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In the state of California, if your vehicle is determined to be a lemon, you are entitled to a refund of your money minus a deduction for mileage from the mileage at the first repair, and the manufacturer also pays off your loan, and you return the vehicle to the manufacturer. Or in the alternative, you’re entitled to a replacement vehicle. You’d be entitled to a new vehicle in place of your current vehicle, and there’s also the possibility of cash compensation where you keep your vehicle. In all of those instances, the manufacturer’s required to pay the attorney’s fees as well.
California lemon law covers new passenger vehicles , SUVs, vans, and trucks under 10,000 pounds that are purchased in CA. It also covers demonstrator vehicles, leased vehicles that are lease-purchased, and motorcycles. In addition, it covers used cars that are sold by dealers within two years of the original purchase and if both the old owner and the new owner use the vehicle for personal, family, or household purposes.
California’s Lemon Law presumes that a vehicle is a lemon if the vehicle:
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Typically a vehicle that is purchased used may still qualify as a lemon if it was purchased and the problems occurred while the vehicle was still under the manufacturers new car warranty or possibly covered by a certified pre-owned warranty or extended warranty. Finally it should be noted that a used vehicle that is purchased as is and without a warranty cannot qualify as a lemon under the California Lemon Law.
California Lemon Law provides several options for a successful Lemon Law claimant. First, you may be awarded a replacement vehicle of the same year, make, and model. You may also qualify for a monetary award, which can include:
The amount of the monetary reward may be reduced by a deduction for the total mileage on the vehicle. This amount is calculated by dividing the miles drive at the time of the first repair attempt by 120,000, and multiplying by the purchase price.
Under California Lemon Law, if the manufacturer of your vehicle participates in a state-certified arbitration program, you must request arbitration in order to seek relief (although you can accept or reject the arbitrator’s decision). If the manufacturer doesn’t participate in a state-certified arbitration program, you must still notify the manufacturer of the problem if your owner’s manual states that notification is required. Although it’s not required by law, the demand letter should be sent by certified mail, with a return receipt requested. Here’s a sample demand letter that you can adapt for your use.
Most vehicle manufacturers follow the principle of “No lawyer, no money.” In other words, they count on being able to outmaneuver the consumer who hasn’t retained a Lemon Law attorney. While California Lemon Law requires consumers to go to arbitration if the manufacturer participates in a state-certified program, you’ll only be on equal footing if you have an advocate at your side. A lemon lawyer can present your case to the arbitrator or go to court and can call and question witnesses. His or her expertise enables your attorney to easily dispute the manufacturer’s testimony.
But perhaps the most important reason to hire a Lemon Law lawyer is that it sends a clear signal to the manufacturer that you are serious about your claim, and are willing to sue them in order to get justice. Vehicle manufacturers have powerful legal teams that are adept at avoiding or stalling Lemon Law claims, and often only obey the law when they’re faced with the threat of a lawsuit by Lemon Law experts. When they are, they usually settle very quickly, since they know that the cost of going to court will be much higher. For these reasons, it’s in your best interest to have an advocate who knows the law and works on your behalf.
Keep in mind that, if you go to court, you shouldn’t have to pay a lemon lawyer to handle your Lemon Law case. That’s because the law says that the manufacturer is responsible for paying the consumer’s attorney’s fees in successful Lemon Law claims.
A good lemon lawyer will work on your behalf to get the compensation to which you’re entitled — typically in the form of a refund, a replacement vehicle, or a cash settlement. Your Lemon Law attorney will ask you for all of your records, such as repair orders and correspondence, that pertain to your lemon. Your lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation of your vehicle’s repair history, then present the manufacturer with a statement outlining your case and demanding full recovery. More often than not, the manufacturer will settle; if not, though, your Lemon Law attorney should be prepared to sue the manufacturer. Your lawyer should be able to resolve your case within one to two months.
Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work aid your lemon at no cost to you. The law makes car manufacturers pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.
Who are we? We are Lemberg Law, a Consumer Law Firm