Lemon Law Frequently Asked Questions

In California, lemon law mandates that the manufacturers of defective vehicles must replace or refund the vehicle’s original costs if they are not able to repair it. These California laws protect consumers if they lease or purchase a new vehicle that’s covered by an initial warranty.

In California, Lemon Law protects consumers throughout the duration of their entire warranty period as outlined when they originally purchased their vehicle.

Lemon Law in California states that the consumer must attempt a “reasonable” amount of repairs throughout the period of their warranty for their vehicle to be eligible for a lemon law claim. However, “reasonable” is a broad term that changes depending on the circumstances of every individual. In general, attorneys and manufacturers tend to consider four repair attempts as “reasonable.”

It’s important for consumers to understand the differences between the responsibilities of the manufacturer and dealership. The dealership where you purchased your car is not legally responsible for refunding your original vehicle costs or replacing your lemon. However, this is not the case when it comes to your manufacturer. If your manufacturer refuses to refund your original costs or replace your lemon, this is when a legal problem occurs. Every individual’s circumstances are different, but if you feel that you’ve given your manufacturer a reasonable amount of time to repair your vehicle and they still refuse to refund or replace your vehicle, you should reach out to an attorney who can help you file your Lemon Law claim.

There are two paths you can take after you file your Lemon Law claim. You can choose to either handle your claim through arbitration or in a court of law. Unfortunately, manufacturers tend to try and persuade consumers to resolve their Lemon Law claims through arbitration, but the truth of the matter is that arbitration tends to favor manufacturers over consumers. If you choose to resolve your Lemon Law claim in a court of law, you have an attorney on your side who is familiar with the legal obligations of your manufacturer and can fight on your behalf.

Arbitration in Lemon Law is an informal process when a dispute between different involved parties (in the case of lemon law, between the vehicle manufacturer and consumer) is handled and decided by a neutral third party called an arbitrator. Arbitration typically takes up to 40 days, but can come to a decision sooner than that. When a Lemon Law is handled in arbitration, consumers are not required to hire an attorney to  represent them during arbitration. But, manufacturers often hire attorneys to represent them throughout the process regardless. When this happens, consumers are much more vulnerable and are more likely to lose their case because they do not have the proper representation to fight against big manufacturers.

A consumer is not always required to hire an attorney in arbitration or in court, but they have the option if they wish to. In successful Lemon Law cases, manufacturers are required to pay damages to the consumer. When this happens, this often means that manufacturers pay for the consumer’s attorney fees.

If you win your Lemon Law case through arbitration or in a court of law, you have to make a decision between a vehicle replacement or a refund of your original vehicle costs. If you choose to have the manufacturer replace your vehicle, your manufacturer must replace the faulty vehicle with one that is relatively similar. If you choose to receive a refund from your manufacturer, then you are entitled to a refund for the amount of the original costs of your vehicle purchase.

If You Have Questions About Filing Your Lemon Law Claim, Speak With an Attorney Today.

At Help With Lemons, we understand that filing a lemon law claim in California can be an incredibly stressful process for people who don’t comprehensively understand the legal requirements of filing your claim with your manufacturer. We are committed to assisting you throughout the entire process of filing your claim so that you are not blindsided by requirements that you were initially unaware of. If you feel that you are driving a lemon and need assistance from an attorney to file your lemon law claim, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 844-744-0146 or email us at info@helpwithlemons.com for a free consultation.