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      How Does California Lemon Law Apply to Out-of-State Purchases?

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      What is California’s Lemon Law?

      Under California lemon law, defective motor vehicles purchased with an active dealership warranty can be returned for a full refund, replacement, and other potential compensation. In order to qualify as a lemon vehicle, the motor vehicle must have eligible defects that impact the safety, value, and use of the vehicle. Additionally, vehicle manufacturers or auto dealerships must be provided with a reasonable number of attempts to fix the defects before the car is officially considered a lemon.

      What is considered a reasonable number of repair attempts? If the defect poses the potential threat of serious injury or death to the driver or their passengers, generally, only two repairs are attempted before the vehicle is declared a lemon. If the car’s defects are less severe, four or more repair attempts may be allowed before the car is officially considered a lemon vehicle.

      In addition to substantially impairing the use, safety, or value of the vehicle, the car’s defect must also have been present during the warranty and must have been purchased by a certified car dealer.

      What is the Importance of ‘Sold in California’ to Your Lemon Law Case?

      In most cases, it is pretty clear when an automobile is bought or sold in the state of California. However, there are certain cases where things get more muddled, such as instances where cars are purchased online, shipped from out of state, or bought in transactions designed to avoid California’s sales taxes.

      Under the law, ‘sold in California’ relates to the physical location where the legal title of the vehicle is passed from the seller to the buyer. For example, if the car buyer takes delivery of an out-of-state vehicle at their local California dealership lot, then that lot is the place of sale. If the purchase does not specify a location for delivery, then the sale takes place from the location where the seller shipped the goods.

      What if You Purchased Your Lemon Vehicle in Another State?

      While California lemon law statutes encompass a great deal, there are certain limitations to their scope.

      If you are a civilian and you purchased a motor vehicle outside the state of California and that vehicle turned out to be a lemon, you would not qualify for California lemon law protections. Every state has its own distinct lemon laws, and California has some of the strongest lemon law protections in the country. But those protections do not extend to everyone.

      California’s lemon law only provides protection for vehicles purchased in the stdate of California, with a couple of notable exceptions.

      Are There Any Exceptions to California’s In-State Purchase Requirements for Lemon Law Cases?

      California residents who purchased a lemon car outside of the state of California may qualify for California lemon law protections if they are active U.S. Armed Forces service members. If you are an active-duty member of the US military and purchase your lemon vehicle from an authorized dealership in another state and then were subsequently stationed in California, that vehicle could potentially be covered by California’s military lemon law protections. The US armed forces include the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy, National Guard, Coast Guard, and Space Force.

      Additionally, if you purchased your motor vehicle in the state of California but it was shipped from out of state, you may qualify for California lemon law, provided that the final sale and transfer of the car title took place in California.

      For those curious about whether their case is an exception to the rule, please contact our lemon law attorneys to schedule your free case review today.

      Are There Any Federal Lemon Law Protections?

      In 1975, the US federal government enacted a statute similar to California’s lemon law called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (at times referred to simply as ‘federal lemon law’). This statute covers all products sold in the US, provided they are sold with warranties and are used for common consumer purposes, such as motor vehicles. Like California lemon law, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act provides a legal option for those who have recently purchased a lemon vehicle to recover a refund through a buyback option. Additionally, those who prevail in their lemon law claims can also recover compensation for attorney fees and other costs related to the ordeal from the warrantors and vehicle manufacturers.

      In most cases, state lemon law offers greater protections and additional remedies that federal lemon law does not. However, for those with situations that preclude them from taking advantage of California lemon law benefits, federal lemon law may be the only legal option for them.

      If you have a federal lemon law case, it is important to speak with attorneys experienced in handling these legal matters. Please contact our highly skilled legal team to discuss your case in a free initial consultation today.

      Schedule a Free Consultation with Experienced California Lemon Law Attorneys Today

      While California lemon law covers a great deal, it does have certain limitations, and not all may qualify for the state’s lemon law protections. That said, there are certain exceptions to the rule about ensuring that your motor vehicle is bought and sold in California for it to qualify for California lemon law. For more information on California lemon law, the various exceptions to the law, and whether your recent motor vehicle purchase qualifies for lemon law in the state of California, please contact our Law Offices today.

      Ibrahim Law Firm has extensive experience representing clients in complex lemon law cases. We proudly serve clients across the state of California and have a sterling track record of success in recovering compensation, refunds, and replacement vehicles for our clients. We take pride in our work, and we’ll do everything within our power to ensure that the consumer gets what they deserve at the end of their legal battle.

      To schedule your free case evaluation, please contact us at 626-600-0890.

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