Prevailing Through Endurance

How long do I have to file a lemon law claim in California?

On Behalf of | Nov 8, 2022 | Lemon Law

Whether it is your first or fourth time, a car purchase is a significant milestone. However, what should be an easy process can quickly turn into a nightmare when the car begins exhibiting one problem after the other. Through no fault of your own, you could have spent your hard-earned money on a “lemon” vehicle. 

Whether it is faulty parts, manufacturing defects or human errors, a lemon car can put your life as well as other road users at risk. If you buy a car that is constantly breaking down, you may be eligible for a lemon law claim. Here’s what you should know: 

But first, how do you prove that the car you bought is a lemon?

When the defects substantially impair the car’s safety and/or value, it may rise to the level of a lemon. However, to be eligible for a claim, you must establish that the car satisfies California’s lemon law criteria

Here are some of the defects that may qualify your vehicle for a lemon claim:

  • Tampered odometer
  • Faulty brakes
  • Mechanical and electrical faults
  • Airbag malfunctions

For the vehicle to legally qualify as a lemon under California law, you must have made several reasonable attempts to fix the defects. The vehicle may also qualify as a lemon if it remains in the repair shop for at least 30 days. 

So what is the statute of limitations for filing a lemon claim in California?

According to California statute of limitations for lemon law, you have up to four years to file a civil lawsuit against the car manufacturer (if you bought a brand new unit) or seller. However, it is important to understand that this statute of limitations period does not begin on the date you purchased the lemon vehicle. Rather, it begins on the date you reasonably discovered that the defects qualified the vehicle as a lemon. 

Dealing with persistent car problems can be frustrating, to say the least. If you bought a car that has the same repair issue over and over, you may consider pursuing a lemon car law claim