What Vehicles Does the California Lemon Law Cover?
What should you do if your car has a mechanical problem that won’t seem to go away? Perhaps you’ve taken the car to the dealership, maybe even a few times, and they do not know what to do. Are you stuck with this lemon? Is there something you can do?
The California Lemon Law exists to help people in similar situations. Does the California Lemon Law give you recourse? This guide will help you understand the lemon law and what vehicles this law covers.
What is the California Lemon Law?
According to the state’s Office of the Attorney General (AG), the California Lemon Law, Civil Code § 1793.22, “protects you when your vehicle is defective and cannot be repaired after a ‘reasonable’ number of attempts.” In these cases, the manufacturer must either replace the vehicle or buy it back from you, whichever you decide.
The Lemon Law, also known as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, requires dealers to identify the vehicles they buy back as “lemons” to any new potential buyers. As such, they must designate the vehicle as a “lemon law buyback”.
What Vehicles Does Lemon Law Cover in California?
The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) lists the following vehicles as eligible for California Lemon Law protection:
- New and used vehicles sold or leased in California with a new vehicle manufacturer’s warranty.
- Dealer-owned vehicles.
- Most vehicles that are sold or leased for business, personal, or family purposes.
- The drivetrain, chassis, and chassis cab of a motorhome.
It’s important to mention that the Lemon Law protects all California residents, including members of the Armed forces who are stationed in the state. The Lemon Law also applies to used vehicles and any remaining time left on the manufacturer’s new car warranty transfers to the new owner of the car.
How Does a Car Qualify for the Lemon Law in California?
Generally, a vehicle must meet three qualifications to qualify for California Lemon Law protection:
- Vehicle must have a significant impairment affecting its operation, safety, or value.
- Problems with the vehicle must have been covered by the warranty.
- The owner must have repeatedly attempted to get the vehicle repaired, or the vehicle must have been in the shop for an unreasonable number of days.
If you feel you’ve purchased a lemon, you may wish to exercise your rights under the California Lemon Law. Don’t be surprised, however, if the dealership refuses to repurchase or replace the vehicle. That’s why it’s always a good idea to seek the professional counsel of a lemon law attorney.
Damages for a Lemon
In addition to seeking a replacement vehicle or the cost of your lemon, you can seek other damages in a Lemon Law claim, as well. These include:
- Incidental damages, including towing, car rentals, costs of registration renewals, storage charged, and more.
- Collateral charges, such license and registration fees and sales tax
- Attorney’s fees if your claim is successful
In addition, if you can demonstrate a wilful violation of the law by the vehicle manufacturer, you can seek twice your actual damages as a civil penalty.
Contact a Orange County Lemon law Attorney Today
If the car company refuses to comply with the law, there may be no other option but to resolve the matter through litigation. Don’t get stuck with a lemon. Make the car company abide by the law and seek the justice you deserve by contacting a qualified Orange County Lemon Law attorney now.