You are one of thousand’s of California drivers who own or lease a California vehicle that you think is a “lemon”.
Topics covered in Handbook include:
- What is the California Lemon Law?
- What are my rights?
- Why you need the right attorney to represent you
- What can a Lemon Law attorney do for me?
- How do I choose a Lemon Law attorney?
- Arbitration - What you need to know.
- What might this cost me?
- How do I "win" and get my money back?
This and many more important topics are covered in this FREE Handbook which is available to all California residents who purchased or leased a 2011 or newer vehicle that is still within the manufacturer’s original new car limited warranty, or covered by a manufacturer’s “certified pre-owned” used car warranty. Just fill out the form below and your California Lemon Law Handbook will arrive in the mail within 1-3 days!
Copyright 2/1/02 www.FreeCaliforniaLemonLawHandbook.com
P.O. Box 460836 Escondido, CA. 92046-0836
Serving all California Residents - 28 Years Experience
California Lemon Law – Quick Reference Guide
The California lemon law offers protection for buyers of new
cars, trucks, motorhomes, and motorcycles. The California lemon law provides
different options to the consumer and manufacturer.
For cars and trucks that qualify under the California lemon
law, the manufacturer must offer to replace or repurchase the offending
“lemon” vehicle, however, the consumer cannot be forced to accept a
replacement. The California lemon law treats motorhomes and motorcycles
differently in that it allows the manufacturer to repurchase or replace the
product, at its discretion.
Automobile manufacturers will print warranty books that
contain “instructions” for consumers who think they may have a lemon vehicle
that qualifies under California lemon law. Consumers must remember that these
lemon law “instructions” or “steps to follow” are what the automobile
manufacturer wants you to do, and is NOT the California lemon law. For example,
many manufacturers warranty books will attempt to direct the consumer with a
California lemon law claim to attend an arbitration hearing. Arbitration is NOT
required under the California Lemon Law to pursue a lemon law claim. Nor is
there any requirement under the California Lemon Law to bring a lemon law claim
within 18 months or 18,000 miles. You as the consumer have the entire new
vehicle limited warranty period (usually 3 years/36,000 miles or 4 years/50,000
miles) to bring your California lemon law claim. If the repeated problem
continues to occur after the expiration of the new car warranty, you may still
be entitled to protection under the California lemon law. The California lemon
law also uses the manufacturer’s “extra power-train warranty coverage” as
lemon law protection for consumers. These extended “power-train” warranties
often provide for coverage as long as 100,000 miles, and can be utilized to
qualify a vehicle as a “lemon” under the California lemon law.
When our California lemon law was passed many years ago, the
automobile manufacturers were allowed to set up non-binding arbitration as an
OPTION for the consumer to utilize in an attempt to settle their lemon law
dispute. Consumers in California must realize that these dispute resolution
mediums are often nothing more than a way for automobile manufacturers to be
given “another chance” at fixing the consumers vehicle. One of the potential
decisions that can be handed down at an arbitration hearing is “the repair
decision.” The automobile manufacturer’s representative argues to the
arbitrator that the manufacturer should be given an additional attempt to repair
the vehicle, or argues that they (coincidentally) “now have a fix developed”
for the consumer’s repeated defective condition. The consumer often goes into
a arbitration hearing expecting a “win” or “lose” decision, but becomes
stunned when finding out that the outcome of the arbitration for their lemon law
claim is simply to return back to the dealer for more repair attempts! The
arbitrators are not lawyers. Participation in an arbitration is NOT required to
pursue a legal claim in California under the lemon law.
“Customer Assistance Centers”. Consumers can call the
manufacturer’s toll-free “assistance center” (this phone number is usually
contained in the manufacture’s warranty booklet) and explain that they feel
they have a vehicle that qualifies under the California lemon law. The
manufacturer’s representative will typically assign a “case number” to the
consumer’s complaint. Often times the unknowing consumer thinks this “case
number” means that something will be done, especially when followed by the
potential language of “we are opening a case number for you.” Consumers can
be mislead that this is the “opening” or “start” of a legal California
lemon law case. It is NOT. A “case number” is often nothing more than a
reference number to the consumer that allows the automobile manufacturer to
establish a numerical file on the consumer which can be used to index any future
“Dealer Trade Assist”. Consumers need to be VERY aware of
this “trick of the automobile trade.” Consumers who have been having
repeated problems with their vehicle will often seek lemon law relief by asking
their car dealer to “buy back” or replace their vehicle. What the consumer
does NOT know is that the dealer does not have the responsibility under the
California lemon law to repurchase or replace the offending vehicle. This is
where “opportunity knocks” for the car dealer in many instances. The car
dealer “responds” to the consumer’s request by “offering” to resolve
the consumer’s dreadful car problem by offering “to take them out of their
car” or “get you out of this car and into a new one” or similar verbiage.
This is NOT the California lemon law. This is an example of an opportunistic
dealer sales tactic of making the consumer believe that they are getting
California lemon law relief, but in reality the car dealer is taking the
offending vehicle in trade, and simply selling the consumer another vehicle at a
handsome profit to the dealer! The dealer often hears consumers say, “You have
to get me out of this vehicle.” They are simply taking the customers grief and
turning it into profit, while the consumer loses part of or all of their earned
equity in their vehicle, often resulting in the loss of thousands of dollars.
This “dealer trade assist” can often result in the dealer inflating the
price of the “replacement” car and putting the consumer further into debt.
Consumers should be very aware that the car dealership is in business to make a
profit and to sell cars. The “dealer trade assist” is another example of how
a consumer in California can unknowingly THINK they are getting relief from the
California lemon law, but are simply being taken advantage of.
What is the consumer to do? Consumers can simplify the entire
California lemon law process by utilizing the services of a specialized lemon
law attorney. We are California Lemon Law Attorneys, California’s largest
lemon law firm. You can call us toll-free at 1-800-647-8127 for
a free consultation or review of your repair documents to see if you qualify for
protection and relief under the California lemon law. The California lemon law
has a provision for attorney’s fees, making the automobile manufacturer pay
the attorney for time spent on a lemon law claim.