When it comes to the California Lemon Law, countless misconceptions have muddled public understanding. These myths create confusion for consumers, leading them to make costly mistakes when it comes to exercising their legal rights. At CA Lemon Law Firm, we believe that everyone is entitled to honest information about their rights under the law.
Here, we aim to debunk some of the most common myths and provide clarity on this important consumer protection law.
Myth 1: Only new cars are covered under the California Lemon Law.
This is a widespread misunderstanding. The truth of the matter is that the California Lemon Law covers not only new but also used and leased cars. As long as the car was sold with a written warranty, it is eligible for protection under this law.
In fact, the California Lemon Law, officially known as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, primarily focuses on the warranty period - if a defect that substantially impairs the vehicle's use, value, or safety is not fixed after a reasonable number of attempts during the warranty period, the vehicle may be considered a "lemon." And even for used vehicles, if they were sold with a warranty and the defect arose within this period, the law is applicable. This underscores the importance of understanding your warranty details when purchasing any vehicle.
Myth 2: You can only make a lemon law claim within the first 18 months or 18,000 miles.
This is another popular misconception. The lemon law in California allows consumers to file claims as long as the car's issues first appeared while it was under the manufacturer's original warranty. This means you could very well be entitled to compensation even if the problem was discovered after 18 months or 18,000 miles.
Myth 3: The lemon law only applies if the car has a major defect.
Many people believe that only significant issues like transmission or engine failure are covered under the lemon law. This isn't the case. The law covers any defect that impairs the use, value, or safety of the vehicle. This could range from a faulty air conditioner to recurring electrical glitches.
Myth 4: If you win a lemon law claim, you'll only get a refund for the car's current value.
The California Lemon Law stipulates that if a car is deemed a lemon, the consumer is entitled to a refund of the purchase price or a replacement vehicle. This refund includes the down payment, monthly payments, and any costs associated with repairing the vehicle. It's not based on the car's current depreciated value.
Myth 5: It's too expensive to pursue a lemon law claim.
Many consumers shy away from pursuing a lemon law claim because they fear the cost. However, the California Lemon Law contains a fee-shifting provision, meaning if you win your case, the manufacturer is required to pay your attorney's fees.
Myth 6: You need to have made a certain number of repair attempts before you can file a lemon law claim.
This is not necessarily true. While the number of repair attempts can strengthen your case, California's lemon law doesn't set a specific requirement. It's generally recommended to give the manufacturer a reasonable number of attempts to fix the problem, but what's considered 'reasonable' can vary depending on the nature and severity of the vehicle's defect.
Myth 7: If you modified your vehicle, you can't use the lemon law.
Another misunderstanding is the belief that if you've made modifications to your vehicle, you're automatically disqualified from the protections of the California Lemon Law. This is not entirely true. If the modifications you made are not related to the defect in the vehicle, then your claim under the lemon law will likely still be valid. However, if the modifications resulted in the defect or if the defect is in the part of the vehicle that was modified, then it could potentially impact your claim.
Myth 8: If you didn't buy the car in California, you can't use the California Lemon Law.
This is a misconception. The California Lemon Law applies not only to vehicles purchased in California but also to those purchased out of state if the vehicle is registered in California. The key point is the location where the car is currently registered, not where it was originally purchased.
Myth 9: The lemon law only covers cars.
This statement is false. The California Lemon Law covers a variety of motor vehicles, including trucks, motorcycles, RVs, and even boats. If you've purchased any of these with a manufacturer's warranty and it's constantly giving you trouble, you may have a valid claim under the law.
Myth 10: Lemon lawsuits take a long time.
Not necessarily. Lemon law lawsuits tend to be relatively quick, with many cases being settled within six months or less. This is because the law requires manufacturers to resolve disputes quickly and offer reasonable compensation - if they don't comply, they could face hefty penalties. Additionally, the majority of lemon law claims are resolved without going to court. So while filing a claim can still take time and effort, it usually doesn't drag on for long.
Call CA Lemon Law Firm Today!
The California Lemon Law provides an important layer of protection for car buyers, whether they've purchased new or used vehicles. Understanding the facts about this law can help you make informed decisions and know when to pursue legal action if needed. With proper knowledge of your rights under the law and the help of an experienced lemon law attorney, you can be sure that you will get the help and compensation you deserve.
If you believe you have a lemon law case, CA Lemon Law Firm is here to help. Our team of experienced attorneys focuses on California Lemon Law, working tirelessly to ensure that your rights as a consumer are protected. We can handle all aspects of your case, from the initial investigation and documentation to negotiating with manufacturers and, if necessary, litigating on your behalf.
Our dedication to this area of law means we are up-to-date on all the nuances and changes, allowing us to provide you with the best possible representation. With CA Lemon Law Firm, you can trust that your case is in capable hands.
Contact us online or call us at (818) 960-1550 for a free, no-obligation consultation. We'll review your case and discuss your legal options to ensure you get justice.