If you’ve purchased a defective vehicle, don’t despair — learn more about California’s lemon law and how hiring an attorney can help your case.
One of the largest investments that you will ever make will come when purchasing a car. While buying a new or gently used vehicle can be an exciting time, you could quickly become frustrated if you notice that the vehicle is not working properly. In the state of California, a new or lightly-used car that has mechanical defects could be covered by the California lemon law. Depending on the situation, this law could require the vehicle manufacturer to replace or refund your purchase in full.
Requirements to be Considered a Lemon
The lemon law in California is unique and is one that is not shared by many other states. While this law can help to protect a consumer, there are some requirements that need to be met in order for it to qualify for this protection. Some of the key requirements are as follows:
- The vehicle needs to have significant defects that impact your ability to drive it safely or that could impact the value of the vehicle. Before the car qualifies for a refund or replacement, the manufacturer will have a reasonable number of attempts to make repairs to fix the issue.
- The vehicle still needs to be under the original warranty provided by the manufacturer. This period of time can vary, but is typically limited to 3 years of 36,000 miles driven. You are also required to make a claim for repairs while still under the warranty period.
- The repair needs are required to be due to defects in manufacturing and cannot be due to driver error or poor maintenance.
When to Hire an Attorney
If you have purchased a car that you believe qualifies for replacement or refund under the lemon law in the state, it is important that you have proper legal support. If you are working with the manufacturer and your request for refund is denied, your attorney can offer various services. They will typically start by providing you with a consultation on your case. This will include reviewing past reports provided by the manufacturer, repair reports, and other documentation you may have. Based on this review, your attorney can determine whether your vehicle should qualify for support under the lemon law.
If it is determined that your car should be covered by lemon law, your attorney can help with further legal proceedings. If the manufacturer is unwilling to provide you with fair compensation, your attorney can move the case forward by filing legal notices and a lawsuit. This will include providing the other parties with all documentation and a request for compensation. Generally, the manufacturer will want to settle the case outside of the courtroom and your attorney can help you reach a fair settlement. If you are not able to get a fair settlement, your attorney can provide support for a civil trial. This will include helping you by preparing a case and presenting it in front of a judge or mediator.
Call a Lemon Law Attorney Today
If you have purchased a new or lightly-used car that is still covered by a warranty, excessive repair needs could be covered under California lemon law. If you have a car that should qualify for refund or replacement under this law, hiring an attorney is a good idea. These professionals will understand the lemon law and can provide any support you need to file a claim and receive fair support from the manufacturer of the vehicle.
However, it is important to remember that the lemon law does not cover all issues and does require specific circumstances in order for a valid claim. Knowing the details of your case and being aware of any deadlines or statutes is essential when filing a claim under the California lemon law.