Things That You Should Know About Buying a New Car

Secret Warranties, Recalls, and Lemons

Buying a new or even a used car is a big financial decision for most of us because cars are not exactly cheap. In fact, most of us have to save for quite a while before we are able to come up with the down payment that we need for a new car; this means that we have to give up comforts that money could buy us for the sake of putting it away in the hope of buying a car later on. Most of us see this as a necessary sacrifice because a car is absolutely necessary for everything that we have to do, especially for those of us who live in somewhat remote places where public transportation is not really an option to get around. People in such places have to rely on a car on a daily basis in order to get to work, take the kids to school, go grocery shopping, go to different kinds of appointments, run errands, and other important things; not having a car in good working condition can make life very complicated under these circumstances. 

So when those of us who have such a great need for a car finally go to a dealership to purchase a car that we will need to use day in and day out, we expect it to be in perfect working order. Unfortunately, sometimes things do not turn out that way and consumers end up having to deal with secret warranties, recalls, and lemons. But consumers who end up with a car that is not in proper working have a few options to have them repaired or exchanged, including being able to consult with a lemon law attorney about their case.

About Secret Warranties

Generally speaking, dealerships want to avoid any problems or issues that could make them look negative in the eyes of consumers and harm future sales. When a car manufacturer becomes aware of a particular defect in one of its models they sometimes respond by contacting all the dealerships that sell that model to let them know about it and tell them to fix the defect without any cost having to be paid for it by car owners. What happens is the manufacturer will extend the factory warranty for particular defects and repairs.  The problem is that while the dealers know, not all consumers know because the manufacturers do not necessarily advertise this extended factory warranty. This type of situation is referred to as a “secret warranty.” So, consumers will think their warranty has expired, when it really has not, and instead of taking their car to the dealer for a free repair, they take it to a mechanic and have to pay for the repair.  

If you have a problem with your vehicle, before taking your car to a mechanic for repairs, double check to see if the manufacturer extended the warranty.  You can take the car to the dealer and ask. You can call the manufacturer’s 1-800 number and ask. You might want to do a quick google search and see if something comes up.  You can call a lemon law attorney and see if they know. You can even check with NHTSA or maybe even visit websites such as SaferCar.gov which can yield information about safety defects and other recalls for vehicles. 

Vehicle Recalls

One of the worst things that can happen to car manufacturers is having to recall cars because of the cost that is involved; in fact, recall costs are estimated to be in the billions on a yearly basis and that, of course, can heavily affect manufacturers’ profits and even put them critically in the red. Unfortunately for them, sometimes car defects are so severe that they have no choice but to publicize those defects to the general public and even contact car owners directly to deal with the issue before there are serious and even fatal accidents. You might be thinking that car manufacturers might be tempted to hide any defects that their cars might have to avoid losing so much money and, while that might happen from time to time, it is definitely not a good idea. Recalls definitely cost car manufacturers a lot of money and even causes them to look incompetent and unreliable to consumers, but that is much preferable to a lot of fatal and non-fatal accidents that might result from car defects and the even costlier lawsuits and government fines that would follow. If you hear about a recall for your vehicle or are directly notified about it, it is very important that you follow instructions to the letter.

Lemons

Anyone who has ever purchased a car, or has begun to look into doing so, has heard about lemons. There are various things that can make a car a “lemon.” No one wants to be sold a lemon; this is one of the biggest fears that people have when looking for a car. Of course, not all cars that happen to have defects are lemons, that depends on how severe the defect is. For example, if a car has a bad steering wheel, transmission, or engine, those are substantial defects that affect how the vehicle operates and how safe it is to be on the road. But, if the issue is that the radio sometimes does not work, that is just not enough. 

However, merely having a defect does not make the car a lemon…just yet. There have to be a number of repair attempts to correct the issue; if the substantial defect cannot be fixed after several attempts, the car may be considered a lemon, and the owner has a right to a refund, a replacement vehicle, or receive an acceptable cash settlement. Some car dealerships and manufacturers will want to solve this issue as quickly and quietly as possible since they don’t want negative press that can cost them future business and profits, but others are not so quick to do the right thing. 

Anyone who suspects that they have been sold a lemon should deal with the issue as quickly as possible and keep records of everything such as the purchase contract, repair records, videos, photographs, and other documentation about the problems. If neither the dealership nor the manufacturer are willing or able to fix the issue, he or she should contact a lemon law attorney as soon as possible. 

 

How the New Car Lemon Law Can Help You

Anyone who has ever purchased a new or used car has heard horror stories about unsuspecting customers being sold a “lemon.” If you have never heard the term before, count yourself lucky because that means that you have never had such a bad experience, but you should still know about it so that you can do what you can to avoid it. Imagine that you finally save enough money to use as a down payment for a new car that you have wanted for some time now. You go through all the hassles of filling out paperwork, answering questions, and waiting for everything to be approved. 

After a while, you are finally handed your keys to your brand new car and you drive out of the dealership with a big smile on your face. But something is not quite right; you might notice it right away or it might take a few days. It suddenly dawns on you that the suspension is not working exactly as it should, or perhaps the car does not accelerate the way that you would expect it to, or it could be something else altogether. You start to believe that you were sold a lemon, a term used to describe a car (often new but not always) that has considerable manufacturing defects that severely affect its safety or operation, making it a bad purchase. 

But did you actually buy a lemon? You might be completely convinced that you did, but that does not mean that the law will feel the same way about it. Because buying and selling “lemons” has been a problem throughout the years, “lemon laws” have been written in every state to deal with this issue. Of course, those laws differ from state to state and, as you would expect, some states tend to be more lenient than others. We have put together some general guidelines to help consumers who might find themselves in this situation, although the most advisable thing to do in such a case is to consult a lemon law attorney.

What Make a Car a Lemon?

According to the law in most states, a motor vehicle has to meet certain criteria in order to be considered a lemon.

