If you have purchased or leased a vehicle, either brand new, certified pre- owned, or used, that has been subject to multiple repairs for the same problem under the original manufacturer’s warranty, your car may be a lemon. Even though the repair costs were covered under the manufacturer’s warranty, the safety, value, and use of your vehicle may have been affected and the CA Lemon Law can help you get relief.
The California Lemon Law, also known as the Song-Beverly Act, requires a vehicle manufacturer that is unable to repair a vehicle to conform to the manufacturer’s express warranty after a “reasonable number of repair attempts” to replace or repurchase the vehicle.
Lemon Law Presumption (California Civil Code Section 1793.22(b) )
Although there is no set number for “reasonable number of repair attempts,” California’s Lemon Law Presumption contains guidelines for determining when a “reasonable number” of repair attempts have made.
There is a presumption that the vehicle is a “lemon” if the following criteria are met within 18 months of delivery to the buyer/lessee OR 18,000 miles on the vehicles odometer, whichever comes first:
- The manufacturer or its agents have made two or more attempts to repair a warranty problem that results in a condition that is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury if the vehicle is driven.
- The manufacturer or its agents have made four or more attempts to repair the same warranty problem; or
- The vehicle has been out of service for more than 30 days (doesn’t have to be consecutive days can add multiple visits together) while being repaired for any number of warranty problems; or
- The problems are covered by the warranty, substantially reduce the vehicle’s use, value, or safety to the consumer and are not caused by abuse of the vehicle.
If these criteria are met, the Lemon Law presumes that the buyer or lessee is entitled to a replacement vehicle or a refund of the purchase price. However, this presumption is rebuttable. The manufacturer may show that the criteria has not been met (for example, because the problems are minor) and therefore, the buyer or lessee is not entitled to a replacement vehicle or refund.
It is important to note that the above conditions are not always required or needed to have a claim. It is best that you utilize the benefits of hiring our firm by contacting us immediately for a free consultation.