Car manufacturers should do their best to produce vehicles designed to run for years to come. However, sometimes they do make a dud. No matter how many times the car returns from the shop, this vehicle is never fixed to the customer’s satisfaction. This vehicle is a “lemon” and each state has its own laws governing the sale of lemons.
If you have never filed a lemon law claim in California, you may have heard many things about this process not knowing which are myths and which are facts. Below our California lemon law attorney discusses six common myths about filing a lemon law claim.
Myth #1: Manufacturer Must Get A Certain Number of Repair Opportunities
Universal guidelines and parameters for determining if a car is legally a “lemon” do not exist. However, the number of days a car is in the shop, and the type of defects involved are important factors used to establish whether a vehicle is a lemon.
In California, the lemon law allows the owner of a lemon to seek compensation if the vehicle meets certain requirements. Generally, the manufacturer of the vehicle or its authorized repair facility (usually the dealer) must have a reasonable number of repair opportunities. What is a reasonable number of repair opportunities depends on the specific facts and circumstances of each case. For example, defects that involve safety issues generally need fewer repair opportunities than other issues.
The customer is only required to give the manufacturer an opportunity to repair the defects. Even if the manufacturer does not attempt any repairs or cannot duplicate the problem it still counts as a repair opportunity.
Myth #2: After Manufacturer’s Warranty Expires You Cannot Make Lemon Law Claim
Just because the warranty has expired does not mean you cannot make a lemon law claim. In California, the statute of limitations (SOL) for filing a lemon law claim is four years from the date the owner of the car knew or reasonably should have known that the manufacturer or its authorized repair facility is unable or unwilling to repair the defect. Experienced California lemon law lawyers can determine when the SOL period should have begun. If you own or are leasing a defective vehicle in California, it is important to speak to a California lemon law attorney about your options under the lemon law.
Myth #3: Lemon Law Claim Cannot Be Made If You Continue to Drive the Defective Vehicle
If you believe a purchased vehicle is defective and the warranty violated, you may still continue to drive the “lemon” while making a claim. However, if you continue to drive the defective vehicle and cause further damage, you will be responsible for those repairs, even if the defect caused the damage. You will also be held liable for any accidents caused by driving a vehicle made unsafe by the manufacturer’s defect.
Myth #4: Without Repair Receipts You Cannot Make A Lemon Law Claim
You can submit a lemon law claim to the manufacturer even if you do not have all of your repair receipts. However, at some point you should obtain your repair receipts. Providing repair receipts for the lemon is an important part of the process of how to support a lemon law claim in California. The repair receipts prove the following:
- The number of repair opportunities
- The type of problem reported to the repair facility
- Efforts made to fix the specific problem reported
If you do not have a complete record of repairs, then it is available at the repair shop or dealership where the repairs took place. They must provide you with copies upon request.
Myth #5: Making a Lemon Law Claim in California Is Not Worth the Effort
Anytime someone makes a legal claim, it can be time-consuming and frustrating. A respected and experienced California lemon law attorney can do all the work after the initial documents are gathered.
When you contact the Kostas Law Firm, the consultation is free and there are no legal fees unless you win your case. It is worth the effort to recover the compensation you deserve.
Myth #6: Used Cars Do Not Qualify for Protection Under the Lemon Law
As long as the vehicle remains under the manufacturer’s warranty, the California lemon law also applies to used cars. The remaining time on the manufacturer’s warranty will protect any current owner of the car. A warranty issued by a used car dealer would also qualify your vehicle for protection under California Lemon Laws. The law also covers vehicles that are repurchased as buybacks by the manufacturer and then resold with a new warranty that covers the defect. Read our FAQ on used car lemon law claims for more information.
Contact a Qualified California Lemon Law Attorney Today
Consumers who have been sold a lemon have the right to receive compensation under lemon laws in California and federal lemon laws. If you purchased or are leasing a vehicle that does not hold up to the standards of the manufacturer guaranteed, you may be eligible to seek compensation.
The Kostas Law Firm is dedicated to representing consumers in need of making a lemon law claim. If the dealer cannot fix your car, contact an experienced California lemon law attorney about your case today at (661) 206-2629 or submit an online form.