California State Lemon Law - Lemon Law Statute

Arbitration Information

What is Arbitration?

Arbitration is a dispute resolution process by which warranty disputes between manufacturers and consumers are resolved by auto manufacturer paid-for arbitrators.  Some of the disadvantages of arbitration are:

  • California consumers are not required to use arbitration to dispute a defective vehicle.  Consumers can instead use a consumer protection lemon law attorney without first pursuing arbitration.
  • Only vehicles that are within the manufacturers factory warranty can be heard in arbitration, though out-of-warranty vehicles can have the same lemon law rights as those consumers who’s vehicle’s are still under factory warrantie(s).
  • Arbitration cases are not heard by judges or SAE Certified and trained automotive mechanical experts.
  • Arbitration can be a lengthy process, with the arbitrators “decision” being nothing more than offering the manufacturer an additional repair attempt as the “reasonable solution” to the dispute, thus wasting the Consumers time.
  • Decisions are binding on the manufacturer, but not the consumer.  The consumer can accept or reject the decision; though all decisions/arbitration proceedings/information can be used by the manufacturer in later legal proceedings should the consumer wish to sue the automobile manufacturer via an attorney.
  • The automobile manufacturer can make a “buyback offer that does not accurately reflect the “mileage offset” usage charge, and potentially affect your refund by hundreds or thousands of dollars (less).

Steps to take if you think you have a lemon.

  1. Consult with a qualified lemon law attorney.
  2. Keep accurate records of your warranty repair visits to the authorized automobile dealership(s).
  3. If you had previously contacted the automobile manufacturer regarding your vehicle, and were given a “case number” or equivalent, keep copies/notes on all written or verbal correspondence, including name(s), dates, and content of communications.

You may pursue a California lemon law case if you feel that you meet the following requirements:

  • The specific problem is covered by the manufacturer's warranty. This can be a “new care warranty’, or a “Certified Used Car Warranty”  (disputes over repairs performed under “extended warranties” and service contracts are not applicable to California lemon law);
  • Your vehicle has been subject to an unreasonable number of warranty repair visits to the dealer for the same issue, or has spent too many days in the dealers shop for warranty repairs;
  • The problem substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of the vehicle to a reasonable person in the buyers position;
  • The problem has not been satisfactorily repaired; and
The vehicle was originally sold or leased by an automobile dealership in California, with the vehicle registered in this state. (Active Military personnel are under different rules due to a recent legislative change in the law)

Do you live in a state other than California?


Site Map | Disclaimer

California, state, lemon, law, statute, consumer, warranty, automobile, arbitration