Buying a new car is almost always a big event. It should be exciting, but sometimes your new car quickly turns into a burden or cause for strife if it develops problems. This shouldn’t happen with a new vehicle, but sometimes it does. Problems can arise because the was poorly manufactured, or due to some other fault. If you’ve purchased a car that quickly develops issues that stop it from functioning properly, you might be wondering what kind of recourse is available to you.
When problems arise with your new car, the natural thing to do is to try to get it repaired. Maybe you’ve taken it back to the shop or to a mechanic, who fixes the problems. However, you might experience that the problems recur, or that your vehicle consistently develops new problems. If this is the case, you may suspect that you’ve bought a ‘lemon,’ and you probably feel (rightfully) like you’ve been taken advantage of.
Long Beach in California has an exciting car culture, with a huge number of car dealers working in the city. You can get just about any type of car in Long Beach, both new and used. This makes Long Beach a great place to look for a new car, especially since California has one of the most comprehensive lemon laws in the USA.
If you’re in California, your purchase might be covered by a Lemon Law. In very broad terms, a lemon law is a law that protects consumers from purchasing goods that fail to meet performance and manufacturing standards. The USA has a federal Lemon Law, and lemon laws also vary from state to state. For example, if a car hasn’t been built properly and this causes it to fail consistently, then this purchase might be covered by a lemon law in California. Whether or not your purchase is covered depends on a lot of different factors, which this article covers.
When Might I Be Covered by a Lemon Law?
Not every purchase is covered by lemon law. There are certain factors that have to be relevant or in play for you to be covered by a lemon law in the USA generally. Generally speaking, your vehicle has to be covered by warranty when you purchase it. That doesn’t mean that the car has to be new, or that the warranty has to be for a new car, though. You can also get a used vehicle with a limited-term warranty which is covered by a Lemon Law.
In order for your vehicle to be covered by a Lemon Law, the manufacturer must have tried to repair the vehicle first. The law states that the manufacturer should have tried to repair the vehicle ‘a reasonable number of times.’ There is no reasonable number of repair attempts stipulated, but at least three or four times is generally considered to be a reasonable number. If you haven’t taken your vehicle back to the manufacturer to get it repaired or examined, you are going to have to do so before you can even consider whether or not you might be covered by a Lemon Law.
Additionally, the problems with your vehicle need to have emerged within the first or second year of you owning the vehicle. You’re unlikely to be covered by a Lemon Law beyond this period because vehicles do develop wear and tear and related issues the longer you use them.
Finally, the Lemon Law states that the issues with your vehicle and related repair work must have prevented you from using it altogether for a period of at least 30 days. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a single period of 30 days or 30 consecutive days. However, you need to prove somehow that your car was out of action for at least 30 days due to being repaired.
Advice for Car Owners
While the Lemon Law is there to protect consumers from being taken advantage of, it’s still your responsibility to make sure that your potential case remains valid. There are some things that you may do as a result of your car not working that can cause your case to become invalid. For example, if your car isn’t working, you might get frustrated and take it to a mechanic or someone who does repair work on vehicles. However, if you take it to a third-party shop for repairs, then you might not be covered by the lemon law anymore.
Therefore, you should always take your car back to the dealer for repairs if it’s new or a recent purchase. The manufacturer can’t be held responsible for its actions anymore if you take your vehicle to a mechanic. However, if you take your car back to the dealer, the dealer can arrange for repairs directly and the manufacturer can still be held responsible under California’s lemon law if you have problems with your vehicle.
Another important piece of advice is to document as much of the repair process as you can if your new vehicle starts developing problems early on. If you want to get your vehicle covered under a Lemon Law, you’re going to have to go to court or hire an attorney to do so on your behalf. This is why it’s very important that you have as much evidence as possible of the issues you’re having with your vehicle. By documenting the repairs you get on your car, you can show the court that you have paid for a reasonable number of repair attempts before pursuing legal action.
Finally, it is worth considering hiring an attorney if you’re considering going to court for a Lemon Law case. An attorney with experience in this field can make it much more straightforward for you to build a successful case, and tell you what type of information you should bring or present to make your case stronger. If you don’t do so, you risk your case failing and not getting the compensation that you deserve.
Lemon Law FAQs
Lemon Laws and cases can be confusing. We’ve collected some of the most common lemon law FAQs here, which may cover some or all of the questions you have in relation to your lemon law claim or case.
What Qualifies Under the Lemon Law?
As mentioned above, there are certain criteria that you must meet to be covered by the Lemon Law in California. You must have made a reasonable number of repair attempts on your vehicle within a certain period of time, and the repair work should be carried out by the manufacturer. In addition, the vehicle should be under warranty at the time of purchase and at least when the first repair attempt is made. The warranty should be covered under a warranty act, as a warranty act ensures that the warranty is compliant with relevant standards. Finally, you should not have been able to use your vehicle for at least 30 days due to repairs, but this does not need to be a single period of time or consecutive days.
