Lemon law lawyers are the ones who come to the rescue when your car continuously fails you. People often wonder whether the lemon law only applies to new cars. Read on to find out the answer.
Overview of the law in California
In the United States, every state has its own set of laws that have limits and set forth criteria for what is considered a lemon. California has the most consumer friendly lemon law of all the states. It essentially says that if you purchase or lease a vehicle here in California and the vehicle has repeat problems under warranty that the dealer cannot seem to fix, you might be entitled to a refund of your money if that problem substantially impairs the use, value or safety of the vehicle.
Types of vehicles that the lemon law applies to
The type of vehicle that the lemon law applies to in California can get very confusing. But, generally, it will apply to your vehicle if you can answer “yes” to each of the questions:
Question 1 – Did you purchase or lease the vehicle in California (not another state)?
Question 2 – Did you purchase or lease the vehicle from a dealership (no private sales)?
Question 3 – Did you receive a free warranty (not one that you purchased)?
Question 4 – Do you use the vehicle for personal reasons (or business reasons but you have less than 5 vehicles registered in California)?
If you answered YES to each of the questions, then California’s lemon law applies to your vehicle (car, truck, SUV, motorcycle).
The next question is whether your vehicle’s repair history meets the criteria for being called a lemon, which is the subject of another article all together.
Here are some examples
Susie leased a truck from a Ford dealer in Texas. California’s lemon law probably does not apply because Susie leased the vehicle in Texas, not California.
Joe purchased a used vehicle from a Chevy dealer in California and the Chevy warranty had already expired so he purchased an extended warranty. California’s law on lemons probably does not apply because the free warranty had already expired when he purchased the vehicle.
Jason purchased a used vehicle from a Chevy dealer in California and the Chevy warranty was still open and also purchased an extended warranty. California’s lemon law does apply to the vehicle because the free warranty was still open.
Mary purchased a used Jeep from her neighbor in San Diego and Jeep’s warranty was still open. California’s lemon law does not apply because Mary purchased the Jeep from a neighbor, not the dealer.
Luke purchased a new Dodge van from a Dodge dealer in Los Angeles. California’s laws on lemons do apply to Luke’s van because he purchased new, in California, and from a dealer. New vehicles come with a free warranty from the manufacturer.
We hope these examples are helpful to you in determining whether the lemon law applies to your vehicle.
If you have any questions about whether the California lemon law applies to your vehicle, please feel free to reach out to Attorney Sotera Anderson.