California Lemon Law (officially known as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, found in California Civil Code sections 1790 et seq.) is designed to protect consumers who purchase or lease warranted vehicles. It says that if a car maker is unable to repair a sold or leased car to match its written warranty after a reasonable number of attempts, the maker must promptly replace or repurchase it.
The lemon law is a state law in California that defends consumers against the buying or leasing of faulty cars. To come under the lemon law protection in California, a car must have been bought or leased for private, family or business use.
The lemon law deduction is a guide, not a fixed rule. It helps the judge or arbitrator decide what is a reasonable number of repair attempts for glitches that can mess up the use, worth, or safety of the vehicle.
Lemon Law Claims
In order to have a valid Lemon Law claim, the following elements must be met:
- The vehicle must be used some of the time for personal, family or household purposes. If a vehicle is used exclusively for business purposes, the Lemon Law may not apply, but other laws may provide certain remedies.
- The vehicle must have problems covered by a warranty. There is a simple rule: no warranty means no Lemon Law case.
- The warrantor must be unable to repair the vehicle’s (car) warranty problems after a reasonable number or repair attempts. What constitutes a reasonable number of repair attempts will vary depending on the problem. For example, if a vehicle’s brakes fail, two repair attempts may be enough to establish a reasonable number. Generally, safety-related concerns will require fewer repair attempts than those which are not safety-related.
The lemon law in California gives major rights to the car owners. The law helps people to get their cars repaired or replaced if it is under a warranty. A warranty is a written promise from the seller or maker that a car will perform as claimed.
The lemon law also provides coverage for a used car if it was sold with a written warranty and the vehicle was bought for private or family use. Under the California lemon law, the first time a lemon buyback is resold at the retail stage; it must have one-year factory warranty to cover defects and cannot lawfully be sold “as is.” The law requires that the car’s papers declare that it is a “lemon law buyback” and the car must have a “LEMON” sticker stuck on the door jamb. When lemon buybacks are illegally sold “as is,” the buyer still has rights under the lemon law if this fact is unknown to the buyer.
Leased cars covered by a service contract also make the grade under the lemon law in California. Motorcycles, boats and vehicles used for recreation are also are eligible under the lemon law.
The car warranty law that is mandated by the federal government states that no dealership or person can represent that the car has warranty when in fact it does not. Also, the dealership or the person selling the car cannot in any way misrepresent the condition of the auto. This protects the consumers from purchasing a car and not being told for example that the clutch will need replacement in the next couple of weeks.
When you qualify under the lemon law you are entitled to receive a refund or a replacement vehicle, plus vehicle registration fees, rental car costs and towing charges. The choice of the refund or replacement vehicle is the consumer’s, not the manufacturers. The manufacturer is only permitted to deduct money for the miles the vehicle was driven before it was taken to the garage because of the defect.