What Is The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act?

The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty ActAccording to the California Attorney General:

The law requires that if the manufacturer or its representative in this state, such as an authorized dealer, is unable to service or repair a new motor vehicle to meet the terms of an express written warranty after a reasonable number of repair attempts, the manufacturer is required promptly to replace the vehicle or return the purchase price to the lessee or buyer.

This act applies to vehicles with inherent problems, not problems resulting from abuse or improper maintenance after the vehicle was purchased or leased.

To better understand what the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act provides, it may be helpful to give some definitions.

Express written warranty – The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act applies to lessees and buyers for the duration of their warranty. If at any point during their warranty the vehicle continues to have issues after a reasonable number of attempts to fix, the manufacturer must replace or refund.

Reasonable number of repair attempts – A "reasonable number" is not easily quantifiable. This number is different for everyone, and depends heavily on circumstances such as the severity of the defect. California Lemon Law can help determine this number, which is why it is helpful to consult with a Lemon Law attorney in these scenarios.

Purchase price – If the owner of the vehicle decides that they would rather accept the purchase price than take a replacement vehicle, they are entitled to a refund in the amount of:

  • Purchase price of the vehicle
  • Price of manufacturer-installed items
  • Sales/use tax
  • License
  • Registration
  • Other "incidental" damages the owner incurred as a result of the defective vehicle, such as repair, towing, and rental costs.

The lessee or buyer has the option of choosing a refund or a replacement, but in either scenario, the lessee/buyer may be charged a fee for use.

Fee for use – This fee is calculated by arriving at a percentage and then multiplying that percentage and the purchase price. The percentage is calculated by the ratio of total miles on the vehicle to 120,000. Say, for example, the owner of a vehicle put 4,000 miles on their car before bringing it in for repair. 4,000/120,000 = roughly 3%. The fee for use here would be 3% of the vehicle's purchase price.

Consumers protected by the Song-Beverly Act have a four-year statute of limitations to either file a breach of warranty lawsuit or a lawsuit for a violation of Song-Beverly.

To learn more about the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act and if you qualify for a refund or vehicle replacement under this act, contact Norman Taylor & Associates today!

Categories: