What types of problems are covered by Lemon law?

California Lemon Law, otherwise known as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, protects consumers who purchase or lease new or used vehicles with significant defects or issues. If a problem occurs under the manufacturer’s warranty that the dealer is unable to repair after a reasonable number of attempts, the consumer may be entitled to a replacement vehicle or refund under lemon laws.

Ready to take action and protect your rights under California Lemon Law? Don’t let a defective vehicle hold you back any longer. As top California lemon law attorneys, we are able resolve your case and get you the compensation you deserve. Your satisfaction is our priority, so don’t wait any longer – reach out to our lemon car lawyers in California now and let us help you drive away from lemon troubles for good!

Under California lemon laws, we’ve gotten compensation for thousands of clients who dealt with mechanical failures, safety issues, and defects that affect the use or value of the vehicle. We have countless satisfied clients who have already been through the legal process, so we can help you determine if your car qualifies.

The Scope of Lemon Law in California

The Scope of Lemon Law in California

The California lemon law protects drivers who may buy or lease a defective vehicle, otherwise known as a “lemon.” A consumer may have recourse through Lemon law protections if the vehicle experiences significant defects that cannot be repaired in a reasonable amount of time.

How long does the lemon law process take? It depends on the case’s complexity and how much time has passed. In some cases, the dealer simply needs to be contacted by lemon law lawyers to move the process along, and at other times, a trial is required. Our adept lemon law attorneys can defeat lemon law claims in record time due to their experience.

For a car to be covered under the lemon law statute, it must meet the following requirements:

A reasonable number of attempts must have been performed. The vehicle must have been in for repair a reasonable amount of times related to the specified defect. In California, four or more attempts are the limit for a defect or two attempts with safety defects.

The amount of time spent being repaired may not exceed thirty days. If the dealership has had your vehicle for the same problem for more than thirty days, it may qualify for reimbursement. These thirty days aren’t counted consecutively, only the total amount of time the vehicle spent in the shop for the same repair.

The vehicle defects affect its safety or functionality. If the vehicle’s use, value, or safety is impaired, it may qualify as a lemon.

Covered by the warranty: New and leased vehicles must still be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty period. That’s why most lemon law cases are for newer cars, although some used cars also qualify if they have a vehicle warranty.

The dealer or manufacturer must have been given written notice before pursuing a claim. Consumers have no legal recourse until this is completed. We help you take this step to qualify for lemon law compensation.

So, what is the difference between repairable and non-repairable issues of motor vehicles?

Repairable issues are faults that the dealer can fix, whether it’s a mechanical or electrical malfunction, performance issue, or defect in materials or workmanship. In comparison, a non-repairable issue cannot be resolved through repair attempts, including issues impairing the vehicle’s use, value, or safety.

In California, the dealership can buy back new vehicles within 18 months or 18,000 miles (whichever comes first) if the vehicle is a lemon. We can show you how to file a lemon law claim without a lawyer, but it’s better to have a trusted professional on your side.

Types of Problems Covered by Lemon Laws

California lemon law covers mechanical failures, safety issues and defects that substantially impair its use, value, or safety, as well as structural defects, persistent performance problems, and unresolved manufacturer recalls.

Mechanical Failures


Some major mechanical issues that would be covered by Lemon Law protection include engine or transmission problems. However, these vehicle problems aren’t limited to just the major components. Even electrical system malfunctions can be covered.

Here are a few examples of problems covered under mechanical failures:

  • Stalling engine or unable to start,
  • Overheating engine,
  • Hard starting or rough running,
  • Exhaust malfunctions,
  • Transmission slipping, jerking, or hesitating,
  • Fluid leaks (transmission, oil, coolant, etc.),
  • Unresolved warning lights,
  • Electrical system malfunctions, such as blown fuses, dead batteries, defective lights, and non-functioning door locks or windows.

Defective vehicles can have intermittent problems. Most lemon laws simply rely on proof that the problem has occurred at some point and has yet to be resolved or a solution has been found. If you’ve tried to have the vehicle repaired and nothing has been done, it’s time for a free initial consultation.

Safety Issues

Safety Issues

Any defect that compromises safety is also included under California’s Lemon law. Problems affecting the vehicle’s safety would include, but aren’t limited to, the following complaints:

  • Faulty brakes,
  • Airbag deployment problems,
  • Damaged suspension or steering parts,
  • Inconsistent exterior lighting,
  • Seat belt malfunctions,
  • Malfunctioning driver-assist technology.

With today’s new vehicle, more safety equipment is installed than ever before. While these features offer better consumer protection on the road, the brand-new vehicle can also suffer from malfunctions that are difficult to repair.

If the vehicle defect inhibits safety, you may have a legal claim for a replacement or cash settlement.

Structural Defects

Any defect in the suspension or frame on new cars can lead to an accident. If there’s a defect with the tires or wheels, even premature wear due to misalignment, those aspects fall in line with what’s covered.

