As a vehicle owner in California, you’ve likely heard of the California Lemon Law and manufacturer’s warranty. But understanding the distinction between these two protections can be tricky. Here’s what you need to know to better ensure that your vehicle is adequately protected.
While the manufacturer’s warranty and the Lemon Law are two distinct points, there are some areas that overlap.
A manufacturer’s warranty, as the name implies, is a promise by the manufacturer to stand behind their product. In terms of vehicles, warranties generally cover any repairs or replacements needed due to defects or malfunctions within a certain period after purchase. However, it’s crucial to read your warranty document carefully, as coverage can vary significantly between manufacturers and specific models.
California’s Lemon Law comes into play when your new or used vehicle, under warranty, has a persistent defect that the dealer or manufacturer cannot fix after a reasonable number of attempts. The law’s protection extends beyond the manufacturer’s warranty. If your vehicle is a “lemon,” you are entitled to a replacement or refund.
When defects occur
Manufacturer’s warranties have a set expiration, typically based on mileage or years from purchase. The warranty will take care of covered repairs as long as the vehicle is still under warranty. The Lemon Law comes into the picture if the vehicle can’t be fixed after a reasonable number of attempts. It can lead to the buyer getting a replacement vehicle or a refund of their purchase price because of the inability to fix the vehicle so it functions as intended.
Anyone who has a vehicle that’s considered a lemon under California law should be prepared to take legal action. This could be a considerable battle, so having someone on your side who understands the law and how it’s applied can be beneficial.