What is the ‘Lemon Law Presumption?
California law protects consumers in many different ways, including consumers who purchase vehicles that simply do not work as they should. When a car you purchased has problem after problem, it is commonly known as a “lemon,” and the laws protecting you in this situation are called “lemon laws.”
How do you prove that your car is a lemon, so you have rights under the law? In most cases, all you have to do is meet the criteria for California’s lemon law presumption. However, what exactly is this presumption, and how do you meet it?
Legal Presumptions in General
A legal presumption means that under certain circumstances, a court can presume a fact or assertion is true without any additional evidence needed. Certain facts must be true for a presumption to arise, and then the burden of proof shifts to the other party to challenge the presumption. Establishing a presumption generally makes a claim much easier for a plaintiff.
Lemon Law Presumptions
Each state sets its own lemon laws, as well as presumptions. In California, the law presumes that a vehicle is a lemon if, during the first 18,000 miles or 18 months after you bought the vehicle, any of the following are true:
● You had to get at least two repairs for serious safety problems that could cause serious injuries or death
● You had to get four or more repairs for a repeated non-serious safety issue
● The vehicle was not driveable due to issues or repairs for 30 days or more for any combination of issues
If you can show that any of the above were true in your situation, California courts should presume that your vehicle is a lemon. This means you automatically meet the burden of proof that you have a lemon, and that the vehicle manufacturer had enough chances to fix the issue. Then, the manufacturer is the one that must prove differently.
Can You Bring a Lemon Law Claim without a Presumption?
Sometimes, you might believe your vehicle is a lemon and think you deserve relief for your stress, but your situation does not fit one of the three scenarios to meet the presumption. It is important to know that it is still possible to have a lemon law claim without the lemon law presumption in place. Never ignore the issue simply because you don’t meet the specific facts for the presumption.
Instead, you should discuss your options under the lemon law with an experienced California lemon law attorney. They can review your situation and advise you on the possibility of a successful lemon law claim.
Lemon law claims can result in valuable refunds, replacements, and other relief for consumers who had to deal with the headache of owning a lemon. If you are constantly in the repair shop with your relatively new vehicle, it is always worth it to discuss your rights with an attorney. Do not rely on online research about presumptions to decide whether you have a claim – let an experienced legal professional do so for you.