DRIVING A LEMON?
What is a Lemon?
A vehicle qualifies as a “Lemon” if within the original manufacturer’s warranty period the vehicle suffers from a non-conformity that substantially impairs the use, value or safety of the vehicle that the manufacturer cannot repair after a reasonable number of repair attempts. Simply stated, if your vehicle has suffered from the same problem or problems, but the dealership is unable to repair the vehicle, your vehicle may be a lemon.
A. Presumption Cases
In California, a vehicle is “presumed” to be a lemon if:
1. Your vehicle has been submitted to a dealership on 2 or more repair attempts for the same non-conformity that is likely to cause serious bodily injury or death within the first 18 months or 18,0000 miles of the purchase or lease of the vehicle or within the warranty period, whichever is earlier, and the non-conformity continues to exist;
2. Your vehicle has been submitted to a dealership on 4 or more repair or more repair attempts for the same non-conformity that within the first 18 months or 18,0000 miles of the purchase of the vehicle or within the warranty period, whichever is earlier, and the non-conformity continues to exist; or
3. Your vehicle has been submitted to a dealership for 30 or more days in the manufacturer’s repair facility within the first 18 months or 18,000 miles of purchase or lease of the vehicle.
*** YOUR VEHICLE MAY STILL BE A LEMON EVEN IF IT DOESN’T FIT INTO THE ABOVE PRESUMPTION***
B. Cases Outside the Presumption
Auto manufacturers would like consumers to think that cases that fall outside the above presumptions do not qualify as “Lemons”. However, even vehicles that have repair attempts outside the presumption can qualify as a Lemon. The standard is simply that the manufacturer has had a “reasonable number” of repair attempts to repair a non-conformity within the warranty period, but has been unable to do so. Therefore, even if your vehicle started to suffer from problems after 18,000 miles, so long as you had a “reasonable number” of repair attempts within the warranty period for the non-conformity, your vehicle may be a lemon!
What Can You Get?
1. Replacement of the vehicle, with a new vehicle, that is the same make with the same options less a mileage offset.
2. Repurchase the vehicle and refund the full purchase price including all sales taxes, license fees, registration fees and other similar governmental charges, less a mileage offset; or
3. Cash & Keep: you keep the vehicle and receive cash compensation.
The manufacturer is required to pay for a reasonable hourly rate for attorney’s fees. In the event of a “cash and keep” settlement or verdict, we charge a percentage of the recovery. In any event, there are no attorney’s fees if there is no recovery.