If you live in California, you may be surprised to learn how the lemon law does (and does not) apply to your vehicle purchases. If you believe your car or truck is a lemon, it is important to confer with an experienced attorney to discuss your legal options. Below are a few things to understand about California lemon law:
When you purchase a vehicle from a retailer, the manufacturer’s warranty must be transferred to you. Only an authorized agent can make the repairs under the warranty. If the authorized agent is not successful in repairing the issue, the warranty typically provides that the consumer will receive a buyback or replacement. You should also be aware that many defects are not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, so it is important to read it carefully. If the vehicle did not come with a written warranty when you purchased it, there may be an implied warranty that covers the defect (unless the purchase was made on an “as is” basis). Your attorney can help you determine if an implied warranty exists.
Buyback & Replacement Vehicle
Under California’s lemon law, a consumer may have the right to have their defective vehicle repurchased or replaced if it cannot be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts. If the consumer and manufacturer can agree on a replacement vehicle, the replacement must have the warranties for the full warranty period. Additionally, the manufacturer is responsible for paying the tax, registration, license fees, and any other applicable charges for the replacement car or truck.
If a replacement is not possible, the manufacturer must repurchase the defective vehicle from the buyer. You are entitled to receive the entire amount paid for the vehicle, less a deduction for mileage since the date of purchase. It is critical to confer with an experienced California lemon law attorney in a buyback situation to ensure that you are compensated for everything you are entitled to under the law.
What defects are covered by lemon law?
Not all defects in your car or truck are covered by lemon law. Below are a few examples of common vehicle defects which provide you grounds to recover damages:
- Defective airbags
- Faulty antilock brakes
- Mildew in the ventilation system
- Transmission failures
- Deficient brake pedal
- Defective safety belts
- Electrical problems
- Malfunctioning engine computer
- Issues with steering
- Engine fires
- Stalling of the engine
- Uncontrollable acceleration/deceleration
If you purchased your vehicle in a private sale, California lemon law does not apply. It does not matter if the vehicle is still under the manufacturer’s warranty.
If you have purchased a car or truck that has been unusable during the warranty period due to numerous repairs, you may have a lemon. Contact one of the experienced California lemon law attorneys at the Office of Alex Cha & Associates today. We will ensure that the manufacturer of the vehicle is meeting its obligations under the law.