Can I File A Lemon Law Claim?
Very few situations are as frustrating as spending thousands of dollars on a new vehicle only to have it break down soon after signing the paperwork. Fortunately, you may be in luck depending on the circumstances. California and federal laws allow eligible consumers to receive compensation for defective new vehicles, also called lemons, that cannot be repaired. Whether your car is legally considered a lemon depends on the defect, the number of repair attempts and other factors.
Am I Eligible For A California Lemon Law Claim?
In California, your new car is presumably a “lemon” if certain factors are present. You may be able to file a California lemon law claim if the following is true:
- Your vehicle suffers from a defect that substantially impairs its “value, use and safety.”
- The manufacturer has made a “reasonable” number of attempts to repair the issue. What is considered reasonable depends on the defect. You may also qualify if your vehicle has been out of service for a total of 30 days.
- Your vehicle is under the manufacturer’s warranty.
- Your vehicle was purchased and received repairs in California. There are exceptions for members of the military.
- Authorized agents made the repairs.
- Your vehicle was not purchased privately from a third party. The law covers retail purchases.
Additional factors could apply to your case. There are many misconceptions about the law. Speak to a lemon law attorney if you have questions or doubts about your eligibility.
What Types Of Compensation Are Available?
Compensation from a lemon law claim could cover thousands of dollars in damages, such as registration fees, financing fees, repair fees and more. There are also cases where you may be able to receive a replacement vehicle under a “lemon law buyback.”
Even if you are eligible to receive a lemon law buyback, most manufacturers are going to give you significant pushback rather than pay thousands of dollars in compensation. This means the process of recovering compensation is generally going to be very difficult to accomplish without a skilled attorney.
What Is Covered Under The California Lemon Law?
The California Lemon Law, which is also called the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, covers a wide range of vehicles. Passenger vehicles encompass many lemon law claims. However, vehicles covered by the law may also include:
- RVs/motor homes/fifth wheelers
Any time you have a passenger vehicle that has issues after issues and is still under the manufacturer’s warranty, it is in your best interest to find out if you have a legal remedy at hand.
What Are The Signs That I Have A Lemon?
There are many signs that could point to a lemon because there are many parts in a vehicle that may be affected. Typically, these issues involve:
- Electrical issues with the lights
- Blinkers (can denote other electrical issues)
- Window wipers (may indicate other issues with the vehicle)
- Brakes and braking systems
- Power steering and transmission problems
- Unexpected acceleration or stalling
- Mold in the air conditioner units, which can indicate water damage
Never buy a vehicle if the dealership is being cagey about providing the vehicle’s history.
Unfortunately, not all defects qualify for compensation under the California Lemon Law. You should speak with an attorney if you notice warning signs that your vehicle may be a lemon. Jim Kostas at Kostas Law Firm has extensive experience with lemon law cases and could help you determine which options may be available for your situation. He is tenacious in his pursuit of these claims and has shown again and again that persistence pays off.
What Other Options Are Available?
If you cannot recover compensation under the California Lemon Law, then you may still have other options. Even if you do not meet some of the requirements above, attorney Jim Kostas may have other avenues to pursue. These other paths can include:
- Breach of warranty claim: In some cases, it may be possible to file a breach of warranty claim against the manufacturer. Auto manufacturers must repair defects that are covered under the warranty, and failing to do so could be grounds to take legal action.
- Federal lemon law claim: Depending on the circumstances, you may qualify for compensation under the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, also called the “federal lemon law.”
You can ask Jim Kostas more about the eligibility required to seek compensation under this law as he has decades of experience with both state and federal lemon law cases.
Get A Free Lemon Law Consultation About Your Issue
Jim Kostas at Kostas Law Firm can listen to what happened, review your documentation and then help you determine whether you have options to pursue a claim under state or federal law. You can reach out for a free consultation by calling 661-202-2444 or by using this website’s online contact form. The firm is located in Palmdale and serves lemon law clients throughout Antelope Valley.