Lemon Law Rights.com
lemon law rights are extended to consumers who purchase or
lease new or used motor vehicles that are under the
manufacturer’s “new vehicle limited” or “certified
pre-owned” warranties in the state of California. Your legal
rights under the California lemon law are extensive. The
website explains those rights...
do you define a “lemon” vehicle?
Under the California
lemon law, a “lemon” vehicle has been subject to an
unreasonable number of repair attempts for the same problem
based upon the number of miles currently on the vehicle, and
the number of months the vehicle has been in use under the
manufacturer’s warranty. During our Lemon Law
“presumption” period, a vehicle may also qualify by
spending too many days in the dealers shop undergoing repairs,
or awaiting back-ordered parts.
I have a “lemon”, what are my legal rights?
upon the repair history of your vehicle, you have the right to
demand a new replacement vehicle, or a refund of your purchase price
and a payoff of any existing loan or lease balance. In some cases, a
vehicle has had a history of extensive repairs, but does not meet
the law (statute) in our state. These cases can often be settled by
an attorney for monetary relief (cash payment settlement) to the
consumer for all the time spent returning to the dealer for various
repairs, as well as “down time” in the shop.
I talk to the manufacturer, do they have to comply with the lemon
that choose to try to facilitate a lemon law claim directly with the
manufacturer need to know that in this scenario there are no rules.
The manufacturer does not have to follow the lemon law statute, can
make any offer they deem “reasonable”,
they can chose a “mileage offset” that is not favorable
to the consumer, and the outcome can have potentially dire negative
consequences for the car owner or lessee. Often a “buyback
offer” by the manufacturer is a “goodwill” buyback, where the
“refund” offered is far less than the law allows. Manufacturers
can also “offer” a replacement vehicle as a resolution to a
California lemon law claim, but charge the consumer incorrectly for
usage on the lemon law vehicle, or worse yet, add hundreds or
thousands of dollars to the “difference” between the old vehicle
and the new replacement vehicle. Remember – there is no rule-book!
Consumers must be aware that their legal rights can be partially or
completely compromised. There is no reason to attempt a lemon law
claim yourself, as our states lemon law pays the attorneys fees and
costs for time spent working with the manufacturer to settle the
documents do I need to prove my case so my legal rights are
properly pursue a lemon law case in California utilizing an attorney
for proper legal representation, you will need a copy of the
purchase or lease agreement, a copy of your current license
registration, a copy of one of your lender payment statements (1),
and a copy of all your dealership repair order invoices. If you are
missing any invoices, you may be able to get duplicates from your
authorized dealership. If they have already purged their computer
files, they can utilize their warranty claims administration
computer and access the factory warranty claims via your vehicles
VIN #. The dealer has no duty to do this, but may agree to do this
upon the consumer’s request.
rights does the auto manufacturer have?
calculating a refund under the California lemon law, the
manufacturer makes deductions from the refund figures under the
statute for various items that were not on the vehicle in it’s
“as factory built” configuration (IE: accessories). These can
include (but are not limited to): after-market service contracts,
Gap insurance, accessories, after-market maintenance contracts,
paint and fabric/leather “sealants”, dealer subletted interiors,
lift kits, alarm systems, hi-fi systems, dvd/video system, grilles,
custom painting, after-market wheels and tires, and other items.
These items can be dealer installed, consumer purchased, and
consumer installed. The manufacturer has the right to have the
surrendered vehicle in “as-built” configuration. The
manufacturer has the right to receive the vehicle back in
cosmetically undamaged condition, often-times like a lease
surrender. The vehicle is subject to inspection and a report is
made. If the manufacturer offers a replacement vehicle to settle the
claim, the manufacturer is not responsible to remove after-market or
dealer added items from the old vehicle and transfer to the new
vehicle. The California Lemon Law has a “mileage offset” (usage
charge) provision wherein a specific dollar deduction is made
according to a formula under the California Lemon Law statute.
are my rights regarding a repurchase (buyback), vs. a replacement
vehicle under the California lemon law?
automobiles, trucks, suv’s, etc. (motor-driven vehicles) the
manufacturers duty under a qualifying claim is to buyback (repurchase)your
vehicle If the manufacturer chooses to offer a new replacement in
lieu of the buyback, then the consumer has the option of agreeing or
rejection. If rejected, then the process returns to the buyback
(repurchase). The mileage offset (usage charge) applies both on
repurchase or replacement.
