Do I Have to Qualify For Lemon Law Coverage in California?
California leads the nation in consumer protection, and its harsh vehicle lemon laws are evidence of that. These “Lemon Laws” cover a myriad of items if your car continues to malfunction. However, there are qualifications you must meet.
If your vehicle is still under the original warranty period and you realize it has an ongoing issue, you may not automatically qualify for coverage under California’s lemon law.
If your new, used, or leased vehicle continues to have an issue, you must allow the manufacturer several opportunities to address and fix the problem.
To have a legally valid lemon law claim, your case must meet (at the least) the following lemon law California qualifications:
- Your vehicle has a defect covered under your original warranty that substantially impairs its everyday use, value, or safety to a reasonable person.
- You’ve given the manufacturer and their authorized repair center at least two or more opportunities to repair your vehicle.
- Also, any claimed substantial defect was not caused by your (as the consumer) unreasonable or unauthorized vehicle use, possibly driving the fault.
The best path to take at the onset of the issue is to schedule an appointment with your local warrantor-authorized repair facility as soon as possible. Please explain the problem to your service tech and have them fix it immediately.
Try to take notes about the issue and keep any documentation as to the repairs made by the manufacturer. This is critical, as the more documentation you have about your defect and the inability of the manufacturer to repair it, the better you will be protected under California’s lemon laws.
Also, the more documentation you have, the better you can avoid common lemon law “traps.”
Lawyers for the automakers have a myriad of legal tactics they will attempt to use to get out of compensating consumers for a lemon vehicle. The automaker’s defense lawyers are paid large sums to do one thing: pay you as little as possible for your claim.
There also are warrantors who will always attempt to compromise your lemon law claim with some “backhanded” tactics at the beginning of your claim.
It would be best if you remembered that California’s lemon laws are for your protection, and the best way to protect yourself is to enlist the help of a qualified, experienced lemon law attorney. Your lemon law attorney knows all the automakers’ tactics and will always fight tirelessly to protect your rights.
I Passed My warranty Period but Have a Warranty Extension. Do the Lemon Laws cover me?
This question is complicated and always depends on your circumstances and situation. However, under most conditions, if you have a consumer-purchased extended warranty, you will not be covered under California’s lemon laws.
The bottom line is that if your vehicle’s defects emerged in the original warranty period, and the dealership had sufficient time and effort to fix the flaws before your warranty expired, California’s Lemon Law may extend your original warranty.
Although, in most cases, you may have missed your chance to use the lemon laws if you’re in your extended warranty and the original warranty has expired. However, the timing of these issues is critical, and it should always be discussed with your lemon law attorney.
Even though your original warranty has expired, and your extended warranty does not cover the issue, your lemon law lawyer may still have options to get you the protections you need.
So, What is the “Real” Warranty Period On My Vehicle?
Most people know that any new (and sometimes used) vehicle is sold with a manufacturer’s warranty. These manufacturer warranties usually provide you with many kinds of warranties, for example, your basic warranty, possibly a powertrain warranty, and a restraint warranty.
Also, as you may know, these warranties are in effect for a certain number of months or miles, whichever comes first. If you buy your vehicle and feel like it’s a lemon, at times, any effort to repair your car can take a long time and may even extend beyond the designated warranty period.
Therefore, you need to know that in cases like this, under California’s Lemon Law, your warranty period may be “tolled” (or effectively “paused”) while your vehicle is at a dealership being repaired.
So, your knowledgeable and skilled lemon lawyer will explain that your warranty period pauses when you leave your vehicle at the manufacturer’s repair facility. When you pick up your car, your warranty will start again.Also, specifically under the California Lemon Law, your warranty period is extended until the problem with your vehicle has been repaired, if possible.
How “Strong” Are California’s Lemon Laws?
You must know that California has some of the most consumer-friendly lemon laws in the country, and they have considerable legal authority.
The “Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act and the Tanner Consumer Protection Act (a part of the Song-Beverly Act) allow you and your lawyer numerous ways to obtain a refund or replacement vehicle at the manufacturer’s expense.
Most automakers attempt to design stylish, functional, and safe vehicles. However, design or mechanical and operational flaws can always occur and often do. The California Lemon Law attempts to make it mandatory that dealerships and manufacturers be held liable for the quality and safety of their vehicles.
When a professional lemon lawyer uses California’s lemon laws, they will always help to ensure that you are not left “holding the bag” if you end up with a lemon.
So, even though California has stringent and enforceable lemon laws, all the proper legal rules and regulations must be followed for you to take full advantage of these protections. Therefore, obtaining a complete case evaluation by an experienced San Diego lemon lawyer is the best way to win your case successfully.
I May Be Out Of Warranty, But Did Extend It; How Should I Proceed?
It can be confusing and complex when dealing with any lemon law case, especially if your warranty period is in question. Timing is vital, as most “extended warranties” will not be covered under the lemon laws.
Whether your vehicle has been recalled, new, or used or has ongoing mechanical issues, the wise move to make is to consult with an empathetic and knowledgeable lemon law lawyer. Your lawyer will be of help even if you only have a chance that you may receive benefits under California lemon laws.
The San Diego Lemon Law Lawyers have a long and winning history of fighting for clients’ consumer rights and getting them the compensation and safety they and their families deserve. Call them today at (619) 434-0819, and they will help you navigate your lemon law case and always fight for your consumer rights.