If you have purchased a new vehicle in California with severe defects, the state lemon law can help you get your money back or receive a new car if it applies to your situation. However, it is not always easy to know whether or not you qualify for this law, primarily because you have probably never heard of it before. If you’re having car troubles, it’s time to learn more about this potential life-saver. Here is more on the law and whether or not you qualify for it. 

Does It Apply To You?

The CA lemon law covers a wide variety of new vehicles. It covers cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans. It also covers the mechanical and chassis aspects of motorhomes. Lemon law would cover vehicles with miles on them if they were dealer-owned loaners or demonstrators. The lemon law applies to cars that companies purchase for business use. However, it also applies to those that individuals purchase for personal use. 

What Happens If The Manufacturer Can’t Fix Your Car?

Under the lemon law, you must give the manufacturer an appropriate number of attempts to fix your vehicle. If you do and they still have not settled your issue, you can use the lemon law to get them to take another attempt at fixing your vehicle. However, they can replace your car if they cannot repair the problem. You can also choose to have them give you a refund for your purchase. 

How Many Attempts Do You Give the Manufacturer?

California’s lemon law states that you must give the dealer a “reasonable” number of repair attempts, but it does not offer a set number. Instead, it provides several guidelines that owners can use to determine if they have given the dealer an appropriate number of repair attempts. You only have to meet one of the guidelines, but which one you meet will depend on your situation. 

The most common is that you have given the dealer at least four attempts to fix a serious defect that is not a safety hazard, and they have failed. However, if you experience a safety hazard, you only have to give the dealer two unsuccessful repair attempts before you have a lemon. Additionally, if your vehicle has been at the dealership for warranty repairs for more than 30 days, it is eligible. That is because it can be presumed to be a lemon if it still needs warranty repairs after 30 days. 

Does the Lemon Law Require a Court Trial?

You generally will not need to go to court to receive compensation under the lemon law. Instead, the manufacturer will typically resolve your dispute through a state-sponsored arbitration program. While it may sound complex, these are pretty simple. You start these by requesting arbitration. Then, you will receive the arbitrator’s decision, which you can accept or reject. 

Does It Apply To Used Cars?

The lemon law rarely applies to used cars. That is because it only applies to those in which the manufacturer’s original warranty is still applicable. Therefore, the lemon law does not cover anything involving extended warranties or cases where the coverage has expired. That means the used car you purchase must have less than 24,000 miles and be under two years old. 

The lemon law can save you a lot of hassle when getting a serious defect fixed on your car. If your vehicle can’t be fixed, it can be a great way to get a new one. Use this guide to see if your car is eligible for replacement or repair under the lemon law. If you believe you qualify, ensure you take the appropriate steps to get your case started.