  • The car must have a considerable defect that is covered by the car’s warranty and that defect must be present within a specified timeframe after the vehicle is purchased.
  • A reasonable number of attempts at repairing the particular defect that the car has must be made; exactly what that number is changes from state to state. If the defect remains after these repair attempts, the vehicle is most likely a lemon.

More About Considerable Defects

A considerable or substantial defect can be just about anything that seriously affects how the owner will be able to use the car, its market value, or how safe it is to drive. Of course, this defect must be present when the owner takes possession of the vehicle and not caused as a result of this person driving it. 

Most states will only consider the defect to be valid if it is covered by the warranty, so it cannot be something trivial that really does not affect the car’s operation, value, or safety. So, for example, if your steering wheel does not turn exactly as it should, it would not just make it difficult to drive the vehicle but also a possible danger that can end in a crash; this is clearly a substantial defect. But if your trunk does not close properly it can be easily fixed so that would not be a substantial defect. These are two clear examples, but what about problems that fall somewhere in between? You might think that a certain problem should be considered substantial but others might disagree. A lemon law attorney will be able to help you figure out if the defect that your car has can be considered substantial or not and advise you about the best way to proceed.

More About Repair Attempts

One of the good things about buying a new car from a dealership is that they come with a warranty that should cover major defects. So when a consumer who thinks he might have a lemon notices a severe defect with the car, he or she should take it back to the dealership for repairs. Lemon law the dealership and/or the manufacturer with a reasonable number of repair attempts to fix the defect. If those repair attempts fail to resolve the issue, the car should be considered a lemon. When it comes to used cars, not every single state has lemon laws that protect the consumer, but some do; although to what extent and under what considerations vary so you have to talk to a lemon law attorney about it.

About Warranties

Manufacturers cannot create unfair warranties. Consumers are protected from this by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act which was enacted in 1975. This federal statute allows consumers to sue if the terms of a warranty that they received are grossly unfair, and it does extend to the car industry.

Refund or Replacement Car

When a motor vehicle has met the criteria for being considered a lemon, the dealership or the manufacturer should be willing to provide either a replacement car or a refund; this is a reasonable solution to the problem that any of us would expect. Unfortunately, we all know that companies can be stubborn about doing the right thing at times. If neither the dealership nor the manufacturer is willing to offer a refund, a replacement vehicle, or an acceptable settlement, it is definitely time to talk to an attorney about your case and what can be done about it.  

The Process of Going to Court

If you believe that you were sold a lemon, you can choose to go to out of court arbitration where an arbitrator or a panel will take a look at your case and make a decision about what should be done about it. You can either decide to accept that decision or appeal it. If you decide to follow this route, take as much evidence with you as you can such as photographs and written records of the repair attempts that were made on the car. A lot of people choose to go to arbitration in order to avoid having to go to court. However, consider the fact that a new car is not exactly cheap and if things go wrong in arbitration, you are going to end up losing quite a bit. The best thing that you can do is contact a lemon law attorney as soon as you can and with as much documentation about your case as possible. An experienced lemon law attorney will know exactly what he or she is doing and will be able to explain what your best option is to either get your money back or get satisfaction with an acceptable settlement. Click this link https://calemonlawattorney.com/ for more information about this topic.

Four Steps Every Driver Should Take to Protect Your Lemon Law Rights (and What Those Rights Are)

In California, if you are driving a late-model automobile, pickup, van, motorcycle, or SUV that routinely needs repairs, the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act of 1970 – known as the California Lemon Law – may address your concerns, and the lemon law lawyers in California are here to help.

What are your rights under California’s Lemon Law? Can you get your money back or have the vehicle replaced? How is a “lemon” defined? And will a consumer attorney be able to help? Keep reading to learn what it takes to protect and exercise your “Lemon Law rights” in this state.

Nobody wants to own a car or an SUV that has to be constantly taken in for repairs, but what can you do if you’ve purchased a vehicle that’s a lemon? To exercise your rights under the California Lemon Law, here are the four steps that you will need to take: 

  1. Know what the California Lemon Law says.
  2. Know what your legal rights are under the law.
  3. Keep copies of all receipts for repairs and any related documents.
  4. Schedule a consultation with an experienced California lemon law lawyer.

What Does the California Lemon Law Say? 

The California Lemon Law covers both new and previously-owned vehicles – whether the vehicle is purchased or leased – after an authorized dealer has made multiple efforts, to no avail, to repair the same safety or mechanical problem with the vehicle under warranty. 

Exactly what does the California Lemon Law provide? It makes vehicle dealers and manufacturers accountable for vehicles that are lemons. They must either reimburse the vehicle’s owner for the lemon or replace it. 

The California Lemon Law does not apply until several attempts have been made to repair the problem – and the consumer still has no solution. Even experienced and honest auto mechanics will be unable to repair some types of mechanical and manufacturing defects. 

The Lemon Law does not specify how many efforts to fix the problem must be made before a consumer may demand a buyback. However, California appellate courts have determined that a “reasonable number” of efforts must, as a matter of law, be at least two repair attempts, though Lemon Law attorneys like to see three to four repeat visits.

What Are Your Rights Under the California Lemon Law? 

Some California consumers may not even know that they have rights under the California Lemon Law. Basically, if you buy or lease a vehicle with a warranty, and if the same problem can’t be fixed after several efforts, you have the right to compel the manufacturer to buy the vehicle back from you or to replace it.

This is Imperative: Keep Copies of All Receipts for Repairs 

What is taken into account when the amount that you are entitled to in a vehicle buyback is determined? One of the considerations will be the number of times that the vehicle was taken in for repairs and the amount of time that it was off the road. 

When you purchase or lease a vehicle in California, save, copy, and securely store all of the sales and repair receipts and any related documents. Your attorney will want to scrutinize those receipts because they are the evidence that can help you prevail with your Lemon Law claim. 

