CA lemon law Attorney Stephen Barnes has been handling exclusively California lemon law cases for more than twenty one years. In that time frame, he has successfully resolved several thousand CA lemon law claims for California consumers. The information contained on this site is intended as a general overview of the California Lemon Law. If you would like to discuss your case personally with Lemon Law Attorney Stephen Barnes you may contact him by email or calling 888-427-1442.
The California Lemon Law ( Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, California Civil Code §§ 1790) is designed to ensure that consumers who purchase or lease warranted products in California have recourse if the product turns out to be defective and can not be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts.
If a warranted consumer product has a problem that is substantial enough to impair the use, value, or safety of the product, and the manufacturer’s authorized repair facility does not repair the product after a reasonable number of attempts, the product may be deemed a “lemon.” In such a case the manufacturer must repurchase or replace the product.
The California Lemon Law applies to all warranted consumer goods. This includes cars, trucks, RV’s, boats, motorcycles, ATV’s and even household appliances.
In order for a consumer to prevail in a CA lemon law case for a new motor vehicle, the consumer must show 1) they purchased or leased a vehicle which was covered by a warranty; 2) the vehicle had a problem which substantially impaired the use, value or safety to the consumer; and 3) the vehicle was not made to conform to the warranty after a reasonable number of repair attempts.
The vehicle may be used for either personal or business purposes. If a vehicle is used exclusively for business purposes, the business must have less than five vehicles registered in the business name in California and must have Gross Vehicle Weight of 10,000 pounds or less.
The vehicle must have problems covered by a warranty to fall within California’s lemon law. The problem(s) with the vehicle must substantially impair the use, value or safety of the vehicle to the consumer. What is considered a substantial impairment is relative to the particular needs and circumstances of the consumer. For example, the air conditioning not working properly may not be considered a substantial impairment for a consumer who drives a convertible vehicle with the top down the majority of the time. On the other, the air conditioning not working properly could be considered a substantial impairment to someone who lives in a desert area where the temperatures reach in excess of 100 degrees for most of the summer.
The manufacturer must be unable to repair the vehicle’s warranty problems after a reasonable number of repair attempts to have a valid California lemon law claim. A repair attempt by the manufacturer’s authorized repair facility is considered a repair attempt by the manufacturer.
What constitutes a reasonable number of repair attempts for purposes of the CA lemon law will vary depending on the problem. For example, if a vehicle’s steering fails, two repair attempts may be enough to establish a reasonable number under California’s lemon law. As a general rule, safety-related concerns will require fewer repair attempts than those which are not safety-related.
For non safety related problems what constitutes a reasonable number under the CA lemon law will depend on several factors including the number of days the vehicle is in the shop while being repaired. The more days out-of-service for repair, the more likely the chance of establishing a reasonable number of repair attempts.
One mistaken belief that many consumers have concerning the Lemon Law in California is that it only applies to vehicles that are less than eighteen months old and have less than 18,000 miles on the odometer. This belief is not true! An experienced California lemon law attorney will be able to discuss the reason that so manner consumer have this mistaken belief.
California’s Song Beverly Consumer Warranty Act (CA Lemon Law) applies to a vehicle regardless of how old or how many miles on the odometer as long as the 2 following criteria are met. 1) The vehicle has problems covered by a warranty which substantially impair the use value or safety of the vehicle and; 2) an authorized repair facility has been given a reasonable number of repair attempts during the warranty period. Even if the warranty has expired, the CA lemon law may apply. If the vehicle is still having problems that were complained about during the warranty period, a valid California lemon law claim may exist.
If you would like more information concerning the CA Lemon Law, contact Stephen Barnes lemon law attorney for a FREE CONSULTATION.