Consumer Guide: Lemon Law FAQ Have a Question? Our Legal Team is Ready to Help You

Frequently Asked Questions about Lemon Law

Answers from Our California Lemon Law Attorneys

Have you purchased or leased a vehicle that has defects? If so, you may have a lemon. You likely have many questions during this difficult time and require reliable answers. At Norman Taylor & Associates, our California lemon law lawyers are dedicated to providing their clients with the competence required to achieve a successful result.

Rather than walking blindly into your lemon law case, read through the answers to frequently asked questions below to develop a clear perspective of your legal situation. After you have gained all of the basic information, we encourage you to ask more specific questions about your case in our free case evaluation.

Don't handle the situation yourself! Call us first at (888) 449-7639 to discuss your possible rights under California's Lemon Law.

How Long Does a Lemon Law Case Take in California?

The only way to quickly resolve a lemon law claim is to settle with the vehicle manufacturer. With that said, if you have a strong case and are simply asking for a California lemon law buyback, then the manufacturer is likely to cooperate and your claim will likely be settled in 30 days or sooner. If the vehicle manufacturer decides not to settle, then your claim could take 3-6 months (if not longer) to resolve.

Does my used car qualify under the California lemon law?

Yes. Used cars can qualify under the California lemon law as long as your sale came with a written warranty. If your vehicle was sold "As Is," then the lemon law will not apply. There are other laws that may apply to your situation - consumer fraud laws that could assist you. If you are unsure whether your used car qualifies, speak with a member of our firm.

How long does the warranty last on my vehicle?

The California lemon law applies for as long as the vehicle is covered any warranty sold with the vehicle – and for some time after. In some instances where a consumer has taken his vehicle in for warranty repairs toward the tail end of their written warranty, and the defect is not actually repaired, the warranty by law continues to cover that portion of the vehicle until the defect is repaired, notwithstanding the expiration of the warranty.

How many times must I take my car back for repairs before it is considered a "lemon?"

The manufacturer is allowed a "reasonable" number of attempts to repair the vehicle. Although the law does not specify what a reasonable number of attempts is, three or four repairs are often considered reasonable. What is reasonable may well depend upon the seriousness of the particular problem. Another factor that must be considered is the number of miles in-between repair attempts.

What action should I take if I believe my vehicle is a safety defect?

If the consumer is under the impression that there is a safety problem or defect with his or her vehicle, it should be returned to the dealer as soon as possible, and a repair invoice obtained reflecting the safety complaint. Armed with enough repairs – and a serious safety defect likely to cause serious bodily harm or death may indeed qualify as a lemon after two repair attempts, you may have a legitimate claim for a refund or replacement vehicle. You should contact this firm for sound legal guidance on such an issue.

If I purchased my vehicle in another state, but live in California, which state's lemon laws apply?

According to the California Department of Consumer Affairs, the California Lemon Laws only apply to vehicles sold or leased in the state of California. However, if you live in California but purchased your vehicle in another state, and took delivery of your vehicle in California, California lemon law would apply. If you took delivery out of state, the law of the state where you made your purchase would apply.

Do all states in the U.S. have lemon laws?

Every state has at least some version of auto warranty laws that resemble the federal Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act, an act that protects consumers against breach of warranty committed by the manufacturer. California's auto-specific warranty laws or "lemon laws" are found in the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act.

I want to purchase a vehicle, but was told it's a "lemon law buyback vehicle." What does this mean?

Lemon law buyback vehicles are vehicles that were reacquired by the manufacturer due to a warranty defect. To know for sure whether a vehicle is a lemon law buyback, check the title and registration certificate. It should be listed there. Read more information on Lemon Law Buyback Vehicles.

What is the Better Business Bureau Auto Line?

The BBB Auto Line is a free program of the California Department of Consumer Affairs. Consumers with automobile warranty disputes can file with the BBB Auto Line as long as their vehicle's manufacturer is one of the participating manufacturers. Currently, there are many manufacturers on the list. Resolving your case this way is different than going the lemon law route. Many consumers find that the BBB Auto Line is a waste of time and are often awarded repairs that they were entitled to under their warranty anyway. Many choose to hire a lemon law attorney instead which is our advice to you.

What damages may I be entitled to under the California lemon law?

You may be entitled to receive a replacement or a refund or cash. In addition, you can recover registration fees, rental car expenses, and charges for towing. As the consumer, you may elect to have a repurchase instead of a replacement. In some circumstances, the manufacturer is entitled to a mileage offset for the value of the miles you drove the vehicle prior to the first attempt at repair. Our firm can help you fight for just compensation of your damages under California's lemon law. We encourage you to take immediate action to ensure that your rights are protected.

Do you have further questions regarding your lemon law case?

You likely never expected to own a lemon. We can provide you with as much information as you need. We have assisted over 10,000 individuals in the past as they sought refunds and replacements. Take the time to get your questions answered by talking with our responsive staff.

Find out how the California lemon laws affect your case and what actions you can take in your specific situation. Contact Norman Taylor & Associates.

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