law rights as those who purchased. So, if you leased a vehicle that turned out to be problematic, we invite you to contact us.
California is one of very few states in the U.S. that has what is known as an “attorney’s fees and costs provision”. This means that the time that the attorney spends with the automobile manufacturer is paid by the manufacturer to the attorney. This makes hiring an attorney to pursue a California lemon law claim a reality for consumers who may have otherwise thought that hiring an attorney was financially unfeasible.
A “vehicle repurchase” means that you get a refund of the monies your have expended to buy or lease the vehicle. Down-payment, monthly payments, license fees, rental car and towing expenses. Also your loan or lease will be paid off in-full by the manufacturer. The manufacturer will get a deduction for some of your use of the vehicle, however, only for the use before the vehicle became a lemon (We will calculate that for you.)
A “vehicle replacement” It means that you receive the same vehicle you currently own/lease except that it will be a brand new one in the current model year. Your present loan (or lease) stays in place (subject to financial institution approval) and you simply continue to make the same loan (or lease) payment on the new vehicle as you did on the “lemon” vehicle. Your only expense (if any) is a payment for the use of your vehicle before it became a lemon.
The California “Lemon Law”
The California Lemon Law (officially known as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty act, found in California Civil Code sections 1790 et seq.) is a law designed to protect consumers who purchase or lease warranted motor vehicles. If it is determined that a motor vehicle is a “lemon,” the motor vehicle’s warrantor must repurchase or replace the motor vehicle from the buyer.
In order to have a valid Lemon Law claim, the following elements must be met:
1.) The vehicle must be used some of the time for personal, family or household purposes. If a vehicle is used exclusively for business purposes, the Lemon Law will not apply, but other laws may provide certain remedies.
2.) The vehicle must have problems covered by a warranty. There is a simple rule: no warranty means no Lemon Law case.
3.) The warrantor must be unable to repair the vehicle’s warranty problems after a reasonable number of repair attempts. What constitutes a reasonable number of repair attempts will vary depending on the problem. For example, if a vehicle’s brakes fail, two repair attempts may be enough to establish a reasonable number. Generally, safety-related or drivability concerns will require fewer repair attempts than those which are not safety-related or affect drivability. However, only one unsuccessful repair attempt is never sufficient to establish a lemon law claim.
Also relevant to determining whether there has been a reasonable number of repair attempts is the number of days the vehicle is out-of-service due to warranty repairs. The more days out-of-service, the better the chance of establishing a reasonable number of repair attempts.
There is a common misconception concerning the Lemon Law, that it only applies to vehicles that are less than 18 months old and have less than 18,000 miles. This belief is not true! The Lemon Law will apply to a vehicle regardless of how old it is or how many miles is has, so long as the vehicle is having problems that are under warranty.
Even if the warranty has expired, the Lemon Law may apply. If the vehicle is still having problems that were complained about and never properly repaired during the warranty period, a valid Lemon Law claim may exist.
4.) The vehicle must contain a problem covered by the warranty that substantially impairs the vehicle’s use, value or safety to the buyer/lessee. The Lemon Law, generally, will not apply to vehicles with trivial or minor defects. Nevertheless, each case must be judged independently taking into account the particular needs and expectations of the particular vehicle’s owner/lessee.
If the above mentioned elements are met, the vehicle is a lemon. The vehicle’s owner/lessee will be entitled to a replacement vehicle or a refund of the vehicle’s purchase/lease price.
If you think you have a potential California lemon law claim, you owe it to yourself to contact us for a free same-day case review and evaluation by our attorneys. Please call us at the toll-free number at the top of this website.
Start Keeping Records
While many car dealerships/manufacturers are great about helping you get a lemon repaired or replaced, don’t count on them to keep track of everything related to your problems. Keep records of all the time you’ve lost from work, time the vehicle has been in the shop, and the exact nature of any problems.
Look over each service write-up when you take your car in. Unscrupulous repair people have been known to switch a problem diagnosis, or attempt to report an ongoing problem as new, in order to buy the dealership more time on a possible lemon.
What to Do if You Have a Lemon
In order to quickly facilitate your case our office will immediately take these steps upon retention:
Babak Hashemi, Esq. is a lemon law attorney knows the ins and outs of the CA lemon law and can help you manage your case and receive the highest amount possible.
Other benefits of letting our office handle your case include: