State Lemon Law
California Lemon Law (officially
known as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty act, found in
California Civil Code sections 1790 et seq.)
is a law designed to protect
consumers who purchase or lease warranted motor vehicles. If it
is determined that a motor vehicle is a "lemon," the
motor vehicle's warrantor must repurchase or replace the motor
vehicle from the buyer.
order to have a valid Lemon Law claim, the following elements
must be met:
The Lemon Law
applies to all vehicles that are primarily used for
personal, family, or household purposes. It also
applies to a "business use" vehicle, so long as
there are not more then five vehicles registered to the
owner of the vehicle
and the vehicle does not weigh move that 10,000
vehicle must have problems covered by a warranty. There is a
simple rule: no warranty means no Lemon Law case.
The warrantor must be unable to repair the vehicle's warranty problems after a reasonable number of repair attempts. What constitutes a reasonable number of repair attempts will vary depending on the problem. For example, if a vehicle's brakes fail, two repair attempts may be enough to establish a reasonable number. Generally, safety-related or drivability concerns will require fewer repair attempts than those which are not safety-related or affect drivability. However, only one unsuccessful repair attempt is never sufficient to establish a lemon law claim.
relevant to determining whether there has been a reasonable
number of repair attempts is the number of days the vehicle is
out-of-service due to warranty repairs. The more days
out-of-service, the better the chance of establishing a
reasonable number of repair attempts.
is a common misconception concerning the Lemon Law - that it
only applies to vehicles that are less than 18 months old or
have less than 18,000 miles. This belief is not true! The Lemon
Law will apply to a vehicle regardless of how old it is or how
many miles is has, so long as the vehicle is having problems
that are under warranty.
if the warranty has expired, the Lemon Law may apply. If the
vehicle is still having problems that were complained about and
never properly repaired during the warranty period, a valid
Lemon Law claim may exist.
vehicle must contain a problem covered by the warranty that
substantially impairs the vehicle's use, value or safety to
a reasonable person in the position as the Buyer. The Lemon
Law, generally, will not apply to vehicles with trivial or
minor defects. Nevertheless, each case must be judged
independently taking into account the particular needs and
expectations of the particular vehicle's owner/lessee.
the above mentioned elements are met, the vehicle is a
lemon. The vehicle's owner/lessee will be entitled to a
replacement vehicle or a refund of the vehicle's purchase/lease
Warranties: California has
very specific rules on what defines a warranty. A factory
warranty is something that is given
to the consumer at the time of sale. The warranty can be a
“new car warranty”, a “used car warranty”, or a
“certified pre-owned” warranty. What all of these warranties
is that they are provided and administered by the automobile
next category of vehicle warranties are “dealer warranties”. These “warranties” have no connection
or affiliation with the “factory warranty”, and are between
the BUYER and the SELLING DEALER. The manufacturer has no
liability for the selling dealer internal warranties.
final category of vehicle warranties are “extended warranties”. These “warranties” are valid in many
other states, but NOT
in California. California has its own rules that govern these
“warranties”. In fact, these are not warranties at all. In
California, these must be called “mechanical breakdown
policies”, “service contracts” or other titles that do NOT
use the word “warranty”, as you
cannot purchase a
warranty in California on a motor vehicle. Many automobile
dealerships mislead consumers by calling these contracts
“warranties”, but they are not, and have no applicability to California Lemon Law. So, it does not matter
what a dealer calls it – if the word “warranty” is not on
the face of the application form, then it is NOT a warranty.
rights in the California Lemon Law:
All consumers have the same rights under our California lemon
law, whether the vehicle was purchased or leased, is new or
used, as long as it’s covered by a warranty. Consumers should
realize that automobile manufacturers, though they will often
make gestures of goodwill in an attempt to bolster customer
loyalty, are at heart still businesses.
They are there to make money – not give it back. Though
automobile manufacturer’s should buy back offending vehicles
that meet lemon law state statute guidelines automatically by
reviewing the dealer-submitted warranty repair claims, most of
the time they do not. In most all cases, application of the
California lemon law is a consumer-driven
event. Consumers will hire lemon law attorneys to ensure that
the manufacturer conforms to their legal duties.
you live in a state other than California?
ON BANNER ABOVE TO ENTER WEBSITE
California, state, lemon, law, statute, consumer, warranty, automobile, arbitration