Lemon Law

Lemon Law Lawyer San Diego, CA

A purchaser or lessee of a motor vehicle has various rights under both state and federal law if the vehicle does not perform as provided under an express warranty. Warranty law can be complex, and it is impossible to describe comprehensively all of the law in a brief space. The following comments briefly explain the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act and what is popularly known as the “Lemon Law.”

Lemon Law in San Diego- Coverage For New Cars – The “Song-Beverly” Law

The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act provides protection for consumers who lease or buy new motor vehicles. The law requires that if the manufacturer or its representative in this state, such as an authorized dealer, is unable to service or repair a new motor vehicle to meet the terms of an express written warranty after a reasonable number of repair attempts, the manufacturer is required promptly to replace the vehicle or return the purchase price to the lessee or buyer. The purchase price that must be returned includes the price paid for manufacturer-installed items and transportation but does not include the price paid for non-manufacturer items installed by the dealer.

The lessee or buyer is completely free to choose whether to accept a replacement or a refund. Whatever the choice, the manufacturer is also responsible to pay for sales or use tax; license, registration, and other official fees; and incidental damages that the lessee or buyer may have incurred such as finance charges, repair, towing, and rental car costs.

The lessee or buyer may be charged for the use of the vehicle regardless of whether the vehicle is replaced or the purchase price is refunded. The amount that may be charged for use is determined by multiplying the actual price of the new vehicle by a fraction having as its denominator 120,000 and as its numerator the number of miles traveled by the vehicle before it was first brought in for correction of the problem. For example, if the car had traveled 6,000 miles before it was first brought in for correction of the problem, the lessee or buyer could be charged 5% (6,000/120,000 = 5%) of the purchase price for usage.

The law applies for the entire period of your warranty. For example, if your vehicle is covered by a three-year warranty and you discover a defect after two years, the manufacturer will have to replace the vehicle or reimburse you as outlined above if the manufacturer or its representative is unable to conform the vehicle to the express warranty after a reasonable number of attempts to do so.  It’s imperative that you act promptly to try to resolve the problem fairly and quickly without legal action if possible.

Lemon Law in San Diego – What is a reasonable number of repair attempts?

What is considered a reasonable number of repair attempts will depend on the circumstances including the seriousness of the defect. For example, one or two repair attempts may be considered reasonable for serious safety defects such as brake failure, depending on the exact situation.

A special provision, often called the “Lemon Law,” helps determine what is a reasonable number of repair attempts for problems that substantially impair the use, value, or safety of the vehicle. The “Lemon Law” applies to these problems if they arise during the first 18 months after the consumer received delivery of the vehicle or within the first 18,000 miles on the odometer, whichever occurs first. During the first 18 months or 18,000 miles, the “Lemon Law” presumes that a manufacturer has had a reasonable number of attempts to repair the vehicle if either:

(1) The same problem results in a condition that is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury if the vehicle is driven and the problem has been subject to repair two or more times by the manufacturer or its agents, and the buyer or lessee has at least once directly notified the manufacturer of the need for the repair of the problem as provided in the warranty or owner’s manual; or

(2) The same problem has been subject to repair four or more times by the manufacturer or its agents and the buyer has at least once directly notified the manufacturer of the need for the repair of the problem as provided in the warranty or owner’s manual; or

(3) The vehicle is out of service because of the repair of any number of problems by the manufacturer or its agents for a cumulative total of more than 30 days since delivery of the vehicle.

The “Lemon Law” presumption is a guide, not an absolute rule. A judge or arbitrator can assume that the manufacturer has had a reasonable number of chances to repair the vehicle if all of the conditions are met. The manufacturer, however, has the right to try to prove that it should have the chance to attempt additional repairs, and the consumer has the right to show that fewer repair attempts are reasonable under the circumstances.

Be sure to check your warranty and owner’s manual for instructions. You may be required to directly notify the manufacturer of the problem(s). It is a good idea to send your written notice to the manufacturer at the address shown in the warranty or owner’s manual by certified mail, return receipt requested so that you have proof that your letter was received. Keep a copy of all correspondence.

Lemon Law in San Diego – Who is covered?

The law applies to a new motor vehicle that is bought or used primarily for personal, family or household purposes. The law also applies to a new motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight under 10,000 pounds that is bought or used primarily for business purposes by a person, including a partnership, limited liability company, corporation, association, or any other legal entity, to which not more than five motor vehicles are registered in this state.

Lemon Law in San Diego – What is a new motor vehicle?

The law discussed above applies to “new motor vehicles.” The term “new motor vehicle” includes not only new motor vehicles but also demonstrators; the chassis, chassis cab, and propulsion system of a new motor home; and any other motor vehicle sold with a manufacturer’s new car warranty. For example, a two-year old used car sold with the remaining one year portion of a manufacturer’s three-year new car warranty would be treated as a new motor vehicle. The term “new motor vehicle,” however, does not include motorcycles or exclusively off-road vehicles.

Lemon Law in San Diego- Coverage for vehicles that are not “new”

Although the special provisions discussed above apply to new motor vehicles, Song-Beverly has many general rules that apply to any consumer product sold with an express written warranty. As a result, there is important coverage for motorcycles, the living quarters of a mobile home, used vehicles sold with a dealer’s express written warranty, “lemon” vehicles repurchased by the manufacturer and sold to consumers with an express written warranty covering the defect, and vehicles sold with a service contract.

