Our California Lemon Law Attorney Explains Warranties

Person processing a California lemon law buybackCalifornia and federal laws allow consumers to receive compensation for damages caused by a chronically defective vehicle, often called a lemon. For many consumers, owning a lemon is a nightmare. Multiple repair attempts, thousands of dollars in repair expenses and an inability to meet transportation needs can cause all sorts of problems.

If your vehicle is a lemon, then your case must meet certain requirements before a successful lemon claim can proceed. One of those requirements is that your vehicle generally needs to be under the original manufacturer’s warranty.

What Is a New Vehicle Warranty?

Manufacturers use new vehicle warranties to guarantee their vehicles will perform correctly for a certain number of years or miles. You should receive a new vehicle warranty if your vehicle was a retail purchase, meaning you bought it from the manufacturer’s dealership.

Warranties cover replacements or repairs on certain auto parts and may have additional features, such as roadside assistance or bumper-to-bumper coverage. For instance, powertrain warranties may offer coverage for engines and transmissions.

Does My Vehicle Need to Be Under Warranty for a Lemon Law Claim?

In most cases, your vehicle needs to be under the original manufacturer’s warranty to file a lemon law claim. However, there may be exceptions to the rule. There is an exception where you can still file a claim for a serious defect if you sought multiple repair attempts before the warranty’s expiration date.

If you believe the defect occurred while your vehicle was still under the manufacturer’s warranty, then we encourage you to contact our California lemon law attorney for a free consultation.

Does a Warranty Make Me Eligible for a Federal Lemon Law Claim?

With a federal lemon law claim, consumers may hold the vehicle’s manufacturer accountable for refusing to abide by the terms of a warranty. In lemon law cases, the manufacturer may refuse to repair or replace parts covered in the warranty. Additionally, the manufacturer may have sold a consumer a vehicle that does not meet basic quality standards.

The federal lemon law, also known collectively as the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), may allow consumers the option to hold manufacturers accountable for their damages.

Under the federal lemon law, you may be able to file a lemon law claim if the manufacturer will not repair or replace a part covered by the warranty, the vehicle does not meet basic quality standards, or the vehicle’s warranty does not meet the requirements of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act or UCC

Can I File a California Lemon Law Claim if My Vehicle Is Under Warranty?

You may be able to file a lemon law claim under California’s lemon law, also called the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, if your vehicle is under the manufacturer’s warranty. However, your case would also need to meet some other requirements.

  • Your vehicle would need to have a defect that substantially impairs its “value, use and safety.”
  • The manufacturer made a reasonable number of attempts to correct the defect. However, what is considered “reasonable” varies on a case by case basis.
  • You bought the vehicle and received repairs in California. However, there may be exceptions if you are a military servicemember.
  • Authorized agents made repairs on your vehicle.
  • Your vehicle was a retail purchase.
  • Your vehicle is within 18 months of purchase or at 18,000 miles or less of use.

Our California lemon law attorney can help you determine whether you can file a lemon claim under state law. Contact us for a free consultation.

Should I File a Lemon Law Claim?

Lemons are an expensive problem for consumers. If you have a lemon, then filing a claim may help you cover your repair costs, registration fees and financing fees. You may also be able to receive a replacement vehicle.

Filing a lemon law claim could help you recover thousands of dollars in expenses, especially if you sought numerous repairs and suffered other damages from owning a defective vehicle. It costs nothing to speak with our California lemon law attorney at Kostas Law Firm. To determine whether you can file a federal or California lemon law claim, call us at (661) 886-0235 or use the contact form on our site.