Driving away from a car dealership with a new BMW automatically makes you cool. In fact, even if you drive away from a used car lot with a BMW whose model year is the year you were born, you are still cooler than most of the population. People associate the name BMW with style, luxury, and efficiency, and the fact that there are plenty of BMWs that have consistently been operational for longer than some of today’s licensed drivers have been alive is evidence that BMWs lasting a long time is the rule rather than the exception. Things can go wrong at the beginning with any kind of car, though, even a pulchritudinous BMW.
Can a BMW Be a Lemon?
California’s Lemon Law defines a lemon as a vehicle that has persistent problems even while it is new enough that it is still under warranty from the manufacturer. Even the most reputable car manufacturers find that a dud makes it off of the assembly line every now and then. While most BMW cars continue to work remarkably well for decades after the original owner buys them, a few units will start having problems quickly. These are some of the most common reasons that BMW cars need repair:
- Engine cooling systems, such as coolant leaks or faulty water pumps, which can cause the car to overheat
- Problems with the thrust arm bushings, which cause the steering wheel to vibrate when you apply the brakes
- Oil leaks originating from the fuel pump or valve cover gasket
- Corrosion of the bulb connection at the tail lamp circuit
If your BMW starts having one of these problems, or a different problem, shortly after you buy it, you should try to get it repaired, but if the problems start again after every repair, your lovely BMW might be a lemon.
What Kinds of Vehicles Does California’s Lemon Law Cover?
California’s Lemon Law protects consumers from financial losses associated with buying new but defective cars. It applies to many different types of vehicles, as long as the car is still under manufacturer’s warranty because of its age or the number of miles on its odometer. This means that, under California law, a car, pickup truck, SUV, or van can be a lemon, as can the chassis, chassis cab, and drivetrain of a motor home. Certified pre-owned vehicles are also covered under the Lemon Law if they are still under warranty by the manufacturer.
How Do You Get Your Money Back If Your Car Is a Lemon?
If your car is a lemon, the manufacturer must take it back from you at the manufacturer’s own expense. You get to choose whether you would like the manufacturer to give you an equivalent vehicle free of charge or give you a refund equal to the purchase price of the defective vehicle. To show that your car is a lemon, you must demonstrate that the problems started while the vehicle was new enough to be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty and that you have made reasonable attempts to fix it.
Most vehicle manufacturers use an arbitration process where the consumer gets to present evidence that the car is a lemon, and the manufacturer has a chance to present evidence that the car is not a lemon. To count as a lemon, the car’s problems must fit at least one of the criteria:
- The problem is serious enough that the consumer would be causing a risk of serious injury by continuing to drive the car in its current condition
- The consumer has taken the car to a mechanic for repairs on at least four occasions
- The car has spent at least 30 days in the repair shop, but those 30 days do not need to be consecutive
Why Do You Need a California Lemon Law Attorney?
Resolving Lemon Law disputes through arbitration sounds like it should be easy, since it is theoretically quicker and less expensive than going to court, but in practice, arbitration is not always fair to the consumer. You should hire a Lemon Law attorney even if you are just starting the arbitration phase of your Lemon Law case. Remember that you do not have a legal obligation to accept the arbitration agreement, and you still have the right to take your Lemon Law case to court. Your Los Angeles lemon lawyer can help you point out all of the problems with your new car and show that these problems did not arise through any mistake of yours.
It is not too early to contact The Lemon Lawyers of 911 Lemon if your BMW is not as sweet as it looks. We have offices conveniently located throughout Southern California, including in Santa Ana, Riverside, Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Diego, Glendale, Costa Mesa, Long Beach, and Orange County.