Additionally, your Lemon Law attorney will need copies of those receipts in order to begin the negotiations for your buyback. Always review your vehicle repair receipts to ensure that they accurately reflect the reason for the repair and the work that was done.

What Should You Look for When You Choose a Lemon Lawyer? 

A consumer is going to need some guidance through the Lemon Law process, but you should not work with any lawyer who charges a fee for your first consultation. Likewise, you should not retain a lawyer who charges you for their work. The reason is that the Lemon Law says the manufacturers have to pay your attorney if you prevail, not you.

You will need an attorney who has abundant Lemon Law experience. The Lemon Law is complex. California Lemon Law Attorney Sotera L. Anderson has handled Lemon Law Cases for over thirteen years. She used to represent the manufacturers. She knows what is important in Lemon Law cases and is ready to go to court if that is what a case requires.

What Else Should You Know About the Lemon Law? 

You’ve just learned about the four basic steps that you should take to protect your lemon law rights as a consumer in this state, but if you own a vehicle that is a lemon, you are going to need the personalized advice that only an experienced California consumer attorney can provide. 

Do not try to negotiate by yourself with your vehicle’s manufacturer. An experienced California consumer attorney, like Sotera Anderson, can explain how the Lemon Law applies to your own situation, protect your legal rights, and almost certainly negotiate a better settlement than you could achieve alone. 

And you don’t have to worry about the fees, because the manufacturer has to take care of that. So why wouldn’t you call an experienced lemon law attorney? 

Your attorney will hold the vehicle’s manufacturer responsible and will fight to ensure that you receive what you are entitled to by the Lemon Law. If your vehicle is a lemon, make the call now. A good attorney’s help is your right.

How Does California’s Lemon Law Affect the Auto Warranty Period for Car Repairs? (Here’s What Consumers Should Know)

California’s Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act – the California Lemon Law – gives consumers legal protection when an auto company makes and sells a defective vehicle, but to take advantage of that protection, you’ll need an experienced California lemon law attorney.

The Lemon Law may apply to used vehicles as well as to new vehicles. It may apply to both leased vehicles and to purchased vehicles. It may apply to automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, and SUVs.

What is Required to Pursue a Claim Under the Lemon Law? 

One item, however, must be in place before you can file any claim under the state’s Lemon Law. You must have repeat repairs that are covered under the dealer’s or manufacturer’s a warranty. 

However, in some cases, California’s Lemon Law can actually extend the amount of time a warranty remains in effect. This can get very complicated so please don’t try to run these calculations on your own because you could end up missing the deadline to file your claim. 

How does the extension work? When do you need to act if you’ve purchased a “lemon” from a California auto dealership? And how will a lemon law attorney be able to help?

Read on to have those questions answered, and you’ll learn more about the Lemon Law, vehicle warranties, and your rights as a consumer here in the state of California. You’ll also learn what steps to take if a vehicle you’ve purchased is a lemon.

What is the “Real” Warranty Period – When a Vehicle is a Lemon?

Every new vehicle is sold with a manufacturer’s warranty. The manufacturer gives you several kinds of warranties – like a basic warranty, a powertrain warranty, and a restraint warranty. 

Those warranties last for a certain number of months or miles, whichever occurs first. Some consumers find when they buy a vehicle that’s a lemon, efforts to repair the vehicle can take a great deal of time and may even extend beyond the warranty period. But under the Lemon Law, the warranty period is “tolled” (that is, paused) when a vehicle is at a dealership for repairs. 

Beginning on the date when you leave a defective vehicle with the manufacturer’s repair facility for repairs, the warranty period pauses and does not start again until the repairs are complete. If the consumer is the party who is causing the delay, the original warranty period will not be told and instead will remain in effect. 

In fact, under the California Lemon Law, the warranty period is technically extended until the problem with the vehicle has been repaired – if it can be repaired.

What Do You Need to Extend the Warranty? 

If the dealership’s effort to repair the vehicle has failed, the vehicle’s owner must inform the manufacturer of that failure within sixty days after the repair effort was “completed.” 

So, it is important to bring the vehicle back to the dealer.

Here’s the bottom line: If a vehicle’s defects first emerged in the original warranty period, and if the dealership had a chance to fix the defects before that warranty expired, the warranty may be extended by the Lemon Law, and you may have the right to a buyback or a replacement vehicle.

How Do “Lemon Law” Attorneys Help California’s Consumers? 

California requires vehicle manufacturers and dealers to inform vehicle purchasers about their Lemon Law rights, but they do so “buried” in a booklet with all the other materials given at the time of purchase. 

Many consumers nevertheless remain unfamiliar with their rights under the law. If you own a vehicle that is a lemon – with repairs under warranty – you need an attorney’s help.

Please don’t try to calculate the warranty on your own because you may find that you miscalculated it and the deadline to file your claim may have passed.

Every Lemon Law case is unique. A good California consumer lawyer will explain your rights under the Lemon Law, will explain how the law applies in your personal circumstances and will negotiate a Lemon Law claim on your behalf. 

Most California Lemon Law claims are settled in less than ninety days.

What About “Extended” Warranties? 

California consumers should understand clearly that the Lemon Law does not apply to the repairs covered by an “extended” warranty. Extended warranties are basically service contracts for repairs on a vehicle after the expiration of a manufacturer’s original vehicle warranty.

Extended warranties may look and read just like original manufacturers’ warranties, but the law in this state makes a clear distinction. California’s Lemon Law applies only to repairs that are still covered by the original manufacturer’s warranty.

Do You Really Need an Attorney’s Help With a Lemon Law Claim?

If you try to negotiate personally and directly with a vehicle’s manufacturer for a buyback or a replacement vehicle, here’s what’s likely to happen. A “customer service representative” will assure you that “your claims are under investigation and the situation is under review.”

