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The Lemon Lawyers is a plaintiff’s firm in California specializing in Lemon Law. We are aggressive advocates for those who have been wronged by an auto manufacturer or dealership.
California Lemon Lawyers
Going on a road trip in California is a dream come true. The mountains, forests, vineyards, and beaches are even more beautiful when you see them from the window of a car. Likewise, the beautiful people of California can’t hold a candle to the beauty of the cars they drive. When you buy a new car in Southern California, you feel like you are on top of the world. Of course, nothing is cheap in the Golden State, especially not cars, so you will probably spend years to come making payments on that feeling you got from driving away from the dealership in your sweet new ride. Imagine the disappointment if your first months with your new car are a series of trips to the repair shop to fix problems that a new car should not have, problems that keep coming back, even after the dealership makes a serious effort to fix them. The good news is that California law protects consumers from heavy financial losses in the event that a new car has a manufacturer’s defect. A California Lemon Law attorney can help you get your money back if your car is defective and is still under warranty from the manufacturer.
What Is the Difference Between Used Car Fraud and a Lemon?
Even the most well engineered and well-constructed cars will need repairs and replacement parts eventually. The reputation of the car manufacturer is a factor in many car buyers’ decisions. Whether your car was made by one of the American brands that fueled the California car culture of the 1960s, such as Chevrolet or GMC, or an elegant European brand such as Mercedes or BMW, you bought your car with the expectation that it would be reliable. Unfortunately, things do not always turn out that way.
If your car was defective when you bought it new, it is a lemon. The legal definition of a lemon is a car that has a manufacturer’s defect that becomes evident while the car is still under manufacturer’s warranty, whether you bought the car new or certified pre-owned. If this describes your car, then you are protected from financial losses under California’s Lemon Law.
Used cars are even more prone to persistent problems than new cars. If you are buying a used car with enough mileage that its manufacturer’s warranty has expired, you don’t expect it to be in perfect condition. In this case, the used car dealer should be honest with you about the car’s history, including repairs it has undergone, its odometer readings, and any accidents in which it has been involved. If the dealer misleads you about a used car you are buying, then you have recourse to used car fraud laws, not the Lemon Law. Lemon Law cases are only for new and certified pre-owned cars that are still under warranty.
If You Are Going to Buy a Lemon, California Is a Good Place to Do It
Federal law requires vehicle manufacturers to take responsibility for the cars they sell. This involves issuing safety recall notices to owners of a certain model of car if the manufacturer finds evidence, after the car is already on the market, that some units of that model of car have a defective part that could cause injury. The manufacturer should replace the part in affected units at the manufacturer’s own expense. Federal law also requires each state to enact lemon laws, which require vehicle manufacturers to replace cars with manufacturer defects or issue refunds to the buyers. In keeping with California’s reputation for delightful citrus fruits, California’s Lemon Law is one of the nation’s sweetest lemon laws.
These are some highlights of California’s Lemon Law:
- You can get a refund or a replacement vehicle for a car, pickup truck, van, SUV, or motorhome
- You have the choice to get a refund of the purchase price or have the manufacturer replace your defective vehicle with an identical make and model
- The Lemon Law applies to new and certified pre-owned vehicles that are still under warranty from the manufacturer
- You can file a Lemon Law claim in California if you bought your car in California or if you are active-duty military and bought your car in another state
- The problems with the car must arise from a manufacturer’s defect not from your careless use of the car
These are some situations in which a car manufacturer will reject your Lemon Law claim:
- You have driven the car so many miles that it is no longer under warranty.
- You have failed to keep up with regular maintenance of the car.
- Your car got damaged in an accident. If the accident was not your fault, then your claim should be with the other driver or their insurance company, not with the manufacturer of your own car.
Should You Replace Your Lemon With an Identical Car or Ask for Your Money Back?
Under California law, if your car is a lemon, you have the right to ask the manufacturer to give you a refund or a replacement vehicle. It is your choice whether to ask for a refund or a replacement, but you must choose one or the other. Which one you choose depends on your individual circumstances. For example, if your Chevrolet Camaro is a lemon, you might decide that the last thing you want is another Camaro; you might decide that you would rather get a refund and buy a Toyota Camry or that you are done with cars altogether and want to use the money to relocate to a more walkable city. Even if you decide to have Chevrolet replace your car, you can only get an identical Camaro; you can’t trade it in for a Chevy Malibu. Therefore, if you want a different car, it is best to ask for a refund.
