California Lemon Law: Why More Vehicles are Eligible than Ever


In a practical sense, around 5% of automobiles, boats, and motorbikes sold in California are lemons. In the last four years, there have been more than 60,000,000 sold cars in the U.S. In California, more than 150,000 sold vehicles are lemons. But the annual figure of lemon machines is higher than 200,000 that include RVs, SUVs, boats, and motorcycles. The conservative figure suggests that 1% of vehicles are lemons in California. However, experts believe that the real percentage is higher.

More Interesting Stats

  • California reports more than 3700 vehicle incidents and deaths. Most of the vehicle incidents in California revolve around passenger cars. 
  • Over 6 million auto accidents happen each year in the U.S.
  • Auto accidents account for up to 2.75 million injured people.
  • Up to 40,000 lives are lost every year due to auto accidents in the U.S.
  • California state bears the loss of more than $75 billion due to auto accidents each year 
  • The total annual loss of auto accidents amounts to 230 billion in the U.S.

What Constitutes the Lemon Law?

According to the California Lemon Law, consumers have the option to get a replacement or refund if their vehicle is eligible as a lemon. Under the Lemon Law, the manufacturer will cover the repair expenses and legal charges. Typically, it is easy to figure out if the vehicle has a valid claim. But things get tricky when the consumer enforces its claim for negotiation or in a court of law.

In layman’s terms, consumers become eligible for compensation when they buy or lease a used or new vehicle in California with a warranty and face an ongoing issue and the dealer fails to make required repairs. It is vital to understand that the California Lemon law is applicable to not just cars but RVs, SUVs, vans, trucks, boats, motorcycles, and business vehicles.

Your Vehicle and the California Lemon List

The fact of the matter is that Lemon vehicles come in different sizes, shapes, and models. It could be the most luxurious SUV or inexpensive sedan with the necessary bells and whistles. In short, your lemon vehicle can be any kind of vehicles like sedans and cars, SUVs, trucks, motorcycles, boats, and trailers.

Common lemon issues revolve around transmission lunging, jumping, lurching, and jerky shifting. It can also be about oil leakage, coolant, water, or fuel. Other areas of issues include engine failure, sluggish performance, power loss, electrical system problems, brake overheating or failure. But the issue can also be about vibration in the transmission, brakes, steering column, or axles.

Is Your Vehicle Eligible as a Lemon?

The truth is that there is no generalized answer. The California Lemon law mandates substantial defects that involve value, use, and safety issues. Safety defects are quite common and put passengers, drivers, and nearby drivers in danger. 

Most defects come down to whether or not it impacts a vehicle’s ability to drive as it was supposed to be in real-time. Common defects involve:

  • Air conditioning or heating systems
  • Back up cameras
  • Brakes
  • Doors
  • Electrical systems
  • Engines
  • Steering
  • Suspension
  • Transmissions
  • Water leaks
  • Windows

Lemon Eligibility and Models

Data suggests that any vehicle can be eligible for lemon and most lemons are found in specific models. When it comes to buying consumer goods to fulfill basic every need, consumers want the best bargains. It is crucial to take into account that your vehicle doesn’t have to be new or come with low mileage to get protection. For instance, if your car Ford has more than 50,000 miles left and you took the vehicle for repair during the warranty period, it would probably fall under the umbrella of lemon law.

Sum Up

The Lemon law in California offers protection to California’s vehicle owners but it also comes with tough eligibility requirements. In many scenarios, consumers opt for professional legal guidance to improve their chances to get a replacement or refund.

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