Song Beverly Warranty Rights

Serving California for Over 30 Years

Song Beverly Warranty Rights

The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act , which can be found starting at California Civil Code section 1790, provides protection for consumers who purchase or lease new motor vehicles and other consumer products. As it relates to new motor vehicles, the law provides that if the manufacturer or its representative in this state, such as an authorized dealer, is unable to service or repair the vehicle to meet the terms of an express written warranty after a reasonable number of repair attempts, the manufacturer is required to promptly return the purchase price to the buyer or replace the vehicle. The term buyer also includes a lessee under the law.

The amount that must be returned includes the down payment, monthly payments, and the price paid for manufacturer-installed items but does not include the price paid for non-manufacturer or aftermarket items installed by the dealer. The buyer cannot be required to accept a replacement vehicle by the manufacturer and is free to choose a refund. Conversely, the buyer cannot force the manufacturer to replace their vehicle, as long as the manufacturer is offering a refund of the amount paid for the purchase price as required by law.

Whatever remedy the consumer chooses, the manufacturer is responsible to pay for sales or use tax; license, registration, other official fees, plus any incidental damages that the buyer may have incurred such out of pocket repair costs, towing, and rental car expense.

The buyer may be charged for their use of the vehicle by the manufacturer. This usage fee applies whether the vehicle is replaced or the purchase price is refunded. The amount that may be charged for use is determined by dividing the number of miles on the vehicle at the time it is first delivered for repair of the problem justifying repurchase or replacement by 120,000 and then multiplying that decimal by the actual price paid for the vehicle.

For example, if the buyer paid $30,000 for a car and it had 5,000 miles on the odometer at the time it was delivered for repair of a problem justifying repurchase, the buyer would be charged 5,000 (mileage)/120,000 (set by law) x $30,000 (purchase price) which equals a usage fee of $1,250. Even if the buyer drove an additional 20,000 miles before the manufacturer agreed to repurchase the vehicle, the usage fee would be set using this formula based on the first repair attempt. The usage fee is deducted from any refund the buyer receives for the repurchase.

Song-Beverly applies for the entire period of your warranty. For example, if a vehicle is covered by a five year 60,000 mile warranty, and the buyer discovers a nonconformity after three years (but less than 60,000) miles, which is not repaired after a reasonable number of repair attempts, the manufacturer may still have to repurchase or replace the vehicle as outlined above.

Song-Beverly does not apply if the problem was caused by abuse after the vehicle was delivered. Be sure to follow the terms of the owner’s manual for maintenance and proper use of the vehicle.

The statute of limitations to file a law suit for breach of warranty for violation of Song-Beverly is four years from the date of breach. However, the buyer should act promptly to try to resolve the problem as soon as they believe a valid claim exists so as not to allow an argument by the manufacturer that the delay was an indication that problems must not have been that substantial.


Meet Stephen G. Barnes

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.

Do You Think You Have a Lemon Law Claim?

Start your case with a free initial consultation. Fill out the following form or call us at 949.446.1668.

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter the make of your car.
  • Please enter the model of you car.
  • Please enter the year of you car.
  • Please enter the year of you car.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter the year of you car.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 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

    For more information click here

  • What Does It Cost to Hire a Lemon Law Attorney?

    In most cases, it costs nothing to hire Barnes Law firm to handle your lemon law case. We will collect our attorney fees from the manufacturer if your claim is successful.

  • 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?

    No. You are not required to go through arbitration before hiring a lemon law attorney. In most situations, you would not be required to go through arbitration, and you should get the advice of an experienced lemon law lawyer before taking such a step.