Lemon Law BasicsServing California for Over 30 Years
Orange County Lemon Law Basics
Advice from Our Orange County Lemon Law Attorney
California's lemon law is in place to protect consumers from serious defects or malfunctions in new or used vehicles and consumer goods covered by warranty. The law protects consumers for the written warranty period and if the vehicle cannot be adequately repaired by the manufacturer or authorized dealer, you may be entitled to a new vehicle or receive a refund.
If you find yourself in such a situation with your used car, RV or motor home, or boat, it is important that you hire an experienced lemon law attorney in Orange County to guide you through the legal process with ease and efficiency. Barnes Law Firm has successfully resolved lemon law claims for thousands of Californians, and we are ready and waiting to serve you in any way possible.
What Qualifies as a Lemon?
Under California lemon law, a vehicle must meet several qualifications before being considered a lemon.
These qualifications include:
- The vehicle is under warranty
- You have taken the vehicle to an authorized dealer for repair
- The vehicle has not been repaired after a reasonable number of attempts
Furthermore, the defect must also substantially impair the use, value, or safety of the vehicle. In order to qualify, the vehicle must be purchased in California for personal, family, or in some cases even business use.
What Can I Do if I Have a Lemon?
If you are finding it difficult to deal with the repair facility look to the manufacturer for assistance and take these steps:
- Retain an experienced lemon law lawyer
- In some instances your attorney may write a demand letter to the manufacturer requesting that they buy the car back
- If this doesn't work, your attorney will likely file a lawsuit in the appropriate court and litigate the claim on your behalf
How Do Manufacturers Try to Avoid Lemon Law Liability?
Auto manufacturers may attempt to evade lemon law liability for a variety of reasons, primarily due to the potential financial losses and harm to their reputation. The expense associated with replacing a vehicle or refunding the consumer can be significant. Additionally, acknowledging that a vehicle model is a lemon can impact a manufacturer's reputation and deter future customers.
Manufacturers might employ a range of strategies to avoid paying for a lemon:
- Denying the existence of the issue: Manufacturers may dismiss the problem as non-existent, or attribute it to user error or normal wear and tear.
- Delaying the repair process: Manufacturers might deliberately elongate the repair process, hoping that the warranty period expires before the repair is completed.
- Insufficient repair attempts: Manufacturers can avoid addressing the issue properly by performing superficial fixes that don't rectify the underlying problem.
- Blaming the owner: Manufacturers may argue that the owner's misuse or lack of maintenance caused the defect.
- Claiming the issue is not substantial: Manufacturers might argue that the defect does not significantly affect the vehicle's use, value, or safety, and thus, does not qualify under the lemon law.
- Misrepresenting the warranty: Manufacturers may misinterpret or misrepresent the warranty terms and conditions to avoid their obligations under the lemon law.
- Settling for less: Manufacturers might offer a partial refund or a discounted repair as a way to avoid replacing the vehicle or providing a full refund.
It's crucial for consumers to be aware of these tactics and to seek legal assistance to ensure their rights are protected under the lemon law.
How to Avoid Buying a Lemon?
When it comes to purchasing new or used, it is essential to take certain precautions to avoid buying a lemon.
- First thorough research is crucial. Start by checking the vehicle's history, including previous accidents, maintenance records, and ownership details.
- Consider seeking independent inspections from trusted mechanics or automotive professionals to assess the vehicle's condition.
- Taking a test drive is another vital step, allowing you to examine the car's performance, handling, and any potential red flags.
- Always make sure to review and understand any warranties or return policies before making a final decision.
By being diligent and cautious throughout the car-buying process, you can significantly reduce the chances of ending up with a lemon. However, if you do end up with a lemon, our attorneys are here to help.
At Barnes Law Firm, our legal team can help you get the compensation that you deserve. Hire an experienced lemon law attorney in Orange County for representation throughout California.
Attorney Barnes was one of the early pioneers to exclusively handle Lemon Law cases in California. His goal is to provide every client with dedicated one-on-one attention as they navigate their Lemon Law case.
Start your case with a free initial consultation. Fill out the following form or call us at 949.446.1668.
What Are the 3 General Qualifications for a Lemon?
The three general qualifications are:
- The car must have a substantial impairment in use, value, or safety
- The problems with the car must have been, covered by a warranty
- The owner must have attempted to get the vehicle repaired multiple times or the car must be in the shop an unreasonable amount of days
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What Does It Cost to Hire a Lemon Law Attorney?
Does the California Lemon Law Apply if I’ve Purchased a Faulty Used Vehicle?
The short answer is yes if you purchased the car with a warranty. The lemon law covers a used car if you bought it with a warranty, have a substantial problem covered by that warranty, and have given the warrantor a reasonable opportunity to repair the car. If you have bought a faulty used car, it is important that you speak with an Orange County lemon law attorney to get you the results you deserve.
Am I Required to Go Through Arbitration Before Hiring a Lemon Law Lawyer?