In other words, you may be led to believe that the vehicle’s manufacturer is earnestly trying to resolve your problem when, in fact, nothing is being done. In these circumstances, the vehicle’s manufacturer is hoping that, eventually, you’ll simply give up and go away. That often happens.

Or what happens if the manufacturer will offer something very nominal as hush money? If you take that money, you can’t get a full refund later.

Even if the vehicle’s manufacturer eventually offers you a buyback or a replacement vehicle, without an experienced consumer lawyer’s help, you are unlikely to receive the full value of your claim. Lemon Law Attorney Sotera Anderson often gets calls from consumers who tried to negotiate on their own and realizes that the manufacturer offered the consumer thousands less than what the lemon law calls for – don’t be one of those consumers. Let her handle it from the beginning.

When Should You Speak to a Lemon Law Attorney?

If you are a California consumer and you’ve purchased a vehicle that appears to be a lemon, seek a good attorney’s advice first. An experienced California lemon law attorney is a trained negotiator who routinely handles these claims and knows what it takes to prevail on your behalf. 

The law in California is on your side, and a good attorney’s help is your right. 

If the vehicle you’ve purchased is a lemon, and if you meet the other requirements of the Lemon Law, you have the right to a buyback or a replacement vehicle, but you must take the first step – and call a good lemon law attorney promptly. Call Sotera. She’ll walk you through the lemon law process.

 

When Your Green Vehicle Goes Yellow (How the Lemon Law Applies to Hybrid and Electric Vehicles)

Over the last decade, the popularity of “green” cars has skyrocketed. In particular, consumers in California in recent years have been purchasing more electric and hybrid vehicles. The top-selling models are produced by manufacturers that include Ford, Nissan, and General Motors.

However, if you buy one of these “green” vehicles from one of their manufacturers or dealers, and if your electric or hybrid vehicle “goes yellow” and turns out to be a “lemon,” you will need the advice and insights of an experienced California lemon law attorney.

How can you know if the electric or the hybrid that you’ve been sold is a lemon? How can the law – and a good California consumer attorney – help you if you’ve been sold a lemon? Read on to learn the answers to these questions. Help is available for consumers who’ve bought lemons.

How Popular Are “Green” Vehicles in California?

California leads the nation in electric and hybrid vehicle purchases. In fact, more than half of the electric and hybrid vehicles that are sold in the U.S. are sold in California. That’s one reason why it is so important for consumers in California to know their rights under the state’s lemon law. 

Even though electric and hybrid vehicles are considered advanced, it is still possible that an electric or a hybrid vehicle may be a lemon. California’s Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act – the lemon law – offers legal protection to consumers who find that they’ve purchased a lemon.

Hybrid and electric vehicle manufacturers have a duty to protect the general public and to produce vehicles that are reasonably safe and reasonably free of defects. When a vehicle manufacturer fails to meet that duty, consumers in California have recourse under the lemon law.

What is the Definition of a “Hybrid” or “Electric” Vehicle?

“Hybrids” are vehicles that use an electric motor along with a gasoline engine to keep fuel consumption to a minimum. “Electric” vehicles use no gasoline at all and run entirely on a rechargeable battery.

The advanced technology behind hybrid and electric vehicles offers a number of benefits, but advanced technology also creates more opportunities for a vehicle to be a lemon. For example, hybrids and electric vehicles have sensitive electronic components that are sometimes defective.

If you lease or purchase an electric vehicle or a hybrid vehicle in this state, and if it keeps needing repairs – even after several trips to the repair shop – that electric or hybrid vehicle is probably a lemon, and you should speak to a lemon law attorney without delay.

How Does the Law Determine Which Vehicles Are Lemons?

A lemon is defined as a vehicle with persistent, serious mechanical problems that the authorized dealer consistently fails to remedy. You must have repeated repair efforts that are covered under the dealer’s or manufacturer’s warranty before you can file a claim under the state’s lemon law.

Under the California lemon law, when a vehicle manufacturer is unable to repair a vehicle – after a reasonable number of repair efforts – the manufacturer may be legally obligated to replace or buy back the vehicle, provided most of the repairs occurred during the manufacturer’s warranty period. 

Exactly how does the California lemon law protect consumers? The law holds manufacturers accountable for gasoline-powered vehicles, hybrids, and electric vehicles that they cannot fix under warranty. The law provides that a vehicle manufacturer must buy back a lemon or replace it.

If You’ve Been Sold a Lemon, What Steps Should You Take?

California’s hybrid and electric vehicle owners are entitled to the same consumer protections that all other vehicle owners enjoy in this state. If you have been sold a lemon in California, you should arrange to speak right away with an experienced California lemon law attorney. 

San Diego attorney Sotera L. Anderson has settled hundreds of lemon law claims for her clients throughout California. She is a former attorney for vehicle manufacturers, and with more than nineteen years of legal experience, she knows what it takes to prevail on a consumer’s behalf. 

If you have been sold a hybrid vehicle or an electric vehicle that is a lemon – with repairs under warranty – seek an attorney’s help right away. Do not let the deadline pass for filing a claim under the lemon law. Schedule a consultation with an experienced consumer attorney at once.

Don’t try to go it alone if you need to negotiate with the manufacturer of your hybrid or electric vehicle. You ought to be represented from the beginning by an experienced consumer lawyer who will protect your rights and who will negotiate the best possible settlement on your behalf.

What Defects Are Typical With Electric and Hybrid Vehicles?

Whenever you buy a vehicle in the state of California – any vehicle – keep and securely store the sales receipts, repair receipts, and any related paperwork. This is the documentation that you will need if you have to file a claim against the vehicle’s manufacturer under the lemon law. 