Getting a refund is also not the panacea that it may seem to be. The manufacturer must refund you for the purchase price of your vehicle, but only the purchase price. If you purchased any upgrades or add-ons, those will not be included in your refund amount. Likewise, if you have negative equity in your car because you still owe money on a previous car from before you traded it in for your current one, your Lemon Law refund will not make all your car loan debt go away.
Getting Your Money Back in a Lemon Law Action: Games Car Manufacturers Play
The lemon laws in California and other states are meant to make it easy for consumers to get their money back for defective cars and to get a vehicle that works the way it should. Unfortunately, car manufacturers have plenty of resources at their disposal to make it difficult for consumers to get the refunds to which they are entitled. For example, the first step to requesting a refund is to call the vehicle manufacturer’s customer service phone number. The companies that manufacture some of the world’s most popular cars can easily afford to pay their employees to keep you on hold for a long time, and then transfer you to another representative who also keeps you on hold for a long time and then transfer you to a third representative. This representative may tell you to send an email, and then weeks may go by before you get a response, which may tell you to call a different number or email someone else. In other words, the manufacturer might give you the runaround.
Likewise, the car manufacturer might ask you to resolve your dispute through arbitration, which is a process for settling disputes out of court. Arbitration agreements between a big corporation and an individual are rarely fair, since the corporation is a repeat customer of the arbitrator, so the arbitrator has an incentive to play favorites with the corporation. This is also the reason that employees should beware when their employment contracts include mandatory arbitration clauses. Despite this, you have no obligation to accept the arbitration agreement; after the arbitrator proposes a settlement, you still have the option to file a lawsuit instead of accepting the settlement amount.
California law gives you the right to file a lawsuit in court to get your refund, but you should contact a Los Angeles lemon lawyer long before your case gets to the litigation phase. Not only can your lawyer represent you in a lawsuit, but they can also help you resolve your case and get your money without going to court. Just as personal injury lawyers are experts at negotiating with car insurance companies to get their clients the settlements they deserve, your San Diego lemon lawyer can also help you cut through all the red tape when dealing with the car manufacturer’s customer service department and negotiate a fair refund for you.
Contact the Southern California Lemon Law attorneys at 911 Lemon for help replacing your defective car or getting a refund. You can also visit us in our offices in Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Orange County, Glendale, Santa Ana, Long Beach, Riverside, San Diego, and Los Angeles.
To See If You Qualify
We have developed a dynamic, results-oriented system of processing lemon law claims with an emphasis on early resolution and settlement. We have a faster settlement time than most firms, while not jeopardizing the value of your settlement.
If your claim does not settle in our early resolution department, we have a large staff of experienced litigation paralegals, law clerks and trial attorneys to work up your case, turn up the pressure on the manufacture and recover the entirety of your damages, including civil penalties that you are owed, which you might not know you are entitled too.
A Case In Under 90 Seconds
- No Win No Fee Guarantee
- Proven Results
- Experience that Matters
- 24/7 Access to an Attorney
- Personalized Care
- Acura, Audi
- Alfa Romeo
- Mercedes Benz
- Nissan, Ram
- Rolls Royce
- Harley Davidson
What Documentation Should I Provide for my Lemon Law Claim?
Its, as easy as 1,2,3
All the repair orders for the problem your car is experiencing
Lease or Sales contract
If you win your lemon law case, our office schedules a turn in date, where you present your vehicle to the nearest dealership for them to take the vehicle back. You receive a settlement that you would approve ahead of time, your loan gets paid off, you are not longer responsible to pay any more payments and you receive, in most cases, almost all of your payments back from the date the problems first started.
With our office, we have developed a unique process which his backed up by a unique system we created to help settle your claim in the shortest amount of time and for the highest amount. No other law firm uses this system or has access to it.
We are usually able to collect the records we need, have an expert mechanic give us a report, submit a demand and settle your case all within 90 days. Our average return time is 90 days and our average settlement is $46,000.00.
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We work with dealers and manufacturers
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