What Qualifications Must a Defective Vehicle Meet to Be Covered Under California Lemon Law?
Not all defective vehicles qualify for California Lemon Law protections. First and foremost, the vehicle must be under warranty. This warranty may be the original factory warranty (also known as the manufacturer’s warranty) or a valid extended warranty. Without a warranty, you are very unlikely to recover compensation via a Lemon Law claim.
In addition to the warranty, the car will need to suffer from a qualifying defect. The defect must either represent a serious threat to the vehicle’s occupants or otherwise significantly reduce the car’s value.
Lemon Law can apply to new, used, and leased cars, provided an acceptable warranty exists. It’s worth noting that Lemon Law protections also apply to electric cars and (in most cases) motorcycles.
Before you can file a claim, you must allow the manufacturer or dealership to perform a ‘reasonable’ number of attempts to repair the known defects. Typically, they are given two to four attempts to fix the problem before it is accepted that the defect may not be fixable. Alternatively, if the vehicle remains out of commission for 30 days or more, it may be considered a lemon, too. These 30 days do not need to occur consecutively.
What Steps Should You Take if You’ve Purchased a Defective Motor Vehicle?
The steps for filing a Lemon Law claim in California can be complex. For that reason, it is highly recommended that you work with an experienced legal representative in your corner.
The first step you should take is determining whether your car, in fact, qualifies as a lemon in California (please note that Lemon Laws vary from state to state). If you need help verifying your car’s eligibility, a Lemon Law attorney can lend assistance.
After determining it qualifies as a lemon and having undergone repairs to fix the problem, gather all relevant evidence. Noteworthy evidence likely includes your warranty information, repair receipts, original purchase agreement, monthly payments, and any correspondence between you and the car dealers. This evidence will be critical to your case later on.
With your information in hand, next you should consult with a lawyer familiar with these types of legal matters. Ibrahim Law Firm has years of experience in Lemon Law and serves clients across the state with their various questions and concerns. Our firm will not charge our clients for legal fees in Lemon Law cases. In the event of a legal victory, we will collect our attorney fees from the manufacturers or dealers instead.
With a lawyer on your side, now’s the time to file a claim with the automakers. The manufacturer may present a settlement offer if you have a solid case. Do not accept the first offer right away. They are likely willing to make a better offer with a little bit of negotiating, and your attorney will assist you with that. Compensation may include refunds for all expenses and/or a replacement vehicle.
Usually, the car manufacturers will come up with a fair settlement. But if they don’t, you and your attorney can explore the option of taking the case to court.
What Defects May Be Covered by Lemon Law Protections?
Not all defects qualify for Lemon Law protections. Those that do include:
- Car battery issues.
- Defective climate control.
- Defective power controls like power locks.
- Inconsistent acceleration.
- Oil leaks.
- Random stalling issues.
- Steering problems.
- Windshield wiper problems.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Defective Vehicle Lawyer Today
If you believe you’ve accidentally come into possession of a lemon car, you may have several legal options for recovering a fair settlement. Your chances of recovering the maximum compensation for your Lemon Law case are dramatically increased with the hiring of a professional legal representative familiar with lemon cases.
Justin Ibrahim and his experienced legal team are dedicated to providing their clients with aggressive legal representation. Our firm is small, but that means that when you call our office, you get the attorney himself on the line. Our services are client-focused and personalized to meet the needs of each individual who comes through our doors.
Schedule a free case evaluation by calling us at 626-600-0890.