How to Know When You Have a Lemon

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Your car is a lemon if it is eligible under the California Lemon Law (Civ. Code, § 1793.22). Eligibility may depend on the vehicle’s age, mileage, and warranty, the number of repair attempts you undergo, and how long your vehicle stays in auto repair shops.

The California Lemon Law only applies to both new or pre-owned “used”cars as long as the car is still covered under the original manufacture’s warranty. Typically, the warranty period is 3 years/36,000 miles or 4years/50,000 miles.

Check the Manufacturer’s Warranty

To be eligible under California Lemon Law, your car must be under a manufacturer’s new car warranty. Cars under warranty can be brand new or lightly used, but you only have a lemon if the problems your car is having are covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.

There is a presumption in the law that your vehicle is defective if, the problems occur within 18 months of delivery, or within 18,000 miles – whichever comes first.

Read your warranty carefully. You do not have a lemon if your car is not under warranty. Ask a local lemon law attorney if you have questions.

Keep Track of Repetitive Repairs

Your car is not a lemon just because it breaks down while it is under warranty. However, if you have to take your car in for repairs 4 times or more for the same problem, you may have a lemon on your hands. If the problem is bigger or “severe enough to cause death or serious bodily injury,” you may qualify for Lemon Law protection after only 1 or 2 repair attempts.

You may also be eligible for Lemon Law protection if your vehicle has been in the shop for more than 30 days due to problems covered by the warranty. These days do not have to be consecutive.

If you just bought a car, and it is always in the shop, it’s worth talking to a lawyer about California’s Lemon Law.

What to Do if Your Car Is a Lemon

If your car is under warranty and has been subject to an unreasonable number of repair attempts, you should take advantage of Lemon Law protections. Under Civ. Code, § 1793.22, your manufacturer must either replace or repurchase the defective vehicle.

Buying a car is a major purchase, and the California Lemon Law exists to protect consumers. During Lemon Law cases, you may need an attorney to help protect your interests and ensure you do not lose money in an unfair transaction.

At CA Lemon Law Firm, we take on clients with valid Lemon Law claims, and have extensive experience with these types of cases. We have an exemplary track record of success and have been turning lemons into lemonade since 2006.

As part of our commitment to personal service and unwavering integrity, honesty, and ethics, we offer free consultations and case evaluations.

The best way to find out if your car is a lemon is to call us at (818) 960-1550 or contact us online and ask us. Your first meeting is free, and we will only take your case if we believe you have a lemon we can turn into lemonade!

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