Although the California lemon law was designed to protect consumers who discover unfixable defects with the new vehicle they have purchased or leased, many states have included provisions to protect used car consumers as well.
The defect still must impair the safety, value, or use of the vehicle, and a manufacturer approved repair facility must be given a reasonable number of repair attempts to qualify. This includes four (4) repair attempts for the same or similar problem or two (2) repair attempts for a defect likely to cause serious bodily harm.
It is important to note that the first repair attempt must be made while the vehicle is still covered under the manufacturer’s express written warranty. For example, if the vehicle was originally covered by the manufacturer’s 36 months/36,000 miles warranty, then it must have been purchased as a used vehicle within 36 months of the time that the vehicle first went into service, and with fewer than 36,000 miles on the odometer. Manufacturers’ new car warranties differ, so check the original owner’s manual to determine what the limits of your new car warranty are. Also, you should note that an extended service contract is not the same as the manufacturer’s new car warranty and does not change the requirement stated above. Also, express written warranties are not provided through individuals, so vehicles sold by private parties are most likely not covered under the California Lemon Law.
In addition, the car, truck, or SUV must have been:
- purchased or leased at retail in California, or
- purchased or leased by a full-time active duty member of the Armed Forces who was stationed or residing in California at the time of purchase or lease or at the time the claim is filed. You can read more about the California Military Lemon Law Here.
There are many situations which do not exactly meet the “lemon law” presumption, but which may still entitle you to “lemon law” protection. So long as the defect substantially affects safety, value, or use, and first occurred within the new car warranty period, and cannot be repaired after a reasonable number of repair attempts, the vehicle is entitled to these legal protections. One of our attorneys will be glad to review your situation to see whether your vehicle is covered. Contact us today at 1-888-ExLemon (1-888-395-3666) or fill in and submit our California Lemon Law case review form at the top of this page.
If you qualify we will be able to recover your down payment, (including registration fees, licensing fees, taxes, transportation costs, etc.), plus your total monthly lease or loan payments, plus attorneys’ fees, less a “usage fee” based on mileage, as allowed under the CA lemon laws.