Why Do You Need a Lawyer?
Information From San Diego Lemon Law Attorneys
A vehicle is an important investment for any consumer. If you end up with a lemon, it could jeopardize your life and your financial stability. Sometimes even if you shop for a vehicle with the best of intentions, you can end up with a lemon. Fortunately, California consumers have the lemon law on their side. The California lemon law provides consumers with protection from vehicles that do not conform to warranties. However, navigating the system on your own is a difficult task. The California lemon law lawyers at Rosner, Barry & Babbitt, LLP can help you.
What Is The Lemon Law?
The California lemon law is a body of consumer protection law that covers new vehicles and used vehicles that come with a manufacturer’s warranty. If a manufacturer or dealer cannot repair a defective vehicle so it conforms with the terms of the warranty within a “reasonable” number of repair attempts while the warranty is in effect, the law requires that the manufacturer or dealer either replace the vehicle or reimburse the purchase price.
What Do You Need to Have a Winning Lemon Law Claim?
Ultimately, you, the consumer, need three things to have a winning lemon law claim:
- A defect
- A defect that substantially impairs the use value or safety of the vehicle to you and
- A reasonable number of repair attempts
The easiest way to prove a defect is when the vehicle is actually in a defective condition. Once you have given the dealer a reasonable number of repair attempts and the defect comes back, contact us. We can determine both whether or not the defect is substantial and how many attempts are “reasonable” under the circumstances. If you are dealing with brake failure, you may only need one or two attempts. If the issue is more of an annoyance, such as a faulty power lock system, your case will need the four attempts.
Lemon Law Presumptions
The law will presume the manufacturer has had a reasonable opportunity to repair your vehicle if:
- The manufacturer or dealer have made four or more attempts to repair the same problem or the vehicle has been out of service for more than 30 days total for repair
- The four repair attempts or 30 days out of service happen within the first 18,000 miles or 18 months, whichever comes first
- The vehicle’s problems are covered under the warranty, reduce the vehicle’s usability, and the consumer did not cause them
- The customer has complied with the warranty and notified the manufacturer as needed
However, these presumptions are “rebuttable.” If the manufacturer has an arbitration program, you have to go through its arbitration program to use these presumptions. We do not recommend using the arbitration programs. You are not required to do so to file and win your lemon law case. The most important reason why you should not use an arbitration program is because if you lose in arbitration, the manufacturers can use this against you at trial to argue that your vehicle is not a lemon. They never tell you this when they try to steer you to their arbitration programs.
If you have any questions about this or anything else, contact an experienced lemon law firm like Rosner, Barry & Babbitt, LLP. We are California lemon lawyers who can advise you of your rights.