Every vehicle needs occasional repairs, but if your hybrid or electric vehicle continues to have the same problem, it is likely that you have a claim under the lemon law. Some of the more common, persistent problems encountered by hybrid and electric vehicle owners have included:

  1. battery failures
  2. electrical system malfunctions
  3. control panel defects
  4. braking system problems

The California lemon law protects you by ensuring that your vehicle’s manufacturer stands behind the warranty – including the warranties for hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles.

What Will It Cost to File a Claim Under the Lemon Law?

If you believe that your hybrid or electric vehicle is a lemon and that you have a claim under the lemon law, it costs nothing to speak to an experienced California lemon law attorney like Sotera L. Anderson. Your first consultation is free, and there’s no obligation.

Additionally, if your lemon law claim against the vehicle’s manufacturer prevails, the manufacturer has to pay your attorney’s fees and costs.

How Will a Lemon Law Attorney Help You?

California’s lemon law is quite complicated. You will need a lawyer who has considerable lemon law experience. Your attorney will hold the vehicle’s manufacturer accountable and will ensure that you receive what you are entitled to under the lemon law.

Most lemon law claims in the state of California can be resolved within ninety days. If your green vehicle turns yellow in this state, it is your right to seek a buyback or a replacement – and to put the lemon law to work for you – with a good attorney’s help.

WHY DO CERTAIN CARS BECOME LEMONS? YOUR CALIFORNIA LEMON LAW ATTORNEY KNOWS

If you’re here on our site and investigating lemons, there’s a good chance that you’re having trouble with your vehicle. If you’ve had enough problems with it, you might actually have a lemon and should speak with a lemon law attorney in Los Angeles or San Diego.

But what is a lemon, and why are some cars lemons while some are still running perfectly well after 30 or more years? Read on to find out.

WHAT IS A LEMON CAR?

A lemon car is one that has defects that substantially impair the use of it, its value, or its safety. Cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, motorcycles, and parts of a motorhome can be covered under the California lemon law, formally known as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act. Typically (but not always), a vehicle is considered a lemon if it’s in for the same repair three to four times and the dealer cannot seem to fix it.

Sometimes an entire make and model year is considered a lemon, with a considerable percentage of buyers having the same troubles. Other times, an individual car can be a lemon, so make sure you contact a California lemon law attorney even if you find out on the internet that other people are not having problems with the same year, make and model as your vehicle.

WHY DO CARS BECOME LEMONS?

There’s no one reason why a vehicle becomes a lemon. Some lemons have transmission problems, others have electrical problems. Some explode when rear-ended. But something went wrong in the process of creating it that is causing it to fail more often than other vehicles. Here are a few of the reasons:

THERE WAS A DESIGN FLAW

One of the most common reasons that cars become lemons is that there was a design flaw. Car designers are always looking for ways to reduce weight, increase interior space, or improve performance. The problem is that some of their “innovative designs” are not as great as they thought they would be.

Of course, car designers are also tasked with reducing the cost of the vehicle, and that often mean using parts that might not hold up as long. While they might anticipate a part lasting 10 years, it might end up lasting only three years. But in a complex system like a car, it might take years before they figure out what the actual problem part is. If the problem can’t be fixed, the car might become a lemon vehicle.

THERE WAS A BATCH OF BAD PARTS

Even if a particular car part is properly designed, the mass production of it can cause problems. Sometimes parts aren’t made to exacting tolerances, which cause them to wear down unevenly or affect matching parts. Other times, there are problems with the batch of chemicals used in the creation of the parts (for plastic and rubber pieces) or the metal isn’t of a high enough quality to withstand everything a car goes through.

Unfortunately, sometimes these replacement parts are made in such high quantities that they can end up finding their way back into cars, replacing the lemon part with a lemon part. Manufacturers and dealerships aren’t always quick to admit that they’ve made a mistake, and sometimes it’s just easier and cheaper for them to keep replacing the part and hoping that it will work. If it lasts until after the warranty runs out, all the better (for them).

THERE WAS A BAD DAY AT THE PLANT

Design flaws affect most of the run of cars, while a batch of bad parts can affect thousands of them. But there are some lemons that can occur even when the rest of the run was great, and that just comes down to human error.

Have you ever heard of “Monday Morning Cars” or “Friday Afternoon Cars”? These are the cars that are built when employees are at their most distracted, when they’re most likely to make a mistake. This can also happen if a car goes along the assembly line on the day of the company party, if it’s the day before a major holiday weekend, or if there’s a strong strain of the flu making everyone sick. Maybe factory workers forget to put a couple of screws in, or they didn’t tighten the hoses correctly. These might be the days on which they think that good enough is good enough. And bad is also good enough.

Will all of these Monday or Friday cars become lemons? Not necessarily, because many of them can be fixed with a single trip to the dealership. But if the car has to keep going back again and again, whether to fix a single issue or a host of issues, you should contact a California lemon law attorney.

CONTACT THE LAW OFFICES OF SOTERA L. ANDERSON

If you believe your car is a lemon, it doesn’t matter why it happened. All that matters is that you take full advantage of California’s lemon law and contact a lemon law attorney as soon as possible. Click here to get a free consultation!

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE UNDER CALIFORNIA’S LEMON LAW? (WHAT CONSUMERS NEED TO KNOW)

What if your brand-new vehicle requires repeated visits to the dealer for mechanical and safety problems? In southern California, a San Diego “lemon lawyer” may be able to help. California’s Lemon Law protects buyers from warranty defects that the dealer or manufacturer can’t repair.

What exactly does California’s Lemon Law provide? To exactly which vehicles and owners does it apply? What are your legal rights if your new vehicle is a lemon, and how will an experienced San Diego consumer attorney be able to help you? Keep reading. The answers you need are here.

Every day, unsuspecting consumers buy vehicles that are lemons. These consumers have no idea how much aggravation they will suffer after the purchase of a lemon. While consumers in some states have little or no recourse, California consumers have rights when they purchase a vehicle.

WHAT IS CALIFORNIA’S “LEMON” LAW?

