Do You Have a Lemon Law Case on Your Hands?
It’s never fun when you purchase the brand new car you’ve been saving up for only to find out that it’s a lemon. Luckily, you’re protected against faulty vehicles under the Lemon Law in California. To find out whether you have a lemon law case in your hands, it’s good to know what exactly constitutes a lemon.
California Lemon Law Basics
The lemon law is actually a clause inside the larger Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act. The act states that if a car manufacturer fails you fix your vehicle after a reasonable number of repair attempts so that it can live up to the terms of its warranty, you have a lemon in your hands and are entitled to a full refund or a new car replacement. The refund option includes the car’s original purchase price, the cost of manufacturer-installed components, sales taxes, registration fees, finance charges, towing and other expenses incurred because of the vehicle’s faultiness.
Determining if You Have a Case
Determining if you have a lemon law case gets complicated when you realize that what constitutes a “reasonable number” of repair attempts is something that can be argued over. The Song-Beverly Act attempts to simplify the debate by posing the following guidelines. A reasonable number of repairs has been attempted if (a) the manufacturer has unsuccessfully tried to fix a major problem two or more times, or (b) if a problem has been addressed four times or more and the car owner has at least once contacted the manufacturer directly, or (c) if the vehicle has been out of commission for 30 days or more after being delivered to the car shop.
These might seem like fairly straightforward guidelines, but there are lots of debatable points that lawyers will take up and argue in court. Obviously, if there is a possibility for contention, manufacturers would prefer not to lose money. If you think you have a potential lemon law case in your hands, contact your lawyer first and consult with them before making a move. Keep in mind that the Song-Beverly Act does not protect consumers if the vehicle defect was caused by misuse or abuse in the part of the owner.