I hold my dealership responsible for buying back my “lemon”
dealership is only the franchised authorized warranty service
provider for the automobile manufacturer. The automobile
manufacturer is the party responsible for repurchasing your vehicle,
not the selling or servicing dealership. In limited cases of
non-lemon law issues such as dealer fraud, odometer rollback and
other non-disclosure issues, the consumer is free to pursue legal
remedies against the dealer that are outside of the California Lemon
purchased my vehicle used? What are my lemon law rights?
depends upon whether there was original new car factory warranty
still left on the vehicle, or the vehicle was sold as a
manufacturers “certified pre-owned”. New car warranties are
typically 3 years/36,000 miles or 4 years/50,000 miles from date of
original sale to the first owner. Some manufacturers also have extra
“powertrain” warranties that may extend out to 5, 6 or even 10
years from original purchase date. Some manufacturers that use
diesel engines have 100,000 mile engine warranties. The time can be
as long as 5, 6 or 10 years on the powertrain warranty from the
original purchase date to the first owner. All of these are
“factory original” warranties and are applicable for California
Lemon Law claims. “Certified Pre-Owned” are warranties given on
vehicles that are sold on vehicles of the same make by the
franchised dealer for that make. Factory “Certified Pre-Owned”
warranties are applicable to California Lemon Law.
rights to a buyback (repurchase) on a qualifying case are very much
like the person who purchased or leased the car brand new (see
“How to Define a lemon vehicle” above), except that the vehicle
is repurchased, without option of new replacement.
purchased an “Extended Warranty” for my vehicle. Do I have
rights under the California Lemon Law for repairs made under this
Contracts are often referred to by consumers as “extended
warranties”. 99% of the time they are NOT. The words “service
contract” or “mechanical breakdown insurance” denote a
NON-factory warranty product, and thusly not applicable to the
California Lemon Law. There is one luxury European manufacturer that
*does* call their “Service Contract” a “warranty” on the
face of the document, which does make it applicable to California
Lemon Law. Our California Lemon Law recognizes only factory
warranties. Anything else by any name other than “warranty” is
NOT a warranty.
purchased and/or registered my vehicle from/in another state. Do I
qualify for California Lemon Law protection?
all but a few select exceptions, California Lemon Law does not apply
to out-of-state purchases. That being said, our newly passed
“military Bill” allows California Lemon Law protection for
active duty armed forces personnel who purchase or lease a vehicle
out-of-state, but are transferred to California for continued active
about “dealer warranties”? What are my California Lemon Law
rights if the warranty I receive is from the dealer, and not the
warranty that is provided for, and backed by the selling dealer is
not a manufacturer’s warranty, is an agreement to repair the
vehicle subject to the terms and conditions of that warranty. Rarely
are dealer warranties pursed as a California Lemon Law claim, unless
there was already underlying factory warranty protection still in
can a California Lemon Law attorney enforce my legal rights?
experienced California lemon law attorney has the clout of
experience in working with automobile manufacturers for many years,
and the lawsuit that can be filed against the manufacturer if the
case cannot be settled by the attorney in the pre-litigation. The
California lemon law attorney can enforce the consumer’s legal
rights by knowing what the law is, and making sure the manufacturer
complies with the terms and provisions of the California Lemon Law.
A consumer can utilize the service of an experienced California
Lemon Law attorney typically at little or no cost to the consumer.
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