A full description of warranty rights is beyond the scope of this message, but you should be aware that coverage is not identical to the coverage for new motor vehicles. For example, a warrantor who is unable to conform a consumer product to its express warranty within a reasonable number of attempts is required to replace the goods or refund the purchase price less an amount attributable to the consumer’s use. Unlike the special rules on new motor vehicles, however, there is no set formula for determining the charge for the consumer’s use before the discovery of the defect, and the Lemon Law presumption does not apply.

Choosing the right representation is important.  Call Attorneys Cameron Gharabiklou and Nicholas J. Lewis today to for a free consultation.  The Justice Law Group does not require payment by our clients for attorneys’ fees during the course of our representation.  If we take your case, we agree to be paid attorneys’ fees only if we win a recovery for you through settlement or court proceedings.  We believe in our ability to achieve results for our clients.  We would like to talk about how we will fight for you. At Justice Law Group you won’t be passed to a secretary or paralegal, instead you will speak to the attorneys who will be handling your case all the way through trial when necessary.  Call us today. 858.412.0019 or contact@justice-lawgroup.com

 

Lemon Law in San Diego – How Justice Law Group Can Help with Your Lemon in California

The Justice Law Group of San Diego will do everything we can to help you during this extremely difficult time. You need to know your rights are being protected, while you are trying to take care of everything else that comes with being sold a “lemon” through no fault of your own.

Choosing the right representation is important. Call San Diego Lawyers Cameron J. Gharabiklou and Nicholas J. Lewis today for a free consultation. The Justice Law Group of San Diego does not require payment by our clients for attorneys’ fees during the course of our representation. If we take your case, we agree to be paid attorneys’ fees only if we win a recovery for you through settlement or court proceedings. We understand the strains that lemon law matters can bring, and we want our clients to know we are as invested in their case as they are.  We believe in our ability to achieve results for our clients. Substantial settlements in lemon law matters can be achieved. Call us today.

 

Lemon Law in San Diego – Frequently Asked Questions About The Lemon Law in California

Lemon Law in San Diego – What qualifies as a lemon?

The lemon law applies to “new motor vehicles.” The term “new motor vehicle” includes not only new motor vehicles but also demonstrators; the chassis, chassis cab, and propulsion system of a new motor home; and any other motor vehicle sold with a manufacturer’s new car warranty.

How soon after purchase does my vehicle need to present the defect?

As long as your warranty period was in effect at the first sign of defect, then you are likely covered under California law.

How many times do I need to take my car to the dealership for repair before I pursue legal action or contact an attorney

There is magic number of repairs or attempted repairs required to qualify for lemon law protection. The key language states that a “reasonable number” of attempts should be made. This can vary based on the severity of the problems.

I have a vehicle that is a lemon, what information should I collect?

Make sure you maintain all of the documents outlining any agreements you entered into, including the parties involved, the date, and what was agreed to.  Also, get the name and contact information for any witnesses. Keep a record of all correspondence with the manufacturer or certified repair facility.

I want to talk to a lawyer, how much will it cost?

To speak to a San Diego Lawyer at the Justice Law Group it is FREE. The Justice Law Group of San Diego does not require payment by our clients for attorneys’ fees during the course of our representation. If we take your case, we agree to be paid attorneys’ fees only if we win a recovery for you through settlement or court proceedings.

What can I expect to gain from hiring an attorney?

We can fully evaluate your damages and inform you about how damages are not only based on payments you have made on the vehicle, but also any other costs associated with having a vehicle that is a lemon such as repairs, rental cars and other out of pocket expenses. The Lemon Law Lawyers at the Justice Law Group of San Diego will take care of every detail so you can concentrate on the most important part – yourself and your family.

I have never been involved in a lawsuit before, should I be concerned?

Absolutely not. The Justice Law Group of San Diego may not even need to file a lawsuit. It is sometimes possible to reach settlement with the manufacturer before filing the suit.  If your case does go through the litigation process there is nothing to be worried about, the Justice Law Group will protect your rights and provide aggressive representation.

Lemon Law in San Diego – What You Should Do about a Lemon in California

First, you should keep thorough records of everything that pertains to the matter, whether it be photos, notes, written or verbal communication with the other party, witnesses, attorneys or insurance companies. Make sure you keep track of every occasion where you contact the dealer about your car or have repairs made to your car. These records will make your case much stronger should you choose to pursue legal action.

Second, make sure you take care of yourself and your family. Do whatever that takes including demanding the use of a dealer provide rental car during the repair process.

Third, you should contact a San Diego Lawyer to find out what options you have.  Speaking with an experienced lawyer at the Justice Law Group will cost you nothing. We offer free consultations where we can meet with you and discuss your case. Additionally, if we take your case, you pay no attorney fees, unless and until we recover payment for you. You have nothing to lose by calling the Justice Law Group because we will take care of every detail of your case and can help put you in touch with the correct professionals who will aid in getting you the recovery and compensation you deserve. Call us today. 858.412.0019 or contact@justice-lawgroup.com