Lemon Law...

FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)
  1. Am I required to go through Arbitration before pursuing a Lemon Law claim? 

No. The California Lemon Law does not require the consumer to participate in arbitration that may be offered by the vehicle manufacturer in order to pursue a Lemon Law claim. The consumer can go directly to a lemon law attorney, who can facilitate a lemon law claim/case that has the strength of a lawsuit behind it. A consumer cannot do this on their own.

  1. Am I required to notify the vehicle manufacturer and give them a opportunity to repair a problem before pursuing a Lemon Law claim? 

No. So long as the manufacturer’s authorized warranty repair facility has had a reasonable number of opportunities to repair a warranty problem, the manufacturer need not be given notice or a opportunity to repair the problem. Automobile manufacturers receive “warranty claims made” submissions from the dealers for warranty work, so they are very well aware of what has been transpiring with your vehicle in the dealers shop.

  1. Does the Lemon Law apply to vehicles that are older than one or two years? 

Yes. As long as the vehicle is having warranty problems, the Lemon Law potentially can apply no matter hold old the vehicle is. The Lemon Law may also apply to a vehicle even if the original new vehicle warranty has expired so long as the vehicle is still having problems complained about on repair orders during the original warranty period. Many used vehicles are now sold as “certified pre-owned”. These vehicles comes with a very long, manufacturer-based limited warranty. Many certified pre-owned warranties (which come free with the vehicle) can cover the vehicle up to 75 or 100,000 miles!.

  1. Does the Lemon Law apply to vehicle that have in excess of 18,000 miles, or 18 months? 

Yes. As long as the vehicle is having warranty problems, the Lemon Law may apply no matter what the odometer reading is on the vehicle. Do not believe what your vehicle’s warranty book says. This is for all 50 states. They would lead you to assume that your lemon law claim must be in the first 18 months or 18,000 miles. This is simply NOT the case. It’s the whole warranty period, including “powertrain” warranties that many new vehicles come with.

  1. Is a vehicle registered to a business on lease or purchase covered by the Lemon Law?  

Please click on our web site link “Senate Bill 1718 Passed” for more information on business use/owned/leased vehicles.

  1. Is there a specific number of repair attempts that must be completed in order to have a valid Lemon Law claim?  

No. There must be a reasonable number of repair attempts. The definition of what constitutes a reasonable number of repair attempts will vary given the vehicles particular problem(s). In general, if a problem has been subject to at least four separate repair attempts at the manufacturers authorized repair facility, or has spent more than 30 days cumulative in the shop, this is sufficient to establish a reasonable number. What affects the number of repair attempts is how many months the vehicle has been in warranty service, and how many miles are on the vehicle relative to how long it’s been owned or leased.

  1. Are there situations where only 2 repair attempts are considered reasonable?

Please click on our web site link “Senate Bill 1718 passed” for more information.

  1. Does the Lemon Law apply only to passenger cars?

No. The Lemon Law applies not only to passenger cars, but also to trucks, SUV’s, vans, motorcycles, and all consumer goods that are covered by a manufacturers warranty and are used primarily for personal, family or household use.

  1. Does the Lemon Law apply to vehicles that are purchased used?

Yes. The Lemon Law can apply to a used vehicle. The vehicle must be covered by a warranty.

  1. Does the Lemon Law apply to minor defects, or only significant defects? 

The Song-Beverly Act applies to defects which constitute a substantial impairment to the use, value or safety of the vehicle to the owner or lessee. Therefore, inconveniences (static or poor reception in the radio, for example) normally do not make a Lemon Law claim. Serious problems with brakes, transmission, engine function, SRS/airbag, inoperable air conditioning, persistent water leaking, engine oil or transmission oil leaks, overheating, “CHECK ENGINE”, to cite a few, are examples of Lemon Law issues that substantially impair the use, value, or safety of the vehicle. There are other federal laws that further expand on what is considered to be a “defect” that constitutes replacement of purchase price or a refund of monies spent.

  1. What if my repairs were done under the “extended warranty” the dealer sold me?

Dealers will often represent manufacturer or after-market “service contracts” or “mechanical breakdown” policies as “extended warranties, and consumers buy them. These are not a “warranty” at all as it pertains to the California Lemon Law. The only exception to this is the “Mercedes Extended Limited Warranty”, as it specifically uses the word “warranty”. All others are NOT warranties, and thus the repairs done are NOT applicable (usable) as “repair attempts” under our California Lemon Law.



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