WHAT IS A “LEMON”?
Under The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, better known as “California Lemon Law” is a vehicle that has a defect, which the manufacturer or dealer has not properly repaired under warranty after a reasonable number of attempts. The defect must “substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of the vehicle.”
However, it is extremely important that a qualified attorney be consulted as many times consumers downplay the significance of previous repairs due to misinterpretation of the law, misinformation, or by the dealer telling the buyer that their car does not qualify as a lemon.
WHAT IS A REASONABLE NUMBER OF ATTEMPTS?
At least more than one repair attempt is required under the “California Lemon Law”. However, California Courts have stated that all of the facts of the particular case must be considered in order to determine whether the number of attempts are reasonable.
In some cases, one attempt may be sufficient if the manufacture and/or dealer is unjustifiably refusing to fix the vehicle under warranty.
DO I HAVE TO PAY ATTORNEY’S FEES?
What’s nice about California Lemon Law is that the manufacturer has to pay your attorney’s fees, if they lose, which allows you to get legal representation without spending any up-front fees.
With us, you will never pay any up-front fees, out of pocket fees, and we have a no recovery, no fee policy, which means you will never receive a bill from us for our fees even if your case takes years to settle.
We will be glad to provide more details about our fees during our free initial consultation and review of the legal retainer agreement.
HOW LONG WILL MY CASE TAKE?
Over 50% of our lemon law cases settle within 30 to 90 days from the time that our clients hire us. However, if negotiations break down and a lawsuit is filed, then it may take as little as 3 months or as long as 2 years.
DOES THE CALIFORNIA LEMON LAW APPLY TO USED VEHICLES?
YES! “California Lemon Law” may apply to used or certified pre-owned vehicles covered by a warranty.
DOES THE CALIFORNIA LEMON LAW APPLY TO LEASED VEHICLES?
YES! “California Lemon Law” may apply to leased vehicle covered by a warranty.
DOES “CA LEMON LAW” ONLY APPLY TO VEHICLES?
NO. “California Lemon Law” applies to consumer goods covered by a warranty. “California Lemon Law” defines consumer goods as any new products, or a part of a product, that is used, bought, or leased for use primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, except for clothing and consumables.
Thus, “Consumer Goods” may include a television, video camera, video monitor, computer, phone, electronic alarm system, electronic appliance control system, refrigerator, freezer, range, microwave oven, washer, dryer, dishwasher, garbage disposal, trash compactor, or room air conditioner normally used or sold for personal, family, or household purposes.
However, there are some technical differences that apply to vehicles that do not apply to “Consumer Goods”, so please consult with us for more detail.
WHAT IS A “BUYBACK”?
If your vehicle qualifies under the lemon law, then you may be entitled to a buyback of your vehicle by the manufacturer. Generally, the buyback includes refund of your down payment, (including registration fees, licensing fees, taxes, transportation costs, etc.), total monthly payments, finance charges, loan payoff, incidental damages (car rental, etc.) reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred, less a “usage fee” based on the vehicle’s mileage when the problem first occurred.
WHAT IS A “CASH AND KEEP”?
Sometimes, your car may not qualify as a “Lemon”. However, we may be able to get you a cash compensation for the diminished value of the vehicle and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred by you.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HIRING A LEMON LAW ATTORNEY?
When you are represented by a lemon law attorney, the manufacturer will take your case more seriously because they know you mean business! And because “California Lemon Law” holds the manufacturer responsible for your attorney’s fees, they will try to settle the case promptly to avoid paying additional attorney’s fees.
Furthermore, a lemon law attorney knows how to navigate the complex federal and state laws, which may turn your case from a loser to a winner.
Finally, a “California Lemon Law” attorney has dealt with the manufacturers before, which helps you get a fair settlement value.
CAN I HANDLE MY OWN LEMON LAW CLAIM?
Theoretically, if you have spare time to spend in a Law Library, and you are a great negotiator with great oral and writing skills, then you may be able to handle your claim competently all the way to trial. Otherwise, you may do or say something which completely jeopardizes your lemon law claim.
Furthermore, the manufacturer can prolong the settlement process for many months, and then make a minor offer to pay back one or two of your monthly payments. At that point, you may be forced to either (a) accept a lousy offer; (b) file a lawsuit against an adversary with unlimited resources and top notch attorneys; or (c) hire a lemon law attorney to start the process from scratch.
Alternatively, the manufacturer or dealer might attempt to earn an additional profit from you by negotiating a trade-in of the defective vehicle in exchange for your purchase of another vehicle without refunding you all the money that you are entitled to.
DO I HAVE TO ARBITRATE BEFORE PURSUING A LEMON LAW CLAIM?
NO! Arbitration is not required before pursuing a “California Lemon Law” claim. Furthermore, the arbitrators are paid by the manufacturer, which may create a potential bias against you.
CALL NOW FOR A FREE CONSULTATION! (310) 268-7802