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Can California’s Lemon Law Be Applied to an Extended Warranty?

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Do You Have an Extended Warranty?

Since 1970, California’s Lemon Law has given this state’s consumers legal protection when a vehicle manufacturing company produces and sells defective vehicles, but to exercise your Lemon Law rights, you will need the advice and services of a San Diego Lemon Law attorney.

California’s Lemon Law is one reason this state leads the nation in consumer protection. It applies to some used vehicles and to most new vehicles sold and purchased in California. It applies to leased vehicles, purchased vehicles, automobiles, SUVs, trucks, and motorcycles.

If you file a Lemon Law claim and your claim prevails, the vehicle’s manufacturer must replace the vehicle or buy it back from you. However, before you may bring a Lemon Law claim, you must seek repairs – at least several times – under the manufacturer’s original warranty.

What Does the Lemon Law Provide?

The Lemon Law provides new vehicle buyers with considerable legal rights. If you buy a vehicle that’s a lemon, you are entitled by the Lemon Law to a replacement vehicle or a buy-back. You don’t have to let a vehicle dealer or manufacturer take advantage of you.

If your new vehicle is, in fact, a lemon, after you’ve taken the appropriate legal steps, a dealership or manufacturer must refund your purchase – or replace your vehicle – and reimburse you for any expenses you’ve incurred by taking legal action.

The law makes vehicle dealerships and manufacturers accountable for new vehicles sold and purchased in California when those vehicles are lemons. If you take legal action, you will need a lawyer’s help, as several legal complications may arise when you file a Lemon Law claim.

What Are Manufacturers’ Warranties?

Each new vehicle sold in California comes with a warranty from the manufacturer. Automobile manufacturers offer several types of warranties, such as basic warranties, restraint warranties, and powertrain warranties.

These warranties are good for a specific number of miles or months. However, consumers often find that when they’ve purchased a lemon, repair efforts can take time and extend past the manufacturer’s original warranty coverage period.

Can You Extend the Lemon Law’s Legal Protection Period?

However, under the California Lemon Law, that warranty period may be “tolled” (meaning it’s paused) for any period when the vehicle is undergoing repairs at a dealer.

Starting on the date when you take the defective vehicle to a manufacturer’s repair facility, the warranty period is paused, and it does not restart until repairs have been completed. In fact, the coverage period for the warranty legally extends until the vehicle is fixed, if it can be fixed.

If a vehicle’s problems emerged during the manufacturer’s original warranty period, and if the dealer had the opportunity to repair the problems before that warranty expired, the warranty period may be extended under the Lemon Law, and you may have a Lemon Law claim.

Will an Extended Warranty Help You?

Consumers in California should clearly understand that the state’s Lemon Law does not apply to any of the repairs that an “extended” warranty may cover.

The Lemon Law protects California vehicle buyers only during the manufacturer’s original warranty coverage period. An extended warranty is not the same thing. It’s essentially a service contract for vehicle repairs that are made after the manufacturer’s original warranty expires.

An extended warranty may look almost exactly like a manufacturer’s warranty, but the California Lemon Law makes the distinction. The law applies only to those repairs covered by an original manufacturer’s warranty.

When Should You Reach Out to a Lemon Law Attorney?

Although California law requires vehicle dealers and manufacturers to inform buyers regarding their rights under the Lemon Law, most buyers don’t know their Lemon Law rights because that information comes with a great deal of other information at the point of purchase.

If your vehicle meets California’s legal definition of a lemon, you are going to need the advice and services of a Southern California Lemon Law attorney. In most cases, there’s a four-year deadline for filing a Lemon Law claim; nevertheless, you’ll need to act as quickly as possible.

The four-year clock usually begins when a consumer first experiences warrantable problems with a vehicle that is covered by the manufacturer’s original warranty. Still, it’s best to act right away, while the memories are fresh and the pertinent documents haven’t been lost or tampered with.

How Will a Lemon Law Attorney Help You?

Lemon Law claims in California are often settled in fewer than ninety days, but every case and every claim is different. Your Southern California Lemon Law attorney will:

  1.  explain your options and rights under the Lemon Law
  2.  explain how the Lemon Law applies to your own situation
  3.  negotiate a settlement of your Lemon Law claim on your behalf

Vehicle manufacturers usually settle these claims, especially when they know that a consumer is represented by a San Diego Lemon Law attorney. However, if your claim is challenged or contested, your attorney will take your claim to court, where the matter will be resolved.

What Else Should You Know?

Even if a vehicle manufacturer finally offers you a replacement vehicle or a buy-back, without a Lemon Law attorney’s help, you may not receive all that you are entitled to by law. California consumers often settle for far less than the actual value of their Lemon Law claims.

Do not be that kind of consumer. Let San Diego Lemon Law handle your claim from the very beginning.

Why Should You Choose San Diego Lemon Law?

If you bought a vehicle in California and you think it’s a lemon, and the dealership has failed to make the same repair at least twice, you need to have your case reviewed by a Lemon Law attorney at San Diego Lemon Law.

Doug Sohn is an experienced San Diego attorney who regularly negotiates Lemon Law claims and knows what it takes to succeed on your behalf. He has over four decades of legal experience and over twenty years of Lemon Law experience.

San Diego Lemon Law offers a free case evaluation – with no cost or obligation – if you are the owner of a lemon. You’ll find out how the law applies in your own case, and you’ll receive the personalized, specific legal guidance you need.

If you’ve purchased a lemon, and if you satisfy the Lemon Law’s other requirements, you have the right to a replacement vehicle or a buy-back, but you must call San Diego Lemon Law promptly at 619-434-0819. California law is on your side, and a good lawyer’s help is your right.

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