What Qualifies a Car as a Lemon?

Recently you have bought a brand new car! Exciting, right? But not for many consumers who find themselves overwhelmed and stressed because of their new purchase which has serious defects! In fact, it’s super easy for such consumers to panic and lose their cool! But we are almost 100 percent sure that there will be a moment when they will ask themselves “How does a car qualify for lemon law?”

Well, you can find this information in legal codes! But who wants to read through all that to find out if the vehicle qualifies as a lemon? No one!

That’s why we highly recommend you to keep reading this helpful page to learn what qualifies as a lemon and what to do if you find yourself with a defective car.

In other words, we will help you replace your anxiety with awareness!


How to Know You Are Driving a Lemon Car?

Generally, the car must have a “substantial defect” that isn’t caused by the owner after the purchase and continue to have the defect after a number of repair attempts in order to qualify as a lemon.

But what is a “substantial defect”? Good question! A substantial defect is a serious defect that impairs the vehicle’s normal use, safety, or value, such as faulty brakes or steering.

So it’s more than clear that minor defects such as loose radio knobs and door handles won’t put your life in jeopardy, right?

But once you notice your brand-new car experiences significant issues, you shouldn’t ignore those red flags but schedule an appointment with a mechanic.

This is because your car will qualify as a lemon only if you prove that the dealer or manufacturer made a “reasonable” number of attempts and failed to fix the substantial defect.

Your defective car must also meet other lemon law requirements which vary from state to state! In all states, the substantial defect must occur within a certain period of time or within a certain number of miles.

For example, Georgia allows a time period of 12 months or 12,000 miles, whereas New York allows a period of 24 months or 18,000 miles.

In California, your vehicle will qualify as a “lemon” if, within the first 18 months or 18,000 miles of purchasing a vehicle:

  •         there were 4 or more repair attempts for the same issue;
  •         there were 2 or more repair attempts to fix an issue that can cause injury or death;
  •         your vehicle is out of service for more than 30 days for any repairs;
  •         Problems to the vehicle are not the result of abuse by the owner.

If this is about your new defective car, then congratulations! Chances are that you have a lemon car on your hands.

But be careful! Your rights will depend on the laws of the particular state where you live or where you bought the car.

So it’s a must to check your state’s Lemon Law guide at the first sign of trouble. How should you do it? It’s simple! Contact an experienced lemon law attorney or just Google!


The Bright Side of Having a Lemon!

If your defective new car meets the lemon law requirements for your state, you can get the compensation you deserve! That is, you will either get a replacement or refund!

By the way, we have great news for all consumers in California who have bought used cars and now greatly regret it!

In fact, while in most states lemon laws cover new car sales only, in California used cars qualify for protection under the used car lemon law if they are sold with the manufacturer’s warranty (which is typically 3 years/36,000 miles, but can be more for some manufacturers).

But that’s not all! You don’t even need to worry about attorney’s fees, as under California Lemon Law, the manufacturer will pay for the attorney’s fees! Cool, right?


Start Your Case With a Free Consultation!

If it still isn’t clear whether or not you have a lemon car, you better speak with a professional lemon law attorney to fully understand your rights and legal options!

Call us now at (818) 553-1000 for a free consultation! One of our experienced lemon law attorneys at Margarian Law Firm will personally handle every aspect of your lemon law case from beginning to end and help you receive the attention and justice you truly deserve.