Your new car has been giving you nothing but trouble. Despite numerous attempts to resolve the issue with the dealer or auto manufacturer, the problem persists. You are at the end of your rope…out of time and money for more repairs. The big question now is: Do you have a winning lemon law case?
The answer to that question is another question: should you seek the help of lemon law lawyers?
Many lemon car owners who read the California Lemon Laws (called the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act) look at the list of criteria for a vehicle to be deemed a lemon and decide on their own that their situation doesn’t meet the requirements. They give up too early and too easily. That can be a big mistake. Even if you think your car doesn’t meet all the criteria for a lemon or your warranty has expired, you should still contact a lemon law attorney to fully understand the process and your options.
What are the lemon law requirements in California?
The actual law is somewhat extensive, but paraphrased below 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 original 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 problems substantially reduce the vehicles value, use, or safety.
- The problems are not caused by abuse by the owner or lessee.
What can lemon lawyers do for you?
The California Lemon Laws are not written in layman’s terms, so it can be easy for someone without legal expertise to misinterpret even the simplest of statements. For example, the idea of presumption with regards to the lemon law is one of the most misunderstood aspects of the law as it is written.
The lemon law has been in effect since 1970 and, as with most laws, some aspects of it have been challenged in court over the years. California lemon law attorneys are up-to-speed on the latest court cases and laws and know how they can affect your chances of receiving a settlement from vehicle manufacturers.
What’s more, even though you might meet all the criteria for a lemon car now doesn’t mean that you won’t in the future. If your vehicle has been repaired twice and you think the issue is resolved, the problem could arise again. A lemon law lawyer can advise you when you should take action in the future.
A seasoned lemon law attorney can help you determine if you have a case. If your automobile does not meet the criteria, you might have to wait until it does meet requirements to open a request for compensation. Your lemon law lawyer can also let you know if too much time has lapsed since your warranty has expired which means the likelihood of receiving a settlement from the manufacturer is next to impossible.
But if your vehicle does meet the criteria—even if it doesn’t match every condition for being a lemon—your lemon law attorney can file the necessary paperwork on your behalf to seek an award from the manufacturer.
Your next move
Many lemon car owners don’t realize there is no cost for a consultation with a lemon law lawyer. In fact, the California Lemon Laws say attorney fees are to be collected from the manufacturers, not from the consumer. So there’s nothing to lose by contacting a lemon law attorney sooner rather than later.
Think you have a claim? Get a free, no-obligation case evaluation from Sotera L. Anderson, California Lemon Law Attorney, here or call 1-855-96-LEMON, or (858) 247-0050.