Lemon Law Attorney Serving Los Angeles, San Jose, Oakland, Napa, and Elsewhere in California
It is a situation far too many people are forced to endure – purchasing a vehicle and quickly realizing it is a dumpster fire on wheels. You encounter recurring mechanical problem and you’ve taken it to the dealership multiple times, and it becomes obvious they do not know how to resolve the problems. You may be asking yourself, “Am I stuck with this lemon? Or is there something I can do?” Fortunately, there is hope under California’s lemon law.
Overview of California Lemon Law
The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, more commonly known as California’s Lemon Law, is a statute enabling individuals and small businesses who have purchased a defective vehicle are entitled to a refund of nearly all their money (including the down payment, monthly payments, and so forth). The state’s lemon law also enables consumers to have their vehicle replaced at the expense of the manufacturer. This is why California’s lemon law is considered to be one of the strongest in the country. The law earned this reputation because it contains the following consumer-friendly provisions:
- It protects purchases of both new and used automobiles;
- It protects automobiles that are sold with an express warranty, i.e., a guarantee from the seller or manufacturer that the automobile will work properly;
- It protects automobiles that are either leased or purchased.
When a New Car is Considered a “Lemon”
California’s lemon law can be applied to a brand new car in the following circumstances:
- The vehicle is covered by warranty;
- The defect or mechanical issue substantially reduces the vehicle’s use, value, or safety;
- If the vehicle cannot be repaired after a “reasonable” number of attempts;
- If you have encountered similar, recurring problems with the vehicle.
In these instances, if you qualify, you may be entitled to a refund or a replacement of your vehicle. The manufacturer is obligated to pay all legal expenses and costs. Many manufacturers provide arbitration programs that attempt to resolve warranty disputes at no cost, as an alternative to court.
Used Vehicles Qualify for Statutory Protections Under California’s Lemon Law
Meeting the standard for obtaining lemon law protections for a used vehicle is different than with a new vehicle. The most important issue is establishing whether the used vehicle was sold to you “as is.” If you were advised and consented to the “as is” purchase, the vehicle will probably not qualify for lemon law protection.
It is also important to determine if the used vehicle is covered by a factory warranty, a dealer warranty or any type of express warranty. In this situation, the used vehicle could be deemed a lemon just like a new vehicle.
Your used vehicle could also be covered under California’s lemon law through an “implied warranty of merchantability.” This means there is a guarantee that the vehicle is equipped to give you reliable, safe transportation for the entirety of the dealer warranty.
How Long It Takes to Resolve a Lemon Law Case
Lemon law cases can take an extended amount of time, depending on the facts of the case. In some instances, the entire legal process and getting the car manufacturer to purchase back the vehicle can take weeks or even months. However, the length of time depends primarily on how aggressive your Los Angeles lemon law attorney when pursuing restitution and accountability on your behalf. Also, the timeline of getting your lemon law buyback depends on the strength of the case and the evidence you have against the manufacturer.
Steps You Can Take to Expedite the Lemon Law Claim Process
Obviously, there is no guarantee that a case will be resolved via settlement in a certain period of time. This is because every case is different. Nevertheless, there are certain things you can do to get the case resolved faster, including:
- Keep a copy of all repair invoices;
- Keep a record of the entire time your vehicle was in the dealer’s repair shop;
- Keep all receipts for the costs of having the lemon, such as Uber or Lyft fees, hotels, towing expenses, etc.
- Keep a copy of all loan documents;
- Keep records of all the expenses of ownership, including vehicle registration and sales tax.
Hiring a Los Angeles & San Jose Lemon Law Attorney Costs You Nothing
Under California’s lemon law, attorney’s fees are paid by the manufacturer if the vehicle is bought back. In a buyback, the manufacturer is required to pay for your legal fees, along with any payments that are owed to you. You seldom need to pay anything to be represented by a skilled and respected Oakland lemon law attorney.
If you are tempted to try and pursue a buyback independently without the assistance of legal counsel, take a breath and reconsider. Why? Because auto manufacturers employ teams of aggressive defense attorneys who will fight a lemon law claim made against the manufacturer, especially when the claim is filed by a consumer lacking representation. It is common for defense attorneys to argue that the defect does not qualify under California’s lemon law. Or, they might try to argue that you abused or neglected the vehicle and that caused the problem. When you encounter these arguments, you should have the benefit of a knowledgeable and seasoned Los Angles lemon law attorney on your side.
Take Action by Contacting RS Law Offices to Schedule a No-Cost, Confidential Case Review
If you or a family member believe you have a potential lemon vehicle, now is the time for action. Contact an experienced lemon law attorney with RS Law Offices today. Our legal team can help you get the best result from your lemon law claim, whether that be a buyback or a refund. We are here to help. Schedule a free, confidential case review today by filling out a quick contact form of calling 1-323-651-0560 or 1-510-560-6086.