Tell that to Mrs. Jones, who has just lost three hours of work time (not
reimbursed) trying to get a ride from the dealership back to work. She
waited and waited to find out why they couldn’t fix another check
engine light problem. This is the sixth time she has taken it in for this
problem. The last time it failed she was on the freeway on her way to
work, tooling along in the fast lane listening to her favorite tunes.
Out of nowhere the engine coughs asthmatically and a host of red and yellow
warning lights appear on the instrument panel. Somehow she made it to
the shoulder across four lanes of traffic, and narrowly missed becoming
a hood ornament on a speed crazed Peterbilt semi trailer.
When she finally decided to call about the
California lemon law, she described these events and asked how much she could get for her pain
and suffering. Regrettably for Mrs. Jones there isn’t any payment
for pain and suffering. In addition to a replacement or refund, there
are damages provisions, but none that allow for pain and suffering. A
jury might be asked the question of whether the manufacturer has willfully
failed to comply with the lemon law, in which case, it is possible to
award a consumer with “treble damages.”
If you are in Mrs. Jones’s situation you may agree that there was
a lot of pain and suffering, including fear for her life and loss of money
as she goes back and forth to the dealer trying to get something done
about her defective vehicle. The bottom line is that there simply isn’t
any provision for pain and suffering in the California lemon law.