- August 25, 2020
- Categories: Lemon Law FAQs
There’s nothing more exciting than buying a new car and taking it out on the road with the sun overhead and breeze blowing through open windows. It feels great to have a shiny new vehicle. But when your car starts making funny noises or doesn’t perform or work properly, it can be a huge disappointment and a major headache.
If you purchased a car or truck that suffers from mechanical or electrical defects, you may have a legal remedy. California has one of the most consumer-friendly lemon laws in the nation that ensures your protection. Under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, if you purchase a defective vehicle, you are legally entitled to:
- have the manufacturer repurchase your vehicle,
- have the manufacturer replace your vehicle, or
- negotiate a cash settlement with the manufacturer.
To find out if you have a lemon law claim, contact the skilled and experienced California lemon law lawyers at Neale & Fhima at 877-308-2128. We’re aggressive, and we know how to win.
What is the average lemon law settlement in California?
Typical Lemon Law Settlements
There is no “average” lemon law settlement in California because each case is different and there are so many variables that factor into a settlement offer.
Another factor that impacts the amount of your lemon law settlement is whether you have an attorney or not. Generally, attorneys can negotiate larger settlements than can consumers representing themselves, because lawyers know the legal system intimately and make it work in their client’s favor. A lemon law attorney skilled at negotiating can also sense how far he or she can push a manufacturer in these negotiations. Ultimately, you can decide whether you want to accept the offer from the manufacturer.
What Is a Lemon?
A “lemon” is a car, truck, utility vehicle, SUV or other motor vehicle that is defective. Whether the problem started immediately when you drove the vehicle off the dealership lot or it began many months later, the defect is persistent, and mechanics can’t seem to fix it. From radio and navigation issues to a jerking transmission, there are many types of mechanical and electrical problems that can render a vehicle defective.
Before being eligible to file a claim, you need to have made a “reasonable number of attempts” to get your new vehicle repaired. While the law is somewhat vague about how many trips to the mechanic constitute a “reasonable number” of repair attempts, you need to give the dealership a sincere opportunity to fix it first before commencing legal action.
The Lemon Law in California states that your vehicle must have “nonconformities,” which are defined as any defect or malfunction that is covered by the original warranty. Nonconformities impact a vehicle’s . . .
- Use, or
There are many defects that could affect the vehicle’s safety, but there is no requirement under the law that the defect must actually endanger you. So, if the car has a defect that causes an abnormal noise, the mere fact that the noise can impair the value or quality of use of the vehicle could be enough to be the basis of a lemon law claim.
How does the Lemon Law buyback work?
The process starts by filing a legal claim against the manufacturer. Our attorneys can do this for you. Manufacturers try to defeat lemon law claims because they want to avoid financial payouts. But Neale & Fhima is highly experienced with lemon law claims, and we fight aggressively for our clients. To prevail in a lemon law claim, you will have to:
- show that the defect compromises the use, value or safety of your vehicle
- make “reasonable attempts” to have a dealership or mechanic repair the defect.
That’s why it’s important that you have proof that you attempted to have the vehicle fixed — keep all receipts, work orders and used parts from each one of your repair appointments.
Is There a Time Limit on Filing a California Lemon Law Claim?
Yes. The statute of limitations under California’s Lemon Law is four years from the date that the consumer knew or should have known that the vehicle was defective. Generally, the sooner you file, the better. The longer you wait, the more frustrated you will become. Keep in mind that the California lemon law covers both new and used vehicles, though not all used vehicles will qualify. There are special conditions for used cars, and an attorney can answer your questions about that. The California Attorney General’s Office provides a Car Buyer’s Bill of Rights and explains more about lemon law on its website.
Lemon Law Settlement Options
Why choose Neale & Fhima?
At Neale & Fhima, we have a winning track record, and our attorneys are among the best and the brightest. We are committed to each client’s case, and we give you our full attention. We will help you choose from a variety of lemon law settlement options.
Here are a few of the reasons you should choose us:
- Years of Experience. Our attorneys have more than 40 years of combined experience representing clients throughout Southern California.
- Our Lawyers Win Cases. Neale & Fhima enjoys a 99% success rate. We think this says a lot about the skill of our attorneys. While we cannot guarantee the outcome of any particular case, you can take comfort in knowing your claim is being handled by lemon law lawyers who have a track record of success.
- We Value Client Relationships. High-volume law offices tend to think of clients as nothing more than a case file. The file gets passed around until it ends up with a paralegal or junior associate who just wants to finish it and move on. Neale & Fhima is different. We enjoy getting to know our clients. It also helps us craft settlement agreements that meet their individual needs.
- We Know the Law. California’s lemon law is a fine example of how the state legislature can empower consumers. When it comes to clarity, however, the text of the statute leaves much to be desired. Our attorneys understand the quirks of the statute, as well as the many court opinions interpreting it. We put this knowledge to work for you.
- No Surprises. A handful of manufacturers control most of the U.S. auto market. We repeatedly go up against these same companies. This allows us to anticipate how they will respond to claims involving specific models and mechanical defects. Our attorneys will share these insights with you from Day One, so you are never in the dark about what to expect.
- Free Consultations. We will always discuss your situation with you in a free initial consultation before you make any decisions about a claim.
Contact a lemon law attorney in California today!
If you’re fed up and tired of driving around in a lemon, then let us help. The skilled and experienced lemon law attorneys at Neale & Fhima have helped hundreds of clients just like you. We have a 99% success rate in these cases! We can quickly build a strong legal claim on your behalf and negotiate aggressively to get you the settlement you deserve. Don’t delay, though. The statute of limitations on lemon law claims in California has a 4-year absolute deadline. Act today! Call us at 877-308-2128.