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When Does A Car Become A Lemon?

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People who live in California rely on their cars, and the level of dependence they have on them may not be fully realized until you don’t have one. They are fundamental for getting to work, dropping our children off at school, and supporting a significant number of household activities (e.g., grocery shopping, extracurricular activities, etc.).

Anyone who has spent money on a car that continuously needs repairs has a justifiable right to be upset. The car was supposed to be the solution to your problems above, and it complicates your life and can even be a financial and logistical burden to carry. If you are in this position, you may demand to know when your malfunctioning car becomes a “lemon.” If so, then the manufacturer may buy back your vehicle, replace it, or compensate you financially.

Criteria For A Lemon

There are laws to protect consumers if they purchase a defective vehicle, and the California Lemon Law covers new or pre-owned automobiles for household or family use. If you have a business that utilizes cars (5 or fewer), you may be protected under these laws as well. For instance, California Lemon Laws include vehicles under 10,000 gross lbs. The key is that they are still covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.

A Reasonable Number

Even if your car fits all the criteria above, the manufacturer can repair it. They are given a “reasonable number” of attempts to fix the defect. Anyone who hears or reads that is going to ask for something quantifiable. Otherwise, there is a potential that the manufacturer and the car owner may dispute what constitutes “reasonable.” If your car meets all the criteria in the previous section, a reasonable number of attempts can be explained (in more concrete terms) as follows:

  • If the defect could cause death or serious bodily injury, the manufacturer gets two attempts to resolve the issue.
  • If the deficiency will not lead to death or serious bodily injury.
  • The manufacturer receives four attempts if your car has multiple issues. If it has been out of service for more than 30 days (total and not necessarily continuous), then it has exhausted a reasonable number of attempts.

San Diego Lemon Law

Your car is a significant component of your life, and if it is defective, it can cause considerable disruption. For more than twenty years, San Diego Lemon Law has focused on nothing but lemon law. When we take on a case, we represent it vigorously—and this comes at no cost to you. Contact us at (619) 237-7646 for a free case review.

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