If you live in
California, and purchased or leased a new vehicle (or used vehicle
under factory warranty) from a California dealership and ended up
with a “lemon”, you have rights.
The California state lemon law provides California consumers with
specific rights (remedies) if the consumer ends up with a
defective vehicle that is subject to repeated repair attempts, or
spends too many cumulative days in the dealer’s workshop.
The California Lemon Law statute provides for specific remedies in
California Lemon Law cases. These include a vehicle repurchase,
wherein the consumer receives a refund of the monies they have
invested towards purchasing or leasing the “lemon” vehicle,
plus a payoff of the existing loan or lease. An automobile
manufacturer may also (or in lieu of) a repurchase offer a new
replacement vehicle. Replacement vehicle settlements involve an
“exchange of collateral”, meaning the current loan/lease stays
in place, with the consumer continuing to make the same loan or
lease payment, but on a new replacement vehicle.
The California Lemon Law invokes a “mileage offset” or
“usage fee” based upon the vehicles odometer reading on the
first documented repair visit for the repeated problem that makes
the vehicle a “lemon” under the California Lemon Law state
statute. In essence, the California consumer pays for the number
of miles driven from “day-one” to “first repair” based
upon a formula that sets the life-span of the vehicle at 120,000
miles. This is much like a “pro-rata”, with the consumer
paying only for the trouble-free miles of use, without paying for
the problem miles. If the vehicle is a repurchase, the amount is
deducted from the consumers refund. If the vehicle is a new
vehicle replacement exchange, then the consumer pays the
manufacturer for the “mileage offset”.
Your California Lemon Law rights are divided up into two
categories. The first category is the “presumption” category.
Our lemon law “presumes” the vehicle to be a “lemon” if it
has met specific criteria within a period of 18 months or 18,000
miles, whichever comes first. The criteria is either: 4 repair
attempts for a problem that “substantially impairs the use,
value or safety to the buyer”, or if the vehicle has spent a
cumulative total of over 30 days in the dealers shop for problem(s)
that “substantially impairs the use, value or safety to the
buyer”. There is also a special provision in the California
Lemon Law that allows for only 2 repair attempts for a defect
“that is likely to result in serious injury or death”. The
second category is the “warranty period”. Automobile
manufacturer’s have “bumper-to-bumper” warranties, and quite
often extended “power-train” warranties. Manufacturer-based
“Certified Pre-Owned” vehicles have their own special
warranties. Your California Lemon Law rights allow you to file a
lemon law claim anytime during the manufacturer’s entire
warranty period. To have a valid lemon law case during the
“warranty period”, there must have been an unreasonable number
of repair attempts for a problem that “substantially impaired
the use value, or safety of the vehicle to the buyer”. The
number of repair attempts is relative the how many months the
vehicle has been in service, and the number of miles the vehicle
has been driven. Other factors can contribute and/or decide a
lemon law claim. Your lemon law attorney is best equipped to
evaluate your vehicle’s repair history and make a determination
of California lemon law applicability.
Does the automobile manufacturer have rights in a California Lemon
Law claim? – Yes. If the vehicle is being taken back under the
California Lemon Law, then the vehicle must be returned in
cosmetically undamaged condition, beyond normal wear and tear.
Also, the manufacturer does not reimburse for dealer or consumer
added non-factory options or accessories, whether
purchased/installed by dealer, or consumer.
What are the consumer’s lemon law rights when trying to resolve
their lemon vehicle problems with the dealer? – this is the
wrong party! Under the California Lemon Law statute, the vehicle
manufacturer is the responsible party under the law, not the
dealer. The new car dealer’s role is simply that of the
“warranty repair facilitator” – meaning, they are simply the
warranty repair station.
Do manufacturer’s toll-free “customer assistance centers”
preserve or invoke a consumers right to lemon law repurchase
protection? – Usually no. Consumers, in good faith, call
manufacturer’s “customer assistance centers” on toll-free
numbers in an effort to get their vehicle repurchased or replaced,
and are typically given a “case number”. Consumers should not
be blind-sighted into thinking this is a lemon law case – it is
not. It is simply a “reference number” for the “customer
assistance center” to look up that customer the next time they
call in to complain about their vehicle.
What about “arbitration” as it applies to your lemon law
rights in California? Simply stated, there is no requirement for a
consumer to pursue arbitration pursue their lemon law rights.
Consumers in California can go directly to a lemon law attorney
for representation in their case.
Your lemon law rights must be preserved, as well as utilized.
That’s where we come in. We are California’s largest statewide
lemon law firm. We have settled over 8,000 California lemon law
cases. We have 20 years experience. We only pursue lemon law cases
– no other area of legal practice. We are the lemon law experts.
Recently California has been inundated with out-of-state law firms
that have set up “lemon law practices” in California. They
have little/limited experience with our California Lemon Law –
in some cases as little as 6 months! These firms can be easily
identified by their websites giving choices of multiple states. Be
assured that our law firm is California-based for 20 years. All of
our attorneys and offices are home-based in California.
What are a California consumers lemon law rights in regards to
Attorneys fees? Our California lemon law statute provides for the
automobile manufacturer to pay both attorneys fees and costs. This
is vitally important to the California consumer, and makes legal
representation a reality.
Exercise your California Lemon Law rights. Call us today for a
free same-day lemon law case evaluation and review by our
experienced team of attorneys. You will receive a level of
professionalism and personalized service second-to-none.
Your California Lemon Law Rights
California Lemon Law Attorneys
The Law Offices of William R. McGee
California's Largest Lemon Law
SE HABLA ESPANOL
LA OFICINA LEGAL MAS GRANDE
DE CALIFORNIA DE LEY DE LIMON