Is Your Vehicle a “Lemon”?
*The purpose of this article is for sharing information only and is not meant establish any attorney-client relationship and is not to be construed as legal advice. If you have any specific questions, please contact us through the phone number or email address provided.*
The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act
In 1970, California enacted The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act requiring all manufacturers to repurchase or replace faulty products they failed to fix after a “reasonable number” of repair attempts. The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act applies to many consumer transactions, not just vehicle purchases.
California Lemon Law: An Overview
The California Lemon Law 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.
Although there is no set number for “reasonable repair attempts,” California’s Lemon Law Presumption contains guidelines for determining when a “reasonable number” of repair attempts has been made.
The California Lemon Law covers the following new and used vehicles sold or leased in California that come with the manufacturer’s new vehicle warranty:
- Cars, pickup trucks, vans, and SUVs.
- The chassis, chassis cab, and drivetrain of a motorhome.
- Dealer-owned vehicles and demonstrators.
- Many vehicles purchased or leased primarily for business use.
- Vehicles purchased or leased for personal, family, or household purposes.
Lemon Law Presumptions
Within the Song-Beverly Act, there is a presumption guideline wherein it is presumed that a vehicle is a “lemon” if the following criteria are met within 18 months of delivery to the buyer or lessee or 18,000 miles on the vehicle’s odometer, whichever comes first, but not limited to:
• 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 (not necessarily all at the same time) 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 required by the warranty materials or by the owner’s manual, the consumer has to directly notify the manufacturer about the problem(s), preferably in writing. The notice must be sent to the address shown in the warranty or owner’s manual (for bullets 1 and 2).
The California Lemon Law applies throughout the duration of the vehicle manufacturer’s original warranty period. Consult your vehicle manufacturer’s warranty manual for warranty periods pertaining to your vehicle.
At the Law Offices of Alex Cha & Associates, for over 15 years, we strive to protect the rights of the consumers. If you are going through a difficult time due to lack of dedicated attorneys or would like to get more information on Lemon Law please call us and consult with us for free.
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Law Offices of Alex Cha & Associates
707 Wilshire Blvd 46th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017
image credit: http://ecowallpapers.net/lemon/
Source: California Civil Code Section 1793.22(b).