In 1970, California’s Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act – the Lemon Law – went into effect. It requires all consumer product manufacturers to buy back or replace defective or faulty products after a “reasonable number” of repair attempts.

The law applies to most consumer transactions in California – not only vehicle purchases. But if you have bought a vehicle that’s a lemon – or if you buy one in the future – the first step toward resolving the matter is learning what is actually provided by the California Lemon Law.

WHAT DOES THE LEMON LAW COVER?

The law does not cover private vehicle sales, even if the vehicle is still under a manufacturer’s warranty. The law covers “new” motor vehicles, including:

  1. cars, vans, SUVs, and pickup trucks
  2. a motorhome’s drivetrain, chassis, and chassis cab
  3. dealer-owned demonstrators and other vehicles
  4. many of the vehicles that are leased or purchased mainly for business purposes
  5. vehicles leased or purchased for family, household, or personal reasons

Additionally, to be covered by the California Lemon Law, a vehicle had to be

  1. leased or purchased at retail in this state, or
  2. leased or purchased by an active duty, full-time member of the Armed Forces residing or stationed in this state at the time of the lease or purchase or when a claim is filed

WHOSE FAULT IS IT WHEN A VEHICLE IS A LEMON?

Who is at fault if you buy a new car, truck, or SUV, and it’s a lemon? Under California law, the person at fault probably is not the purchaser. Who is ultimately accountable in California when a newly purchased vehicle is a lemon?

Vehicles are a major purchase and are an essential part of our lives, so the first party to consider is the vehicle’s manufacturer. Vehicle manufacturers have a duty to protect the public and to manufacture vehicles that are reasonably safe and free of defects.

Under the California Lemon Law, vehicle manufacturers – and dealers – are considered accountable when a vehicle is a lemon. They must refund the entire purchase price or replace the vehicle. It is just that simple.

WHICH VEHICLES ARE CONSIDERED LEMONS?

But what vehicles are “lemons,” and how is that determined? Specifically, the Lemon Law presumes that a vehicle is a lemon if any of the conditions listed here apply within eighteen months of the purchase or 18,000 miles on the odometer, whichever comes first:

  1. The manufacturer or dealer has made two or more efforts and has still failed to fix a warranty problem with the vehicle – a problem likely to cause accidents and injuries if the vehicle is on the road.
  2. The manufacturer or dealer has made at least four efforts – and has failed – to fix the same warranty problem.
  3. Additionally, if the vehicle becomes inoperable for at least thirty days, this can also trigger the California Lemon Law and require a buyback or a replacement.
  4. The issues with the vehicle are covered by the warranty, considerably reduce the vehicle’s use, value, or safety, and have not been caused by an owner’s abuse or neglect of the vehicle.
  5. Finally, any problem that affects a vehicle’s safety may fall under the jurisdiction of the state’s Lemon Law.

WHAT STEPS SHOULD YOU TAKE IF YOU’VE BOUGHT A LEMON?

To exercise your rights under the Lemon Law, a consumer’s first step is to contact the vehicle’s manufacturer about the problems with the vehicle in order to give the manufacturer a fair chance to make necessary repairs before legal action commences.

It is always important to keep every document and receipt that is related to your vehicle and to its repairs. This paperwork helps you in the short term, with the dealer and manufacturer, and in the long term, if you eventually need to take legal action.

The California Lemon Law applies throughout the duration of the vehicle manufacturer’s original warranty period.

Closely scrutinize your warranty when you buy a new vehicle. If you believe that the warranty is being violated and that you are not getting the satisfaction from a manufacturer or from a dealer that you are entitled to by law, speak promptly to an experienced California lemon law attorney.

UNDER THE LEMON LAW, HOW DOES ARBITRATION WORK?

Many vehicle manufacturers offer an arbitration process in California for vehicles that are lemons. These manufacturers have agreed to accept an arbitrator’s decision if the consumer accepts it.

If you choose arbitration to resolve your problems with a vehicle that is a lemon, a neutral third party – the arbitrator – will determine, first, if a reasonable number of efforts have been made to repair the vehicle, and secondly, what award – if any – should be granted to the consumer.

WHAT CAN A CONSUMER EXPECT IN THE ARBITRATION PROCESS?

An attorney should represent you in the arbitration process. However, attorney’s fees are not awarded by arbitrators unless the manufacturer has chosen to include those fees as part of the award. Arbitrators may award:

  1. another repair effort
  2. a replacement vehicle or a buyback
  3. additional reimbursement for expenses such as towing fees and rental cars
  4. an extended service contract or attorney’s fees, if offered by the vehicle manufacturer
  5. or no award at all
ARE ANY USED VEHICLES COVERED BY THE LEMON LAW?

In a few cases, the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act will also protect the purchaser of a used vehicle if that vehicle is purchased from a California dealership during the original manufacturer’s warranty period.

If you purchased a used vehicle in this state before it was either three years old and before it had 36,000 miles on the odometer, or if the vehicle is still covered under the original warranty, you may be entitled to an award under the Lemon Law.

To learn more about the Lemon Law and how it may apply in your own circumstances, or if you need to take legal action or go to arbitration, contact an experienced San Diego lemon lawyer immediately for the advice and representation that you’ll need. In California, that is your right.

LET A LOS ANGELES LEMON LAW ATTORNEY DECIDE IF YOU HAVE A CASE

 

Some people will read the California lemon law and decide that they don’t have a case. They’ll take a look at the list of criteria that make up a lemon and decide that they don’t need the help of a Los Angeles lemon lawyer.

The fact is, many people give up too early and too easily. Perhaps it’s because they’re misreading or misunderstanding the requirements. Or they might think that just because their car doesn’t meet every requirement, they shouldn’t even try contacting a lemon law attorney. Unfortunately, many of these consumers are out of luck when their warranty expires and find themselves finally contacting a lemon law attorney. In fact, even if the warranty has expired, you should still consider contacting a lemon law attorney.

