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Can I pursue a Lemon Law claim if I leased my new car in California?

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Some Facts About California’s Lemon Laws Regarding Leased Vehicles

When used professionally, the legal strength of California’s lemon laws is meant to provide legal protection against defects in your new, used, or leased automobile.

These lemon laws still hold, even If you’ve leased a defective car in California, and will provide certain protections, even entitling you to a refund or replacement vehicle.

Leasing can be expensive, and so can maintaining your leased vehicle; and if it must consistently go to the shop with repeated maintenance issues, does that automatically make it a lemon under California laws?

In most cases,  whether your vehicle is new, used, or leased, if it meets the criteria cited in the California Lemon Law (Civ. Code, sections 1793.22-1793.32), it can be considered a lemon and fall under the Lemon law.

However, most California consumers may know how a “lemon” is defined under the lemon laws, but they probably aren’t aware of how the law applies to their circumstances. This is especially true if you have leased your vehicle.

If you lease your car, you rent it for a specific period and then return it to the dealership. However, this “leasing arrangement” does not change the fact that the California Lemon Law applies to your leased vehicle.

If you have constant issues that affect the use and safety of your vehicle, the lemon laws for leased cars in California can make you entitled to a refund or replacement vehicle, too.

What does change is that your lemon law case might have to be legally addressed differently by your experienced, knowledgeable San Diego Lemon Law Attorney. So, although you are entitled to the same consumer protection under the Lemon Laws, your Lemon Law lawyer’s advice and guidance will be invaluable in winning your case and solving your ongoing, stressful problem.

Are There Any “Special Criteria” My Car Must Meet For Leased Car Lemon Law?

Essentially, there are no “special lemon law” requirements for leased cars in California. The criteria for new or used vehicles purchased or leased with a warranty are the same.

You may be entitled to compensation if your warranty period was in effect when you had issues with your leased car.

Suppose you Lease your car, truck, or SUV. In that case, the primary mandate of the California Lemon Law holds that a manufacturer (or possibly the dealership) provides a refund or replacement for a defective new vehicle that is not repaired within a reasonable number of repair attempts.

Some other main legal tenants of a leased “lemon” must include:

  • A manufacturer’s warranty covers the defects involved.
  • These defects must impair the use, value or safety of the vehicle.
  • The manufacturer must have had a “reasonable” number of attempts to repair the vehicle, for example, two to four attempts to correct the issue.

So, as with any California Lemon Law Case, they can be tricky, and if you want to ensure your case is managed professionally and diligently, you must obtain the advice and legal guidance of a skilled San Diego Lemon Law lawyer.

Can Delaying My California Lemon Law Claim Damage My Chances of Winning?

Yes, it can; it is not widely known that California does have a “statute of limitations” or time in which you must file a lemon law claim.

Like all other California legal claims based on statutes, the statute of limitations for filing a lemon law lawsuit is four years. You must note that this is an “absolute” deadline, and If it passes, the law will prohibit you from filing your lemon law claim.

However, regarding the lemon laws, the question of when the four-year period begins has a less than “clear-cut” answer. It can be a bit objective, and according to the courts, the four-year statute of limitations starts when you ought to have known that your vehicle may be qualified as a lemon.

So, as the consumer, the best answer for you is not to hesitate at all. The safest way of figuring out when the statute of limitations would have started to run is to contact a San Diego Lemon Law lawyer as soon as possible. Delays of any kind can only hurt you and your case.

What Should I Do To File a Claim for My Leased Vehicle Under Lemon Law?

If you want to file a successful lemon law case on your leased vehicle, obtain the valued advice of an experienced San Diego lemon law lawyer as soon as possible. By doing so, you will fully understand your legal rights.

Of course, there are other things you can do that will help your leased car qualify for a lemon law claim, such as:

  • Keep copies of all your repair orders and ensure they precisely state the issues your mechanic identified and the steps taken to repair the problem.
  • Keep all your repair information at home, and don’t rely on the dealer for your lemon law paperwork.
  • Get a free case evaluation from your lemon law attorney before pursuing other negotiations with the dealer or manufacturer (such as arbitration). Any type of “dealer program” or negotiations you enter could damage your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve under California’s lemon law.

You must note that vehicle manufacturers and dealerships will do all they can to avoid a lemon law buyback. An experienced lemon law attorney understands the nuances of the law and can help you get the recovery you deserve.

I Believe My Lease Car is a Lemon; What Should I Do First?

Usually, California’s lemon laws are confusing, and if you lease a lemon car, it can even be worse. There’s a lot to deal with, and only by obtaining the best professional legal advice will you be able to navigate this problem successfully.

Whether your vehicle is owned or leased, and you have continuing mechanical or safety issues, your first and most crucial step is to consult with an empathetic and knowledgeable lemon law lawyer, even if you feel there is only a  chance that you may receive benefits under the California lemon laws.

The San Diego Lemon Law Lawyers have a lengthy, reputable, and winning history of fighting for clients’ consumer rights and getting them and their families the compensation and safety they deserve. If you lease a vehicle, call them today at (619) 434-0819, and they will help you navigate the lemon laws and resolve your stressful and costly vehicle issues.

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