Has your recent car purchase ended up with disappointment? Have you found yourself with a useless vehicle? Does it have serious defects that impair its use or safety? All these inconveniences signal that you may have bought a ‘’lemon’’ car. Falling into despair is not the best thing to do in this situation. Know that you are protected by the Lemon Laws of your state. The California Lemon Law protects you when your newly bought car turns to be defective and cannot be repaired after a “reasonable” number of attempts. To find protection under the Lemon Laws, you should know what qualifies a car as a lemon.
How to know whether my car is a lemon or not?
A lemon is a car that has substantial manufacturing defects affecting its safety, value or utility. Simply put, a car can be qualified as a ‘’lemon’’ if:
- it has a serious manufacturing defect covered by the warranty
- the defect impairs its use and is a threat to its safety
- the defect cannot be fixed after a reasonable number of repair attempts.
The line between a “substantial defect” and a “minor defect” is not always clear. Defects as loose radio knobs or door handles are considered as minor defects. While faulty brakes or steering are “substantial” ones as they impair the car’s use, value, or safety. A “substantial defect” is covered by the warranty and must occur within a certain period of time depending on the state law requirements.
Before the car can be declared as a “lemon’’, the car dealer or manufacturer is given a reasonable number of attempts to eliminate the defect. Generally, four repair attempts are reasonable. However, if the defect qualifies as a serious safety defect, the number of reasonable repair attempts can be lower. In some states, if the car is in the repair shop for a certain number of days (usually 30 days) per year to fix the defect, the car can be deemed a lemon. In this case, you will need to get a copy of the repair order for each repair visit to fix the number of days out of service.
My car is a lemon. What now?
Every state has its own lemon laws which vary in details, requirements, and remedies. Yet, if your car fits the general definition of a lemon, there are several things you can do. First, you can ask the manufacturer to repair the defect that is under the warranty. Second, you can choose car repurchase as a remedy. Third, you can have the manufacturer replace your vehicle. Finally, if the manufacturer refuses all the suggested options, you will more likely have to make a lemon law claim.
As you do not fully understand all the law aspects, making mistakes while communicating with the manufacturer is unavoidable. That’s why it is necessary to have a proper legal guidance when dealing with a lemon law issue. It is in your best interest to hire a qualified lemon law attorney if you think you have a claim under the California lemon law. A skilled lemon law attorney will effectively negotiate with the manufacturer and get a proper monetary recovery you deserve. Luckily, there are no out-of-pocket costs or retainer fees when hiring a lemon law attorney. The Lemon Laws require the manufacturer to pay for all the attorney fees and costs for a successful case.
The Lemon Law experts at the Margarian Law firm will analyze your case and enforce your rights to you. We have years of experience helping consumers win their Lemon Law claims. What’s more, you will not have to pay any out-of-pocket legal fees if you trust your lemon law case to our experienced Lemon Law attorneys.