The state of California “Lemon Law” gives consumers a remedy for products that repeatedly fail to function properly. Although these laws apply to a number of products, most consumers know about them in the context of vehicles, especially cars. The California Lemon Law — formally called the “Tanner Consumer Protection Act” — covers new and used vehicles that are sold or leased in California and covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. Members of the Armed Forces who are stationed in or reside in California are covered by the California Lemon Law, even if their vehicles were not purchased in California.
The law states that a vehicle manufacturer must replace or repurchase a vehicle if the vehicle requires a certain number of repairs or is in the shop for repairs for more than a certain number of days. Read on to find out if your vehicle might be covered by the California “Lemon Law.”
What is Replacement Under the Lemon Law?
The California Lemon Law provisions require that any vehicle that replaces your defective one be new and the same as the vehicle you originally purchased or leased. The manufacturer is also required to give you the same warranties that you had with your original vehicle. The carmaker must cover any expenses that you have incurred such as registration fees.
Lemon Law Warranty Periods Explained
The warranty under the California Lemon Law says that a vehicle is covered for the first 18 months after delivery of the vehicle, or 18,000 miles, whichever comes first. During this period, if the vehicle has a problem that the manufacturer can’t fix within a “reasonable” period of time, the manufacturer must replace or buy back the vehicle.
The Tanner Consumer Protection Act explains what is considered a “reasonable” period of time. The law states that a repair attempt is considered “reasonable” if any of the following are true:
- The problem with the vehicle may cause death or serious bodily injury, and it has been attempted to be repaired at least 2 times and the owner or person leasing the car has notified the manufacturer of the problem.
- The problem with the vehicle is not likely to cause death or bodily injury, but repair of the same defect has been attempted 4 or more times, and the manufacturer has been notified at least once.
- The vehicle has been in the shop for repair of the defect for more than 30 days. The 30 days don’t have to be in a row; add up all the days that the car has been in the shop for repair.
In short, if your vehicle that is less than 18 months old and has less than 18,000 miles, and the problems and repairs fit the above description, you should contact us for help with your rights under California law.
Consumer Rights Under the Lemon LawThe Lemon Law gives consumers the right to have their vehicle replaced by the manufacturer with a new vehicle that is the same as the one that you originally bought, or to buy back the defective vehicle. The manufacturer is also required to cover incidental damages resulting from the defect, such as repair costs, fees for towing and expenses that you had for rental cars.
The law gives California consumers the right to have the manufacturer re-purchase a vehicle if the manufacturer can’t fix the defect within a certain amount of time. California recognizes that it’s a burden for your car to always be in the shop and that when you purchase a vehicle, it shouldn’t need repair after repair for the same issue. Contact Norman Taylor and Associates today if you have a vehicle that has required repeated repair.