Our Lemon Attorney Explains Manufacturer’s Warranties and Lemon Claims
California’s lemon law protects consumers in the event that they buy a faulty product, otherwise called a lemon. When this faulty product is a car, the manufacturer may have to repurchase or replace the faulty vehicle. However, there are certain rules at play which determine whether a car qualifies as a lemon. Typically, a car must still be under the manufacturer’s warranty to be eligible for a buyback or replacement. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Below our lemon law attorney discuss these exceptions. Read on to learn more about filing a lemon law claim in California.
Filing a Lemon Law Claim in California
To be eligible for a lemon buyback or replacement, your car must meet certain criteria. In California, a car that is within 18 months of purchase or 18,000 miles driven is a lemon if:
- The manufacturer has made two or more attempts to repair a potentially lethal or excessively dangerous warranty problem
- The manufacturer has made four or more attempts to fix a recurring warranty problem
- The vehicle has been out of service for warranty repairs for 30 days or more
- The vehicle’s warranty problems are not due to the owner’s abuse of the vehicle
Can I File a Claim After the Car Factory Warranty Expires?
A warranty holds the manufacturer responsible for fixing problems covered by the warranty. If the manufacturer cannot fix the problem after a certain amount of attempts, the car is faulty. Many people discover they have purchased a faulty vehicle while the warranty is still active. This means that filing a lemon law claim in California generally occurs when the vehicle is still under warranty.
However, if the defect arose before your warranty expired, you may still be eligible for filing a lemon law claim. A vehicle’s status as a lemon depends on the amount of times the manufacturer attempted to fix a warranty defect. Even if your warranty expires, the vehicle may still be a lemon if the manufacturer has made an attempt to repair a warranty issue. Filing a lemon law claim in this situation will require proving the defect arose before the warranty expired. Keeping maintenance records is the best way to prove this when filing your claim.
California Lemon Law for Used Cars With No Warranty
Used cars may or may not come with a manufacturer’s warranty. A used car purchased without a warranty is not generally protected by California lemon law. However, a dealer who sells a used vehicle must disclose certain information to the buyer. For example, the buyer must be aware if the vehicle was a lemon that the dealer previously repurchased. A failure to disclose this information may be grounds for filing a lemon law claim.
Vehicles sold “as-is” are also afforded some protections under California warranty law. A car’s “as-is” status means it does not come with a manufacturer’s warranty. This allows dealers to disclaim responsibility for warranty problems. However, the dealer is still responsible for express warranties given for the vehicle. These express warranties consist of the information given about the state of the vehicle at the time of purchase. Undisclosed issues or false information given about a used car can be grounds for filing a legal claim.
Dealing With a Faulty Car? Contact Our Lemon Law Attorney
California’s lemon law can be difficult to understand, especially when questions about warranty come into play. If you are dealing with a faulty vehicle and want to learn more about filing a lemon law claim, contact our offices today. We can discuss your situation and rights as a consumer in a free consultation. To schedule a meeting, call us at (661) 206-2629 or leave a message online.