Rust is another structural defect that can be covered. Corrosion can lead to structural integrity concerns and should be addressed by the manufacturer immediately. Sadly, this is a significant defect that isn’t easily remedied at a local repair shop.

Ongoing Performance Problems

Ongoing Performance Problems

Along with the mechanical defects, there may be performance issues that can’t be resolved. For example, if a lack of power makes driving the vehicle dangerous, that’s an issue. Other covered complaints include engine misfires or surging.

The performance could further be related to the ride. For example, if the suspension is too bouncy, making it hard to control the vehicle, the dealership must address the complaint. Repeated repair attempts are not an excuse to leave the vehicle owner without a car that operates normally.

Unresolved Manufacturer Recalls

Recalls are covered under Lemon law in California. If the manufacturer can’t resolve the recall in a specified amount of time, the car can be considered a lemon.

The unique aspect of this factor is that there don’t need to be performance issues related to the recall. Even with no symptoms seen in the vehicle, if the manufacturer hasn’t repaired the recall when it should be covered you may be due monetary compensation.

As with all consumer products, you have the right to expect the vehicle to operate as intended. If it doesn’t, a free case evaluation today can determine if your vehicle qualifies for compensation equal to or greater than its resale value.

Defects Impacting Use, Value, or Safety

Defects Impacting Use, Value, or Safety

While most of the failures previously discussed fall into this category at some point, it’s important to illustrate what this looks like.

For example, if there’s a persistent water leak in the vehicle, it can lead to many issues, from creating an unbearable musty smell in the cabin to exasperating allergy or asthma symptoms in those compromised.

Problems with the air conditioning can create an uncomfortable cabin, making it more difficult to breathe easily. There’s also the chance for moisture in the tubes or hoses, causing mold to build up.

If the car has a defective navigation system that continues leading you down the wrong streets, it could ask you to turn onto a one-way street or put you in another dangerous situation.

Variations in Lemon Laws By State

Both federal and state Lemon laws protect consumers. The federal law known as the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, ensures that manufacturers don’t mislead customers or abuse consumer rights.

Additionally, laws can vary by state. While California typically covers problems over the first 18 months or 18,000 miles, other states have different limitations. The amount of time the dealership has to fix the problem and the number of repair attempts necessary can differ.

However, laws within the state remain the same, no matter what city you are in. The same Lemon law applies to those in San Diego as it does in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Thankfully, California is known for having one of the most comprehensive lemon law provisions, but several other states also strive to protect consumers. For example, new and used vehicles are covered for up to two years or 24,000 miles in New Jersey. An experienced lemon law attorney can help you determine what’s allowed and prohibited in your state.

Solving Your Problem By Filing With a Lemon Law Attorney

Solving Your Problem By Filing With a Lemon Law Attorney

If you think you are driving a lemon car, seeking a free consultation is the best course of action. You don’t lose anything when speaking to one of our qualified lemon lawyers.

While you may be able to navigate Lemon law on your own, the rules can be tricky to figure out. It’s always best to contact lemon law attorneys who have experience in the exclusions so you don’t waste any time.

To win the case, you need some essential pieces of documentation. Gather these items together before calling us:

  • Warranty coverage paperwork,
  • Record of service visits and outcomes,
  • Written communication between you and the dealer (include names of people you spoke with, the times, and dates),
  • Purchase or lease agreement,
  • Record of additional expenses including tow bills, rental cars, time off work, etc.

Our team works hard to receive lemon car compensation without going to court. We believe in arbitration and do everything we can to resolve the matter speedily. Your free case evaluation helps determine if the lemon laws apply to your particular case.

Limitations and Exclusions of Lemon Laws

What types of problems are covered by Lemon law? Lemon laws cover a variety of vehicles, including recreational vehicles and motorcycles, but there isn’t usually coverage for a used car unless there’s a warranty. Additionally, other limitations may exist, including the following.

Time or mileage limits: Claims have a time and mileage limit. In California, claims must be filed before 18,000 miles or 18 months, whichever comes first.

Commercial vehicles: Some commercial vehicles may be excluded if used for business purposes because of different provisions.

Modifications or alterations: If aftermarket modifications have been made that could lead to an unresolved problem, lemon laws aren’t going to be effective.

Non-substantial defects: Lemon laws don’t cover a defect unless it causes substantial impairment to the vehicle’s use, safety, or value.

To determine if you have a lemon law case, it’s best to speak to a qualified attorney. Car lemon laws can be confusing, and it’s not always easy to figure out how to make the lemon law buyback work.

Start Your California Lemon Law Claim Today!

California lemon laws are comprehensive and cover a wide variety of problems. If your newer vehicle has been in the shop for more than thirty days per problem, it’s time to take action. You may be entitled to compensation if you are facing an unresolved mechanical issue, safety defect, or unrepairable recall.

Facing car repair issues can be daunting if you don’t have the best lemon lawyers in California on your side. Receive your free consultation today to protect your rights and peace of mind.

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

Phone: (800) 917-7147

Email: info@thelemonpros.com

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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