How Can I Know My Vehicle Qualifies Under the California Lemon Law?
There is no way to know for sure that your vehicle is going to be covered by California’s Lemon Law without consulting with an attorney. An attorney can assess the different elements of your case, like your warranty and the manufacturer of your vehicle, and tell you whether or not your case is likely to be covered by the California Lemon Law.
Which Car Manufacturers are Covered by the California lemon law?
The following is a list of the car manufacturers that participate in California’s Lemon Law: Ford, Cadillac, Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Buick, Hyundai, Lotus, Mercedez-Benz, Volkswagen, Subaru, Nissan, Mini Cooper, Mazda, Maserati, Lincoln, Kia, Infiniti, Chevrolet, Land Rover, Mini Cooper. This list is not necessarily exhaustive, so you should ask the manufacturer of your vehicle if you have any concerns or queries about whether it is covered by the Lemon Law in California.
What Happens When You File Under the Lemon Law in Long Beach, CA?
If you file a Lemon Law claim, then you need to go to court, or someone needs to go to court on your behalf. This is to file your Lemon Law claim and process your law case. You prepare your case in advance, and then go to the relevant court to file your claim. Your attorney can do this on your behalf.
Your case is then heard and processed by a judge or relevant authority. The amount of time that it takes to process Lemon Law cases can vary considerably, as they are assessed on an individual basis. However, once you receive the outcome of your case, you can then seek compensation or a replacement vehicle from the dealer or manufacturer.
Does Lemon Law Affect your Credit?
Many people worry that buying a lemon might affect their credit score. Buying a lemon should not affect your credit, even if you stop payments on the vehicle. However, it’s essential that you work with an attorney if this is a concern for you. Simply stopping your credit payments is not sufficient, and you need to make sure that you do so properly and provide the necessary evidence so that you are covered by the Lemon Law and your credit score isn’t affected.
Can a Lemon Law Car be Resold?
If your vehicle is covered by the Lemon Law, then it is dysfunctional and should not be sold on to a third party. Also, the Lemon Law ensures that you receive compensation if you have purchased a lemon car, which should be sufficient compensation. You should not resell a vehicle covered by the Lemon Law, because this means you are no longer eligible for compensation.
My Vehicle’s Warranty has Expired – Can I Be Covered by the Lemon Law?
Possibly- if your vehicle is out of warranty, it might be difficult to make a successful Lemon Law claim, but this depends on a number of factors, like the type of warranty you had and the manufacturer. Generally speaking, if the first repair attempt was made on the vehicle during the warranty period, then you may still be covered by the Lemon Law, even if subsequent repair attempts were made afterward. However, you need to ensure that your case still meets the other requirements to be covered by California’s lemon law, regardless of whether or not the warranty is still valid when you file your claim.
What Does the Lemon Law Presumption Entail?
The lemon law presumption is a part of the Lemon Law that works to protect consumers from defective or poorly-manufacturer vehicles. Essentially, if your vehicle was purchased less than 18 months ago, or if problems arise before you’ve driven it 18,000 miles, then your vehicle is presumed to be a lemon and you should be covered by the lemon law. To be covered by the presumption part of the Lemon Law, the number of repair attempts in this period should be at least four. However, if the problems with your vehicle have the potential to cause death or serious injury, then you only need to have made two repair attempts on your vehicle in this period. Also, if you’re not able to use your vehicle for at least 30 days during this period due to repairs, then your vehicle is presumed to be a lemon.
What Does the Lemon Law Presumption Entitle Me to?
If your vehicle is presumed to be a lemon, then you should automatically be entitled to a refund or replacement vehicle under California’s Lemon Law.
How Can I Get Help with My Lemon Law Case?
If you’ve bought a lemon, the best thing for you to do is find a law firm in Long Beach, which specializes in dealing with the California Lemon Law and related cases. A specialized attorney can give you the guidance and help that you need to prepare your case, and help you get the compensation you deserve from the manufacturer of your vehicle. In addition, an attorney at a law firm that specializes in the Lemon Law can guide you if your case is somewhat unusual- for example, if your vehicle is no longer under warranty, or if your warranty is going to expire soon.
You may still benefit from assistance in your lemon law case if it’s relatively straightforward. Going to court is time-consuming and the process can take a long time, so working with an attorney at a lemon law firm in Long Beach, CA can make the whole process much easier for you. Even if you want to pursue your case alone, you may still require some guidance in certain parts of your case, which is why working with an attorney is always recommended if possible, even if you only consult with them once or twice.
This information is hopefully going to benefit you if you feel you have bought a lemon, or need help with your vehicle in Long Beach, CA. If you are considering going to court, it’s always recommended that you consult with an attorney, because this is the only way you can ensure that your case is handled properly and professionally. Make the process easier for yourself, and contact an attorney today.