CALIFORNIA LEMON CARS ATTORNEY
ABOUT THE LEMON PROS
Here in California, strong consumer protection laws protect buyers of vehicles and other consumer goods. These laws are important – especially when buying or leasing a new vehicle, which is the largest purchase many Californians make regularly. The California Lemon Law gives you legal rights when you are stuck with a vehicle that breaks down again and again.
Our experienced California Lemon Law attorneys have helped many consumers get the compensation they deserve for their lemons. At your free consultation, our experienced lemon lawyers can give you information about your specific case. In the meantime, it is helpful to learn more about California lemon law claims. Here are some of the most common questions potential clients ask our lawyers:
The California Lemon Law applies to any new vehicle bought or leased with a manufacturer’s warranty. If the vehicle breaks down, it may be a lemon if any of the following occur:
When you hear “lemon,” you probably picture a car or a truck. There are many other types of vehicles that can also fall under the protection of the California Lemon Law. Boats, recreational vehicles, motorcycles, and other vehicles could be lemons if consumers purchased them with a manufacturer’s warranty.
Even company vehicles can fall under the Lemon Law (so long as the vehicle has a gross weight below 10,000 pounds, is used primarily for business purposes, and the company has registered five or fewer vehicles).
The California Lemon Law does not protect many vehicles. This law is based on the manufacturer’s warranty, so vehicles sold as-is or from a reseller may not have a warranty to enforce. Vehicles bought from private sellers might also no longer have Lemon Law protection.
You must also have your first repair within eighteen months of when the vehicle was delivered to you or within eighteen thousand miles on the odometer (whichever occurs first). Vehicles that drivers registered in other states do not fall under the protection of the California Lemon Law, though you might have rights under other state laws.
The California Lemon Law allows you to choose what to do with your lemon. The manufacturer cannot force a choice on you, so be sure to consult with your lawyer about which option is best for you. You may:
The vehicle’s value is not the only compensation you can recover as a result of purchasing a lemon. You are also entitled to all the expenses you incurred because of the vehicle. These expenses can include title and registration fees, sales tax, and other costs. It can also include the incidental expenses that you paid because you had a lemon.
You might have had to pay for taxis or Uber when your vehicle broke down. You might have had to rent a vehicle or even pay for a hotel room while you had your vehicle repaired during a road trip. Even your attorney’s fees are related to your lemon. All of these costs are part of your Lemon Law claim. Be sure to document them and keep your receipts.
Consumers can settle many Lemon Law cases outside of court. It is expensive to go through the full litigation process, so auto manufacturers have an incentive to settle your case. If your vehicle has already been subject to recall or other vehicles in the model line have the same problem, the manufacturer is likely to admit that it is a lemon.
The attorneys can attempt to negotiate the value of your claim. If they cannot agree, your claim can also go to mediation or arbitration. These processes are less involved than litigation. They save time and money and make it easier to for consumers to obtain compensation.
One note about arbitration: many manufacturers have started to include an arbitration clause in their written warranties. This clause might say that you have to go through arbitration before you can file a claim in court.
In general, this clause is not enforceable, and the Lemon Law does not require you to go through arbitration before you may file your claim in court. If your attorney advises you to go to arbitration, it is your choice to do so, and the manufacturer cannot force it on you.
If you have a lemon, you have a legal claim against the auto manufacturer. This fact puts your vehicle’s manufacturer on the other side, and you should never take legal advice from someone whose interests are adverse to yours.
The manufacturer (and its attorneys) might tell you that your vehicle does not qualify as a lemon, or that you have not given the manufacturer enough attempts to repair the vehicle, or that your only option is to continue allowing the manufacturer to attempt to repair the lemon. Your claim is unique, and you need an attorney who is on your side to advise you about your legal rights.
Call today to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced California lemon car attorneys. You have the right to be fairly compensated for all the financial costs of your lemon – including attorney’s fees.
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