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:
- Know what the California Lemon Law says.
- Know what your legal rights are under the law.
- Keep copies of all receipts for repairs and any related documents.
- 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.