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      Lemon Laws and Electric Cars: Understanding Consumer Protections in California

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      How Many Electric Cars Are There in California?

      Our beautiful state of California is home to the vast majority of the country’s electric vehicles. Second and third place (Washington State and Oregon) both trail California by a considerable margin. Not only does California have almost 40% of the country’s registered electric cars, but we lead all other states in terms of electric cars per capita, too.

      So, with that under consideration, there are naturally many questions about electric cars and Lemon Laws in California.

      Does California Lemon Law Extend to Electric Cars?

      California Lemon Law applies to electric and hybrid cars similarly to gas-powered cars. The only fundamental differences likely relate to the types of defects an electric car might suffer that a combustion engine vehicle might not. For example, while one person’s electric car may have issues with its battery causing fires, their neighbor’s gas-powered truck might have problems relating to its engine or fuel lines.

      Otherwise, the requirements for Lemon Law protections are very much the same.

      What Are the Basic Qualifications for Electric Car Lemon Law Protections?

      Electric vehicles are bound to many of the same requirements as traditional vehicles.

      The electric vehicle must be under an official warranty, whether it be the original factory warranty, a valid extended warranty, or in some cases, an implied warranty of merchantability. Like other cars, an electric or hybrid car without a warranty will not be considered for Lemon Law protections. To better understand whether your warranty provides the vehicle with the protection it needs and the legal status for a lemon, please consult a lawyer experienced in California Lemon Law.

      In addition to a warranty, it must be shown that the known defects either represent a severe threat to the vehicle’s occupants or otherwise dramatically reduce the vehicle’s function or value. If a defect does not meet this threshold, it may not be eligible for a complete refund, replacement, or Lemon Law buyback.

      When a defect is discovered, the automakers or the dealership must be given enough of a chance to correct the issues. If, after a few repair attempts, the issue persists, it may qualify as a lemon. Similarly, if the electric or hybrid vehicle is left out of commission or is under repair for 30 days or more, it may qualify as a lemon vehicle (the 30 days do not need to be consecutive).

      What Are Common Defects Found in Electric Vehicles?

      Like their gas-powered counterparts, electric vehicles also come with several common defects and mechanical issues.

      Common defects which may qualify an electric car for Lemon Law considerations include:

      • Automated driving errors.
      • Braking system defects.
      • Defective dashboard GPS navigation systems and radio technology.
      • Defective power doors, power locks, and other power automated systems.
      • Faulty heat, air conditioning, and climate control systems.
      • Fire and explosion concerns are not entirely uncommon for electric vehicles.
      • Poorly manufactured or installed electric car batteries.

      Electric vehicles have a reputation for bursting into flames and exploding, partly because of the large batteries they must rely on. This problem has become so prevalent that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation into reports of cars catching fire during periods of operation or while left unattended.

      Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Lemon Law Attorney Today

      We buy electric and hybrid vehicles hoping to save money on gas while simultaneously doing our part to limit greenhouse emissions. But electric cars are still complicated machines prone to defects, the same as any other vehicle. It could be that you purchased an electric vehicle with defects that a car dealership mechanic cannot correct. In this case, it may be worth exploring the option of pursuing a Lemon Law claim. With a well-constructed case, it’s possible to acquire compensation through a full refund or a replacement vehicle.

      For a chance of recovering a better settlement from the manufacturers, contact Ibrahim Law Firm. Lemon Law attorney Justin Ibrahim is experienced in helping clients through the complexities of the legal system and can assist you in negotiating for maximum compensation.

      Schedule your free case evaluation today by calling our law offices at 626-600-0890.

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