California Lemon Law FAQs
When you buy a new vehicle, you are reasonable to expect that it will run well, be dependable, and will hopefully run for several years without any major problems. You have just spent thousands of dollars of your hard-earned money. In fact, this is probably one of the biggest purchases of your life.
So when you discover that your vehicle is defective – when you discover that it is a “lemon” – you are probably confused and upset. “Why did the dealer sell me a defective car?” “What do I do now?”
At the Law Offices of Jack L. Chegwidden, we help people just like you who have bought new or used vehicles, only to discover that there is something seriously wrong with them.
We offer a free consultation. To set up a time to meet at our office in Encino, please call us at 866-544-4072. Otherwise, complete this online contact form and someone from our office will contact you soon.
Click on the links below for answers to the some of the most common questions we receive.
- What are the lemon laws in the state of California?
- Do the California lemon laws protect both purchased and leased vehicles?
- Does California lemon law protect used vehicles?
- Does the lemon law apply to vehicles that have more than 18,000 miles?
- Are there any given numbers of repairs that are necessary in order to have a valid lemon law claim?
- Is it necessary to use the manufacturer’s authorized arbitration program to resolve my claims?
- If my vehicle qualifies under the California lemon law, what will I receive?
- What if I take my vehicle to the dealer-authorized service facility and no actual repairs were done?
- Does my vehicle need to be serviced or repaired at the same dealership where I purchased or leased my vehicle?
- If the manufacturer buys my vehicle back, will this affect my credit?
California’s lemon law protects the consumer of a leased or purchased vehicle with a manufacturer’s warranty, when the vehicle cannot be repaired within a reasonable number of attempts or if a dealership is unable to repair the vehicle’s defect at all.
Yes. The repairs must occur within the original or extended warranty period.
Yes, if the vehicle was sold with a warranty and the problems occurred during the warranty period.
Yes. Any vehicle experiencing warranty-related problems may qualify under the California lemon law for repurchase or replacement.
5) Are there any given numbers of repairs that are necessary in order to have a valid lemon law claim?
There must be a reasonable number of repair attempts for a particular problem. California lemon law does not specify what a “reasonable” number of repair attempts may be. Generally speaking, if a problem has required at least four repairs for the same defect, that usually would be considered a sufficient number of repair attempts. If the repair attempts relate to a “safety-related” problem, fewer repairs may be required to qualify. Also, if the vehicle spends a cumulative 30 days in the repair shop for warranty-related issues, this, too, may qualify your vehicle under California’s lemon law. The aspects of each case require individual investigation to determine if your vehicle qualifies under California’s lemon law.
6) Is it necessary to use the manufacturer’s authorized arbitration program to resolve my claims?
No. It is not necessary as a purchaser or lessee of a vehicle to first participate in the manufacturer’s arbitration program prior to pursuing your claim.
Consumer and some business vehicles that qualify under California lemon law are entitled to a refund or replacement vehicle (less mileage deduction) plus registration fees, towing and rental expenses. It is the choice of the purchaser or lessee to select whether or not they wish the refund or replacement. The manufacturer is entitled to a “mileage offset,” which is based on the miles of use related to qualifying repairs, which qualified it as a lemon.
8) What if I take my vehicle to the dealer-authorized service facility and no actual repairs were done?
Any time you take your vehicle in for a warranty-related problem, it counts as a repair attempt.
9) Does my vehicle need to be serviced or repaired at the same dealership where I purchased or leased my vehicle?
No. All authorized dealers operate as the manufacturer’s representative, or agent, with regard to warranty-related repairs. Any authorized dealer can perform warranty work on your vehicle. This means you should not take your vehicle to an independent repair shop, which is not an authorized dealer facility for repairs if you have a “lemon.”
No. You are simply receiving a refund or a replacement vehicle for a product that was defective. There is no adverse credit reporting related to your claim.