- May 24, 2022
- Categories: Lemon Law
It’s so frustrating when you purchase a car or truck only to find out that it has chronic mechanical or electrical problems. Fortunately, you may have legal recourse under California’s lemon law. If you’re wondering “How hard is it to win a lemon law case?”, the answer depends on several factors. Some of these include:
- The nature of the defect
- Whether the statute of limitations has lapsed
- What kind of warranty your new or used vehicle has
- Whether you’ve made the required number of repair attempts
- The skill and determination of your attorney.
A vehicle’s defect must be one that compromises the use, value or safety of your car or truck. You are also required to try more than once to have the defect repaired by a dealership. The California lemon law is not designed for small imperfections like a scratch, dent or missing knob that can be fixed with one trip to the repair shop. Rather, it is designed for a chronic manufacturing defect that can’t be fixed.
The best way to win a lemon law case is to hire a skilled and experienced lawyer who has a track record of prevailing in lemon law claims. That’s who we are at Neale & Fhima. Our tough and aggressive attorneys negotiate firmly with auto manufacturers to get the justice our clients deserve.
What California Statutes Apply to Defective Vehicles?
California has a very consumer-friendly lemon law compared to other states in the U.S., and the statutes ensure that car buyers are protected. Under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, if you purchase a defective vehicle that meets the legal definition of a lemon, you are entitled to a refund, or the vehicle can be replaced at the manufacturer’s expense. The Tanner Consumer Protection Act (a section of Song-Beverly legislation) spells out the meaning of a “reasonable number of repair attempts” that you must make before filing a claim.
How To Win a Lemon Law Case
To prevail in a California lemon law claim, you must:
- show that the vehicle defect compromises the use, value or safety of your vehicle
- make “reasonable attempts” to have a dealership repair the defect.
First, let’s look at how a lemon is defined. A “lemon” is a car, truck, utility vehicle, RV, or SUV that has chronic mechanical or electrical problems. Whether it’s because of faulty brakes, poor steering, mirrors that don’t work, or a broken navigation system, these faulty vehicles are always in the repair shop. The defects are considered “non-conformities” and are typically covered under your original new car manufacturer’s warranty. The key is that the non-conformities must compromise the vehicle’s …
- value, or
Compromised safety doesn’t mean you have to be in danger of injury or death – it simply means that safe driving is hampered by the defect.
Second, let’s consider the requirement for repair attempts. The Tanner Act lays out some guidelines defining what constitutes a “reasonable number” of visits to the dealership to get the vehicle defect fixed. While it’s a bit confusing, here are guideposts offered by the law:
- Your vehicle had a minimum of two repairs attempted for a defect that could lead to death or serious injury if it is driven.
- You brought the car or truck to the dealership at least three to four times to remedy the same defect — over and over.
- The vehicle has been at a dealership for repairs of the same defect for at least 30 days since you acquired it.
If you’re unsure whether you’ve met the required number of repair attempts to file a lemon law claim, speak to our California lemon law lawyers for guidance. Remember, it’s important to be able to prove that you took your car into the dealership and tried to have it repaired. That’s why you should keep all receipts, work orders and used parts from each one of your repair appointments.
What Happens When You Win a Lemon Law Case?
There are various options you can choose from after winning your lemon law claim. Which one is best for you depends on your unique situation. Your options include:
- The vehicle manufacturer can repurchase your car, truck or SUV.
- The manufacturer can replace your vehicle.
- In some cases, you can keep your current vehicle and request a cash settlement from the manufacturer to compensate you for the defects.
Used Vehicles and the Lemon Law
California’s lemon law covers some used vehicles as well as new and leased vehicles. If you own a used vehicle, you will need one of three specific warranties to pursue a successful lemon law claim:
- a transferred new car warranty
- a certified pre-owned warranty
- lemon law buy-back warranty.
If you’re unsure whether your used vehicle qualifies for lemon law protection, contact our skilled attorneys at Neale & Fhima for legal advice.
Choosing the Best Lemon Law Lawyer
The skilled and experienced lemon law attorneys at Neale & Fhima are among the best and the brightest. We have a reputation for winning lemon law cases, and we fight hard to get the justice our clients deserve. We are tough negotiators and aggressive litigators. To learn more about our outstanding legal team, you can see our attorney bios here. You can also read testimonials from our happy and satisfied clients.
Keep in mind that there is a four-year statute of limitations for lemon law claims in California. If you miss this window of opportunity, then the court will likely dismiss your case. So, as soon as you start to have mechanical or electrical problems with your vehicle and suspect it is a lemon, contact an attorney promptly. The sooner you take action, the better.
Neale & Fhima Wins Lemon Law Cases
If you believe you’ve purchased a lemon and want a tough attorney on your side, contact Neale & Fhima today. We have a 99% success rate in lemon law cases!We know how to go toe-to-toe with vehicle manufacturers and win lemon law claims. Don’t delay. Call us today for a free initial consultation at 877-308-2128.
Attorney Aaron Fhima
Attorney Aaron Fhima is a trial attorney who has secured numerous settlements and verdicts against large corporations and some of the largest auto manufacturers in the world. Representing consumers and injury victims throughout the state of California, Aaron’s practice areas include personal injury, and lemon law litigation. Aaron has a long record of success taking on large defense firms; and he doesn’t hesitate to take cases to trial when necessary to enforce his clients’ rights.