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If you have bought or leased a vehicle in California and wind up in the repair shop for repeated issues, the California lemon laws can help you get your money back. A lot of us seek the best bargains when it involves buying consumer products to fit our daily needs.
However, many of these products are defective and fail in a very short period of time. Over 150,000 automobiles sold each year in California are lemons. If you think that your car is a lemon, do not quit! You have rights!
In California and in most other U.S. states, consumer protection laws offer remedies for those people that have purchased or leased consumer products that fail to work. In California, these are the California Lemon Laws.
The Lemon Law Basics
You might be aware that you have legal rights when buying a car with a warranty. But you may be asking yourself, How does the lemon law work in California?
The California Lemon Law offers defense for consumer products that are bought or leased for personal, family, or household use. The California lemon law applies to the majority of consumer goods, with the exception of clothing and consumable goods, such as fruits, vegetables, cosmetics, and over-the-counter drugs.
In California, if a manufacturer can not fix a consumer good after a reasonable number of repair attempts, then it has to either replace or refund the consumer's money for the defective product.
The lemon vehicle law in California applies specifically to vehicles with existing warranties.
CA lemon law rules usually cover several types of vehicles, including:
● Pickup trucks
The lemon law additionally covers the chassis, chassis cab, and drivetrain of a motor home. The lemon law covers leased vehicles, pre-owned vehicles, and financed
vehicles. The lemon car law in California covers both new and pre-owned vehicles under warranty.
What Do the California Lemon Laws Do?
The California lemon laws require that the maker of consumer products:
● Provide adequate repair facilities in California so that the consumer can access the necessary facilities easily
● Make sure that repairs to the defective products do not take more than 30 days
● Just be given a certain amount of repair attempts to repair the defective goods
● Offer the consumer a replacement or a refund minus any trouble-free use value
● Pay for the consumers' reasonable attorneys fees and costs
California's car lemon laws protect consumers who have bought or leased warranted new and pre-owned vehicles. If a manufacturer or seller of a warranted vehicle is unable to repair the vehicle in a reasonable number of repair attempts, then it needs to repurchase or replace the vehicle, pay for the consumer's incidental and consequential damages and also pay for the consumer's reasonable lawyers fees and costs.
What total up to a practical number of attempts differs and depends on the seriousness of the defect. Usually, safety-related issues will require fewer repair attempts than those defects that are not safety-related.
What Counts as a "Lemon" Under the Lemon Vehicle Law in California?
What counts as a lemon under the lemon law in California depends on the conditions.
You need to meet several criteria for your vehicle to qualify as a lemon, including:
● Existing warranty– The car has to have been purchased with an express and active warranty.
● Purchase from dealership or manufacturer– The lemon law covers "consumer goods," not vehicles purchased from private parties.
● Reasonable amount of attempted repairs– The manufacturer or dealer has to have been provided the chance to attempt to fix the car on several occasions.
● Material defect– The problem with the car needs to be considered material, meaning that it substantially alters the vehicle's ability to operate.
Additionally, the problems can not arise from normal wear and tear or the owner's failure to take care of the vehicle properly. Talk to an experienced lawyer if you are not sure if your vehicle defect counts under the lemon law in California.
Our Rights as Consumers
We as consumers are oftentimes uncertain of our legal rights when it involves the purchasing of defective products.
Some of us may be so uncertain that we simply toss the item away and get a replacement at our own cost and blame ourselves for not picking well in the first place.
The California Lemon Laws are here to protect us from defective products and provide us with monetary compensation.
The California lemon laws offer the following types of remedies to lemon car owners:
● Repurchase of the defective vehicle (refund of all funds spent towards the vehicle minus the trouble-free use-value)
● Replacement of the defective car
● Cash settlement
● Payment of the consumer's reasonable attorneys fees and costs
Furthermore, if a vehicle manufacturer willfully broke California's lemon law, then a car owner may have the ability to recover civil penalties against the vehicle manufacturer. The civil penalties may be as high as two times the amount of the actual damages. An attorney can help you better understand whether the car manufacturer of your car willfully violated the law in your case.
What Is the Time Limit for Filing Under the Lemon Law in California?
There is a time limit for every kind of case under the law by which you have to file your case. California lemon law has a couple different time limits you will need to remember.
First, the problems with your car have to have taken place during the warranty period. Unfortunately, if the issue or problem happens after the warranty period, you most likely do not have a case under the lemon law.
Second, the California lemon law rules have a statute of limitations for filing a claim. Under the lemon law statute of limitations, you usually have to file your court complaint within four years of discovering the defect.
Even though you have four years to file a complaint, you shouldn't wait until the last minute. You might want to speak with an experienced lemon law attorney as soon as you think that your car is defective.
What Should I Do If I Think I Have a Lemon Vehicle?
If you believe that your car might be a lemon, you can take certain steps to help you with a possible lemon law case.
Collect all records associated with the dealership's attempted repairs of your car. Go over these records to make sure that all the problems you raised are noted.
Then, speak with a seasoned lemon law lawyer. Trying to figure out what is the lemon law in California and how it might influence your case can be complicated.
The good news is, California's lemon law makes the vehicle manufacturer responsible for paying for a consumer's attorney fees in a lemon law case.
Get In Touch with an Experienced California Lemon Law Lawyer
If you or any member of your family, have bought or leased a defective automobile or other consumer product and the seller or manufacturer is not prepared to cooperate when it involves providing a refund or replacement, then you should be calling a California Lemon Laws attorney, who will assess your situation and provide you with a comprehensive evaluation of your claim.
Do not become discouraged if your consumer goods fail to conform to your expectations. Instead, be sure to protect your rights and receive the proper remedies
that you are entitled to under California's lemon laws.
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