WHAT ARE THE CALIFORNIA LEMON LAW REQUIREMENTS?

While the actual law has considerably more text than what you’ll find below, here are the basic requirements for a vehicle to be considered a lemon in California.

  • The vehicle was purchased or leased in California. Members of the military who are serving in California or residents of California can file no matter where they purchased or leased the vehicle.
  • The vehicle is covered by the manufacturer’s warranty or is within six months past expiration.
  • The vehicle was purchased for personal use, or business use if it’s under 10,000 pounds and the business owner has five or fewer vehicles registered in his or her name.
  • The vehicle is a car, truck, motorcycle, SUV, or similar vehicle. The non-living-spaces of motor homes are covered, including the chassis, cab, and propulsion systems.
  • The manufacturer/dealer has made two or more attempts to remedy a serious problem that could cause serious injury or death OR the manufacturer/dealer has made four or more attempts to repair the same non-life-threatening problem that is covered under the warranty.
  • The vehicle has been in the shop for a total of 30 days.
  • The problems substantially reduce the vehicles value, use, or safety.
  • The problems are not caused by abuse by the owner or lessee.

YOU’VE READ THE REQUIREMENTS…

…and decided that your vehicle doesn’t qualify. Should you just give up? Certainly not! Let someone who is experienced with the law, such as a Los Angeles lemon law attorney, help you make the decision as to whether or not you have a valid case. Even if you want to throw in the towel, it can’t hurt to give us a call. Here’s why:

YOU MIGHT INTERPRET THE REQUIREMENTS INCORRECTLY

Unless you have a legal background, it can be very easy to misinterpret even the simplest of statements in legal-speak. The idea of presumption in regards to the lemon law is one of the most commonly misunderstood aspects, and getting the help of an attorney ensures you’ll have the right information. Remember, the requirements we detailed above are simply a paraphrasing of the actual law.

LEGAL RULINGS CHANGE

The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act (the lemon law) has been around since 1970, and you won’t be surprised to know that aspects of it have been challenged in court over the years. California lemon law attorneys are up-to-date on the latest court cases and laws and how they affect your chances of getting awarded by vehicle manufacturers.

THINK OF IT LIKE A RÉSUMÉ

When job searching, too many people won’t apply to a job listing because they don’t have absolutely every qualification that a job posting requires. In most cases, the business is asking for qualifications that no one person could possibly satisfy, and will have to compromise because no candidate is perfect. Similarly, you shouldn’t give up on seeking help with the lemon law because your vehicle doesn’t match absolutely every criterion. Sometimes you simply have to satisfy some of the requirements.

YOU MIGHT HAVE A FUTURE CASE

Just because you don’t have a case now doesn’t mean that you won’t have one later. If your vehicle has been repaired twice and you think it’s taken care of, don’t assume you’ll never have problems with it again. Contact a Los Angeles lemon law lawyer to find out if and when you should take action in the future.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

Contact a Los Angeles lemon law attorney such as The Law Offices of Sotera L. Anderson. Ms. Anderson can help you make the decision regarding if you have a case or not. If she says your vehicle doesn’t meet the criteria, you might have to wait until your vehicle does meet requirements to open a request for recompense. There are also times when she might tell you that too much time has lapsed and the chances of you getting anything from the manufacturers will be next to impossible.

But if she says your vehicle does meet the criteria — even if your vehicle doesn’t match absolutely every condition for being a lemon — she’ll become your lawyer and file the necessary paperwork on your behalf in order to seek an award from the manufacturer. Ms. Anderson has worked for the car companies for many years (she used to represent them) so she’s very familiar with what you are entitled to under the California lemon law.

There’s no cost to you for a consultation. In fact, there’s no cost to you ever, because the California lemon law allows attorney fees to be collected from the manufacturers, not from the consumer. In other words, there’s nothing to lose so contact a Los Angeles lemon law attorney today.

Lemon law attorney Sotera Anderson is happy to help consumers throughout the entire State of California.

DOES A CERTIFIED VEHICLE MEAN THERE’S NO CHANCE OF GETTING A LEMON IN CALIFORNIA

While the internet often causes more problems than it solves, it has been an excellent resource for people who are interested in purchasing a vehicle. Consumers now have an excellent way to research car dealerships and discover which ones might be less than honest, and they can read up on the quality of the cars themselves.

But, as useful as the internet is when it comes to reviews, it can’t tell someone if the vehicle they’re looking at is a lemon. Yes, it can tell them if the particular model has problems, but not if the actual car, truck, or SUV that they’re buying actually has problems. As a result, many consumers will put their trust in the dealerships and opt to purchase a certified pre-owned car.

Is buying a certified pre-owned vehicle, also sometimes referred to as a certified used vehicle, a guarantee that you won’t get a lemon? That’s what we’re here to discuss in today’s article.

WHAT IS A CERTIFIED PRE-OWNED VEHICLE?

A Certified Pre-Owned vehicle is a used vehicle that the dealer has inspected, made adjustments or repairs and obtained the manufacturer’s permission to “certify” that the vehicle meets certain standards. The items inspected and the standard a vehicle has to meet to become certified varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.

WHY DO MANUFACTURERS CERTIFY VEHICLES?

There are two primary reasons that manufacturers will certify vehicle. First of all, the certification instills trust in customers, which makes the vehicle easier to sell. Second, because of the increased trust, dealerships can charge a premium over a vehicle that is not certified.

WHAT VEHICLES CAN’T BE CERTIFIED?

