Reasons to Sue a Car Dealership in California & How to Get Paid

Reasons to Sue a Car Dealership in California & How to Get Paid

In California, consumers are protected from significant defects on new and some used cars under Lemon Law. If a vehicle can’t be repaired in a reasonable number of attempts, you may be able to take legal action. You may even be able to sue a car dealership if there have been lemon law violations, a breach of contract, fraudulent practices, or other infractions.

Feeling stuck with a lemon? Don’t wait any longer! Our experienced California Lemon Law Attorneys have won thousands of cases and know how to protect consumers. If you’ve been mistreated by a dealership or haven’t gotten the results you expected, you may be due a reimbursement. Contact us today for a free Lemon Law Consultation and let us get you the compensation you deserve!

Knowledge is empowering, so we want you to know your rights, understand why you may want to sue a car dealer, and the process that follows should you choose this option. We also discuss why legal representation is a must if you want the maximum reimbursement.

Your Rights as a Vehicle Owner Under California Law

Your Rights as a Vehicle Owner Under California Law

Under California Lemon Law, you have protection as a consumer who has purchased or leased a new vehicle from a car dealership. Based on consumer protection laws, if the vehicle has significant defects that affect its use, value, or safety, and these issues can’t be repaired within a reasonable time, you may be due a replacement or compensation.

Under California Law, there are several warranties and guarantees to know about.

Express warranties: This guarantee is when the seller explicitly assures or promises the buyer about the vehicle’s performance, characteristics, or quality. Whether it is oral or written, it is a legally binding agreement.

Implied warranties: Nothing may be explicitly stated with an implied warranty, but the guarantee is presumed to exist because of the transaction’s nature. In other words, this warranty says that the vehicle is good for its intended use without any reason that would hinder it from fulfilling its purpose.

Manufacturer warranties: The factory warranty ensures that any defects will be covered by the automaker. It covers specific components and has an agreed-upon coverage timeframe (mileage or years).

There’s also a Used Car Rule, regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), known as the “Buyer’s Guide.” This federal regulation requires the car dealership to provide consumers with vital information about the used vehicle’s warranty coverage and condition.

Here’s how this legislation affects consumers.

  1. Dealerships must display a Buyer’s Guide on every vehicle that discloses whether there is a warranty or the car is being sold “as is.”
  2. When the Used Car Rule is violated, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and other consumer protection agencies may enforce compliance. If needed, the FTC gets involved.
  3. Consumers then have legal recourse and can file complaints against the used car dealer.

The Used Car Rule is necessary for ensuring transparency, deterring deceptive practices, preventing auto dealer fraud, and providing essential information for shoppers looking for a quality vehicle from today’s many car dealerships. 

Top 11 Reasons to Sue a Car Dealer and How to Win Your Claim

Top 11 Reasons to Sue a Car Dealer and How to Win Your Claim

Car buyers have more protection than they may know. The state and federal government have put many regulations in place to ensure you aren’t taken advantage of, yet many people don’t realize that. Here are 11 reasons why you may need to sue a car dealer and what you may be entitled to under California Law.

1. California Lemon Law

Starting with lemon law, if you are sold a vehicle by a dealership with warranty coverage and it experiences unrepairable defects, you may be due a replacement or compensation. The claims for the defective vehicles must occur within 18 months of delivery and still be under warranty to qualify. If the dealership has had the vehicle for more than thirty days to repair the same issue, it’s time to get a lawyer involved.

Once the manufacturer is contacted by your legal team, they may offer to buy back the vehicle. Otherwise, a fraud claim and litigation may need to occur for you to get compensation.

2. Breach of Contract

If the car dealership doesn’t fulfill what’s outlined in the contract, you have grounds to go to small claims court. Some items in this category include failing to disclose valuable information, misrepresenting the terms, and unfulfilled promises.

In California, the maximum compensation for a regular claim is $10,000. This maximum covers breach of contract, personal injury, property damage, and other civil disputes.

3. Negligence

If the dealership is negligent, you can sue them. Negligence often shows up in the service department when the technicians don’t properly repair the vehicle or maintain it the way it was supposed to be, leading to damage.

4. Fraud/Deception

If the dealership hid defects or damage, misrepresented the vehicle’s history, or made false claims about financing terms, you may be due a refund because of fraud and deception. Getting tricked by a legitimate dealership should never be a concern, but it happens more often than expected.

Depending on the deception, you may be due hefty compensation. Whatever the dealer’s intentions were, there could still be legal action to follow.

5. Consumer Protection Violations

State and federal regulations protect you from bad business practices. If you were deceived about the purchase price, sales tax, or other fees, you may be due the money you spent and any legal expenses.

6. Warranty Issues

If you bought a vehicle with a warranty but can’t get the car fixed or have the technicians run the repairs through the warranty, you may be due compensation. Your expenses can be recovered through a lawsuit.

You may receive reimbursement for repairs you paid for out of pocket. Otherwise, if you are driving a lemon car that can’t be fixed, you could receive a replacement vehicle or the money back.

7. Return Refusal

Under California Law, there’s a cooling-off period that gives you time to change your mind. If the dealer refuses to accept the return, you may be able to sue.

Ideally, you would get to return the vehicle and get your money back for any expenses.

8. Predatory Lending Practices

If the dealership misleads you and charges excessive interest rates, gives you an inaccurate down payment amount, or imposes undisclosed fees, you may be able to take legal action. Car dealers aren’t permitted to engage in predatory lending practices with the goal of exploiting consumers.

