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      Extended Warranties and Lemon Laws: How They Intersect in California

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      Does a Defective Car Need to Be Under Warranty to Qualify as a Lemon?

      For a car to be eligible for Lemon Law protections in California, it must meet the defect and the warranty criteria. Not only must the known defects rise to the threshold for eligibility, but the car must also be covered by some form of warranty.

      There are many types of vehicle warranties, each designed to protect the car owner from the cost of maintaining their vehicle. Knowing what type of car warranty you have will help you understand how your car is protected and its potential eligibility under California Lemon Law.

      What is an Extended Warranty?

      The original manufacturer warranty relates to the vehicle as it comes out of the factory brand new. Depending upon the car company and the model, this warranty may run for three to five years. An extended warranty (sometimes otherwise known as a service contract) goes into effect after the manufacturer’s warranty expires or after the vehicle hits a certain mileage threshold. The extended warranty is meant to cover the cost of necessary repairs.

      California is stricter than most states when it comes to governing extended warranties. California has two types of extended warranties: vehicle service contracts and mechanical breakdown insurance.

      Extended warranties are usually purchased from authorized car dealers at the time of the car purchase. However, an extended warranty can be bought from a third party at a later date as well, provided that it is purchased within the window when the manufacturer warranty is still active. In some rare cases, an extended warranty can be purchased after the expiration of the manufacturer’s warranty, but this can be very costly for the car owner.

      What is a Vehicle Service Contract?

      A vehicle service contract (VSC) is only sold at authorized car dealerships in California. Despite this restriction, however, a VSC closely resembles the type of extended warranties available to consumers in most other states across the country.

      California has two types of VSCs: the Regular VSC and the Dealer-Obligor VSC. For the car owner, these are virtually identical. The only real difference is what company will pay for necessary repairs when the time comes, the extended warranty provider or the dealership.

      What is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance?

      Mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI) is similar to a VSC except that it is regulated as insurance. Thus, it may be a cheaper alternative compared to a VSC, as it must obey pricing guidelines established by the state government.

      Third parties in California can sell an MBI, whereas a VSC can only be sold by authorized dealerships.

      Is it Beneficial to Consult with a Lawyer?

      If you’re unsure whether your car meets the requirements under Lemon Law, speak with lawyers familiar with these matters. Not all law firms understand the intricate nature of California Lemon Law. However, Ibrahim Law Firm has made it our focus to help clients with the complexities of Lemon Law claims.

      To better understand the eligibility requirements and whether your warranty is valid, please get in touch with our law offices today to schedule a free case evaluation.

      Contact Ibrahim Law Firm to Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Lemon Law Attorney Today

      Warranties, car insurance, the Lemon Law claim process, and the threshold for an eligible car defect are all complicated matters difficult to keep track of. And because of that, many car owners decide not to bother with filing a Lemon Law claim. They think it’s not worth the hassle and that maybe they can learn to live with their car’s problems, even when the issues might pose a severe risk to their safety. But if you hire our law firm for your case, you can rest assured that we will handle the process, taking the exhausting burden off your shoulders.

      In addition to the free case review, we won’t charge you legal fees either. If we can successfully win your case, the attorney’s fees will be covered by the manufacturer or car dealer, not the client.

      Schedule a free initial consultation with the California-based Ibrahim Law Firm today to discuss your case in more detail. 626-600-0890.

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