California law has your back when it comes to which vehicles can and can’t be certified. The California Vehicle Code outlines 9 circumstances where a vehicle cannot be certified:

  • The vehicle has been part of a lemon law buyback.
  • The vehicle was purchased as a salvaged, junked, flooded, or non-repairable vehicle.
  • The vehicle has frame damage, usually due to being in a wreck.
  • The vehicle was sold “as-is.”
  • The vehicle’s odometer doesn’t show the actual mileage or has been tampered with in some way.
  • The dealer does not provide the consumer with a completed inspection report that identifies the results of the inspection.
  • The odometer was missed with (called “rolled back”) to show a lesser number of miles than the vehicle actually has.
  • The vehicle sustained damage in an impact, fire or flood and after repair, it still substantially impairs use or safety.
  • The dealer disclaims warranties on merchantability

DOES CERTIFICATION MEAN YOU ABSOLUTELY WON’T GET A LEMON?

The extra trust a typical buyer has in a certified vehicle is often justified. Certified used vehicles are almost always new enough to be covered by the manufacturer’s original warranty. Warranties vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, of course, but certified vehicles are usually under seven years old and have fewer than 80,000 miles.

But just because the vehicle has had an inspection performed doesn’t mean that you won’t have problems with it. In fact, warrantied cars can indeed be lemons that require the help of a Los Angeles lemon law attorney.

How can this be? Here are some of the reasons:

  • The manufacturer’s “standards” for certification are usually just visual inspections. So, if a car has a chronic oil leak but is not leaking at the time of the inspection, it might pass the inspection.
  • Maybe the vehicle was part of a lemon law lawsuit, but the consumer settled for cash instead of a buyback and then traded the car in.
  • Maybe a customer was experiencing repeat problems but decided to trade the vehicle in without going through the lemon law process.
  • Sometimes problems may be developing but not showing themselves before a car is traded in

IS YOUR CAR ELIGIBLE UNDER CALIFORNIA’S LEMON LAW?

If you’ve had problems with your vehicle that started during the manufacturer’s warranty and the dealership just can’t seem to fix it, you may have a lemon. The best way to find out if you have a case is to contact a Los Angeles lemon law lawyer. They can guide you through the legal process, which is the convoluted part that makes many people just give up. Working with a lemon law attorney is free because the lemon law says that attorney fees are paid by manufacturers and is not taken from any award you might be entitled to.

The consultation with us is free, and we’d love to hear from you. Contact The Law Offices of Sotera L. Anderson, your lemon law lawyer in Los Angeles, today! She also accepts lemon law cases throughout the State of California.

EVEN THE BEST MAKES AND MODELS CAN PRODUCE LEMONS

Let’s say you have a luxury car, one that everyone knows is top-quality and constantly gets the highest marks in Consumer Reports. For the sake of this argument, let’s say that you bought a Lexus. In fact, you specifically purchased a new car from that particular manufacturer because you hate dealing with car problems and Lexus cars are constantly ranked among the best for fewest repairs and highest customer satisfaction. You did your research for “Lexus lemon law” and the only thing that showed up were a few cases of “man bites dog,” it made the news because it was an anomaly. Buying a Lexus means you’ll certainly never need a California lemon law attorney, right?
Unfortunately, even good car companies can make lemons. While there aren’t many Google searches for “Honda lemon law” or “Toyota lemon law,” the occasional lemon slips through even the best factory. Here are a few reasons why you should contact a California lemon law lawyer even if you find out that your car model and year isn’t a known lemon.

WHY IS MY WELL-RESPECTED CAR A LEMON?

While some parts of vehicles are put together by robots, there’s still a great many parts of the manufacturing process that comes down to human hands. And as you may know, humans can make mistakes.
In general, cars become lemons because of a design flaw or due to a batch of bad parts. But the third primary reason for lemon cars is human or machine error at the plant. A car that might normally be perfectly fine can become a lemon due to it being assembled on a “Friday afternoon” or “Monday morning.” These are vehicles that factory workers might be rushing to finish up on a Friday or begrudgingly working on on a Monday morning.
If the problems your vehicle has make it dangerous, or if the manufacturer can’t fix an issue after 3-4 attempts, you might have a lemon on your hands. It doesn’t matter if every other copy of the car out there is perfect; your is not and you should contact a California lemon law lawyer.

YOU MIGHT HAVE THE FIRST LEMON

Sometimes a particular model of vehicle falls from grace. It might have a nearly flawless record for a decade or more, so when you type in the make and model you might not find much at all. But if the 2020 model comes out and the manufacturer changed something that causes the need for constant repair, you might be the first to encounter such a lemon. No, you might not be the first person in the entire country, but you could be in the first group of buyers who need to contact a California lemon law attorney.

PART SWITCHUP

Specific parts of a vehicle might stick around for years, while others may be replaced multiple times during a model year. Reliable parts might be kept from one model year to the next, while some parts are rolled out with a new car even though they know they’ll be replacing it with something better before long. In other words, some parts in the 2018 Jeep Cherokee you bought in March might not be the same parts as are in the 2018 Jeep Cherokee your neighbor bought in August, even if they have the same trim.
Why do parts change? Sometimes it’s to save weight, which improves fuel efficiency. Other times it’s because the manufacturer knew that something better could be designed if they only had more time, but time crunches made them put in a lesser part. It could be because te manufacturer noticed the old parts weren’t working properly. Maybe the manufacturer found a way to make the part cheaper. Sometimes making the part cheaper also means that it’s not as high quality as the previous part, and that can lead to problems during the middle of a car’s run. If all of the research you did on a car said it was completely reliable, you still might end up with a lemon if a particular part changed.

CONTACT A CALIFORNIA LEMON LAW LAWYER!

There’s no doubt that most of our customers are coming to us for the same vehicles again and again: Chevy Cruzes, Jeep Cherokees and Wranglers, Ford Escapes, Dodge Challengers, and other lemons. But even the best brands can produce lemons, and even the best model can have a lemon sneak through.
If you’re having repeat problems with your vehicle, you should call a California lemon law attorney as soon as possible. It’s a free consultation, so get in touch with the Law Offices of Sotera L. Anderson today.