However, you don’t need to worry. With an experienced lemon law attorney, you can get out of these agreements.

9. Failure to Deliver Title/Registration

Based on California Vehicle Code Section 5900, the dealership has thirty days to deliver the used or new car title to you. If you haven’t received the car documentation in a reasonable time, it’s appropriate to take action.

For starters, you want to inquire about the delay and request an expedited delivery of the car title. If the dealership doesn’t comply, legal action may be necessary, along with filing a complaint at the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

10. Violation of Lemon Buyback Disclosures

When a vehicle is bought back by the manufacturer as a lemon, this information must be disclosed to future buyers during future car purchases. If the dealer fails and you purchase a car and aren’t aware of its history, you have legal standing to sue. After all, you don’t want to be stuck with a vehicle that has defects.

With the help of your lemon law lawyer, you may be offered a replacement vehicle or given compensation for the defects.

11. Violation of Privacy Laws

When you visit the dealership, your personal information is expected to be protected. A lot of sensitive information is stored with the dealership, including your social security number, birth date, and address. If this information is misused or shared, you have a legal right to sue.

Depending on what information was shared and the outcome of the violation, you may be due a substantial amount of money.

Thinking about filing a claim? Don’t navigate the process alone or you could miss out on valuable compensation. Contact our Lemon Law professionals today for a free consultation. Let’s discuss your options and take the next steps toward resolving your issue quickly.

How to Prepare to Sue a Car Dealership

How to Prepare to Sue a Car Dealership

Before you file a lawsuit against a car dealership, there are some other steps to take. Start by gathering all of the relevant documents for the case. Your documentation should include the following:

  • Sales contract
  • Communication with the dealership (including the name of the person you spoke with, date, time, and what happened)
  • All repair records
  • Financing documents

The next step would be to try and resolve the problem with the dealership. For this step, it’s often best to work with a legal expert to show that you mean business. Otherwise, the dealership may simply dismiss your complaint. Cost shouldn’t be a deciding factor when looking for a lawyer to represent you.

Ultimately, the question of how much do lemon law attorneys cost can’t be disregarded completely. All Lemon Law lawyers have their own attorney fees, but we don’t charge our clients unless they win. Even then, the manufacturer or dealership may be responsible for paying your fees. Get a free case evaluation to see what you may be entitled to.

If you believe the dealership has violated consumer protections, you should immediately file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and the Department of Consumer Affairs. Depending on the situation, it may also be time to call the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The agency can help you file a complaint against new car dealerships and private sellers.

But, can you sue a private seller in California? In some cases, you may be able to take legal action. If the seller defrauded you or misrepresented the condition of the vehicle, there may be legal recourse. Our team of legal professionals can help you determine what steps to take.

The Legal Process of Suing Car Dealerships

The Legal Process of Suing Car Dealerships

If the issue can’t be resolved without legal action, it’s time to file a claim. Depending on the situation, you may need to file a small claims lawsuit or negligence case against the manufacturer. Because this could turn into a complex legal matter, you shouldn’t attempt to navigate the steps alone. From gathering the documentation and making sure all of the information is accounted for to communicating with the dealer, a qualified attorney is ready to help.

Each lawsuit is unique, so laying out the typical steps is difficult. Arbitration and mediation may be the best option for some cases, while others go right to court. Ideally, you would end up with a replacement vehicle or a buyback from the manufacturer.

Alternatives to Lemon Lawsuits in California

Alternatives to Lemon Lawsuits in California

Going to court isn’t the only option. We have had a lot of success with out-of-court settlements. When a dealership and manufacturer hear that you have experienced lemon lawyers on your team, they don’t typically want to go through the hassle of paying your expenses. In that case, mediation and arbitration can bring about the desired results. Lawsuits aren’t the only option to follow through with. California’s Department of Consumer Affairs can also put pressure on the dealership if they’ve engaged in unfair business practices.

Because you don’t want to spend your time suing car dealerships, it’s best to learn from this experience and protect yourself. First, it’s important to vet reputable car dealerships that don’t have a history of scamming consumers. You also want to stay away from any vehicle with limited or no accident and maintenance history to look at, inconsistent information, or no vehicle identification number (VIN). If the dealership is putting too much pressure on you, trying to rush the sale, or refusing to let you test drive the vehicle, it’s time to take your business elsewhere.

Hire An Attorney To Help You Sue

As a consumer, several laws protect you from fraud and car defects. If your vehicle isn’t what you thought it was going to be or you have been scammed, it may be time to take legal action.

An experienced Lemon Car Lawyer in California knows how to get results. We’ve helped thousands of other clients get out of their lemon cars and can help you too. Get your free Lemon Law Consultation today to protect your rights.

Visit your experienced and skilled Lemon Law Attorneys in Los Angeles today.

Call us today for a free consultation before time runs out to pursue your claim.

Phone: (800) 917-7147


Why Choose The Lemon Pros?

Our specialty is Lemon Law, that is why we only handle Lemon Law claims. When you hire us, our attorneys will do all the legal work for you, because we understand the stress that consumers like you deal with when they have a Lemon.

We have an excellent success record in representing consumers just like you! We are award winning attorneys, but that has not gotten to our heads. We are attorneys who care and give personalized attention to each and every client, our attorneys directly handle your claim.

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