If you buy a new car only to find it breaks down or has a fault, you need to know what you can do about it. Fortunately, like all other states, California has a law to address this.
Lemon laws are designed to protect the consumer against “being sold a lemon.” If your new car has faults covered under the warranty that the seller cannot repair, which reduces your vehicle’s safety or market value, you may be able to get a replacement.
What does the California Lemon Law cover?
The law says the seller must replace the vehicle or refund you, minus an amount for the use you have got out of the car. That is if they cannot repair it.
You need to allow them at least four attempts to fix the fault. Unless the fault could cause severe injury or death, in which case they have only two tries. Alternatively, if your car has been out of service for 30 days, you can also seek to apply the law. Note that the 30 days do not need to be consecutive.
How long is the warranty under the California lemon law?
The law applies within the first 18 months or 18,000 miles, whichever comes first. So if you put 18,000 miles on your car within the first 16 months, the law would typically not cover you, although there may be alternative ways to take action.
You pay a lot of money for a brand new car, so it is crucial to ensure you get value for your dollars. If the dealer has sold you a dud, it is essential to understand your legal rights and how to enforce them.