Lemon Laws in California

When you purchase a car, you want it to be built to last. Unfortunately, not every car is made the way it should be, and many a frustrated driver has run into car problems with a purchase they thought was a good buy. Luckily, when you buy in California, the law has your back. Lemon laws in California are meant to protect you from a bad car purchase by forcing the dealer to buy back your car under certain circumstances. Here’s what you need to know about the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act of 1970 and the protection it provides!

What Vehicles Qualifies under California Lemon Law? 

In order to qualify under lemon laws in California, your vehicle must have been purchased in the Golden State and must still be under warranty from the seller. All new vehicles qualify under this provision, as well as any used cars that received a warranty from either the dealer or the manufacturer. Remember, though, only cars that were physically purchased in California qualify for protection. If you left the state to buy, you’re out of luck. Next, the dealer must have made multiple good-faith attempts to fix your car problems and repair your vehicle. The exact amount of repair attempts to qualify as a lemon is left up to a jury to decide, but two attempts to fix the same problem is the absolute minimum. Once you’ve made at least two repair attempts, you can contact a lawyer to discuss a buyback of your vehicle. How Does a Lemon Law Lawsuit Work? First, your lawyer will contact your vehicle’s seller and explain that you intend to pursue a buyback under the lemon law. 

In many cases, the dealer will work with you and make a cash offer for your vehicle’s value, less any wear and tear you’ve put on the car. If you accept, you’ll have to sign papers legally transferring the vehicle back to the dealer under the law’s stipulations. If the offer isn’t acceptable, you can let a jury decide. Be warned, though: a jury might not see your car’s problems the same way you do. In general, it’s a good idea to listen to your attorney’s recommendation on the best course of action. 

What Do You Need to Pursue a Lemon Law Claim in California? 

You’ll want to save all documentation of any repairs performed on your car. If you can show a history of car problems that have caused you unnecessary stress, you’ve got a good chance to win your case. You’ll also want to hold on to any paperwork you received from the dealer when you bought your car, as it can help establish the value of your car and how much you might be entitled to in a settlement. Remember, lemon laws in California are good for the length of a vehicle’s warranty, and they’re meant to protect consumers. If car problems are giving you a headache on a new vehicle, filing a claim can help you move on from a bad purchase and get a reliable car that will serve you well.

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