You're a good person. You bought a bad car. We can fix that for you!

How long do I have to initiate a New Car Lemon Law claim after purchase?

Lemon Law

Some Common Misconceptions About California Lemon Laws.

California car buyers often assume that the state’s lemon laws begin when you buy or lease a new car. However, in most cases, the lemon law grants you a four-year window to file your lemon law claim. Additionally, this lemon law deadline commonly begins not when you purchase your vehicle but when the defect is first found and brought in for repairs under a new car warranty.

Also, you should note that despite what you may read on the internet or hear from friends, the California Lemon Law sometimes provides consumer protections beyond the initial 18 months or 18,000 miles of vehicle ownership.

Some other vital misconceptions you should know are:

  • The duration and depth of the law’s coverage – California’s Lemon Law covers the entire time of the car’s warranty term. The Lemon Law also may apply in other cases if the malfunction or defect substantially impairs your vehicle’s use, value, or safety.
  • Qualification Criteria for the Lemon Law – To qualify your problem under the Lemon Law, the defect must be substantial and, despite repeated efforts, cannot be fixed after a reasonable number of attempts. Usually, this may be two or more times in the shop. This is especially true if the defect could lead to serious injury. It also may apply if your car is in the shop for more than 30 days (cumulatively).
  • Protection Beyond Warranty: If the defect appears under warranty, your lemon law rights may continue even after the warranty period.

If you are in this situation and have consistent and lasting issues with your new car, the wise move is to consult with a qualified, skilled, and knowledgeable attorney specializing in new car lemon law cases. Your lawyer will analyze the facts and determine if your car can be considered a “lemon.”

In this case, under California’s Lemon Law, you could receive a replacement vehicle or a refund of your purchase price. Additionally, if your car is deemed a “lemon,” the manufacturer must usually pay the attorney fees and costs in a successful Lemon Law claim.

How Do I Know If My Car’s Defect Fits Under the California Lemon Laws?

If you purchase a new car, you expect it to run and perform well, and you certainly should not be bringing it consistently back to the dealer for repairs; unfortunately, that is not always the case.

New cars often have “bugs” or design flaws that result in you being exasperated and inconvenienced, but these defects may substantially affect your new vehicle’s safety or value and cannot be repaired. If this is your situation, your car may undoubtedly be a “lemon” and fall under the protections of California’s lemon laws.

If you and your thorough and skilled San Diego lemon law attorney establish that your car satisfies the state’s lemon law requirements, you now have legal means to solve this exhausting problem.

Any car might be a lemon due to a myriad of defects or issues, but some of the more common ones are:

  • Constant transmission problems.
  • Bad brakes that fail or act erratically.
  • Software malfunctions: today, cars are complex and more and more managed by software in their operating systems.
  • Mechanical defects and electrical problems may be highly difficult or impossible to repair.
  • Faulty airbags could be a safety hazard.

But you must note that for your car to qualify as a “lemon,” several reasonable and timely attempts must be made to repair the defect or malfunction.

The number of times your car must be in the shop varies depending on the issue. In some cases, three to four unsuccessful repair attempts are enough to prove your vehicle is a lemon, but a defect could cause a problem that may result in an injury or fatality; you may only be in the shop twice.

What Can I Do If I Pass the Time Limit To File My Lemon Law Claim?

First, you must note that every lemon law case differs as to its details and circumstances, and your experienced lemon law lawyer is best qualified to determine your precise time frames so this doesn’t occur.

That said, if you do not file your lemon law claim before the statute of limitations runs out, you may not be able to use and benefit from the protections California’s lemon laws provide. In other words, you’re stuck with the defective vehicle or could end up paying for everything out of pocket.

In most cases, the manufacturer uses the statute of limitations defense, which can be a significant argument to dismiss your case.

Even though you could have up to four years to file, filing late can still negatively affect the outcome of your case.

For example, the manufacturer may often dispute your claim by shifting the blame to you in some manner. Let’s say they put forth the fact that you continued to put mileage on the car after you found the defect and made it worse; they will argue this and more to deny your claim.

The best way to know your deadlines and rights under California’s lemon law is to obtain a case evaluation from a winning San Diego lemon lawyer as soon as possible.

Are There Ways to Increase My Chances of a Successful Lemon Law Case?

California’s lemon laws can provide considerable help if you’ve bought a new (or used) vehicle and are now having consistent issues. Still, they also are complex to navigate and ensure they’re used correctly (as referenced in the California Legislature/Civil Code/Section 1793.2/Sale Warranties).

Ensuring you apply these laws timely is crucial to safeguarding your rights and possibly getting a favorable outcome, but many other legalities must be followed correctly also.

However, the sooner you act, the better your outcome will be.

Your San Diego lemon lawyer, who specializes in these cases, will always work to ensure you don’t navigate this path alone.

If you ever feel you’ve got a lemon, immediately obtain the legal advice you must have. Your lawyer will analyze your case and its specifics and ensure the facts and evidence are collected and your case is drafted correctly and presented in the best way possible.

You and your lemon lawyer will work tirelessly to turn this costly and exhausting experience into a victory. Attempting to navigate your case legally or expecting to get the help of a dealership is a common mistake that almost always fails.

I Bought a New Car and Have Had Nothing But Problems; What Should I Do?

Let’s say you bought a new car and constantly find yourself back at the dealership with consistent and repeating defects; you possibly could have a lemon.

As soon as you realize your car has a defect that persists and possibly can’t be repaired, you must contact a skilled California Lemon Law attorney as soon as possible.

The new car lemon lawyers at San Diego Lemon Law are dedicated and passionate about fighting for the rights of those who purchased lemons and getting them the total compensation they deserve.

Call them today at (619) 434-0819 and schedule a complete case evaluation. Speaking with one of their empathetic lawyers is risk-free, and they will help you determine whether you have a valid case and obtain what you fully deserve.

Related Articles

When Does A Car Become A Lemon?

Read More

Document Your Way To Resolution

Read More

What Type of Evidence Should I Gather to Strengthen My New Car Lemon Law Case?

Read More