Get the Value of the Car You Bought with the Help of Leading California Lemon Law Attorneys
Buying a new or used car is an emotional experience. There is the thrill and excitement of getting a new car, the satisfaction and pride of ownership after completing a major business transaction, the fear of committing so much money to one purchase, and the worry about whether or not you are getting a “good deal.” All of these emotions are quickly replaced with frustration and anger when you begin to realize that you bought a lemon – a car with substantial defects or malfunctions which cannot seem to be corrected. California law protects you from being taken advantage of in this situation. After you have taken reasonable steps but your car’s problems haven’t been fixed, you have options to return the car for a refund, receive a replacement vehicle, or obtain a cash settlement for your troubles. The Nita Lemon Law Firm can help. Read below for more information about California lemon law, and call the Nita Lemon Law Firm for a free consultation if you think you’ve been stuck with a lemon.
Understanding Important Facts about California Lemon Law
California’s lemon law can be found in the California Civil Code beginning at section 1793.2. The lemon law is also referred to as the Song-Beverly Warranty Act and the Tanner Consumer Protection Act; both laws make up parts of the lemon law. This law covers cars, pickup trucks, vans, SUVs, certain vehicle components of a motorhome, and dealer-owned vehicles and demonstrators. The law applies to vehicles which were purchased or leased for personal, family or household purposes, as well as many vehicles purchased or leased primarily for business use.
The California lemon law applies for the duration of the original warranty period provided by the manufacturer. However, a car is presumed to be a lemon if any of the following occurs within the first 18 months or 18,000 miles after the vehicle is delivered:
- There have been two or more attempts to repair a serious safety defect
- There have been four or more attempts to repair the same problem
- The vehicle has been out of service for repair for more than 30 days
If any of these criteria are present, the car is presumed to be a lemon, but the manufacturer may still overcome that presumption by providing evidence to the contrary to show there is no serious safety defect, for instance. The manufacturer could also claim the problem does not substantially reduce the use, value or safety of the car, or that the problem was caused by abuse. The manufacturer may also claim that the consumer failed to provide proper notice or otherwise somehow did not comply with required terms of the warranty. When the manufacturer makes these claims, you need to be prepared to fight back with evidence of your own.
Once the vehicle is proven to be a lemon, you have three options under California lemon law:
Refund – The manufacturer refunds the money you have paid into the car and pays off any loan balance as well.
Replace – The manufacturer replaces your vehicle with a new, similar vehicle under your same, original purchase contract.
Cash Settlement (Cash and Keep) – You keep the vehicle and receive a cash settlement for the diminution of the car’s value caused by its defect.
You may also receive compensation for incidental damages you have incurred, such as repair, towing and rental costs.
If you are successful on your California lemon law claim, the manufacturer will pay your attorney’s fees and costs. These costs do not come out of your portion of the settlement. You never pay a dime for the services of the Nita Lemon Law Firm. In fact, M. Nick Nita was counsel in a California appeals court case that helped establish that a consumer who receives a financial recovery in a lemon law case through a settlement agreement rather than a trial is still a “prevailing party” entitled to have attorney’s fees paid by the other side.
Knowledgeable, Experienced Representation is Important to Your Case
Considering the many ways the manufacturer or dealer may dispute your claim, having an experienced attorney represent you is critical to achieving a successful and satisfactory resolution. M. Nick Nita of the Nita Lemon Law Firm has been practicing lemon law and dealer fraud for 20 years and has personally handled 10,000 cases in that time.
If the dealer has been unable to repair your vehicle after a reasonable number of attempts so that it conforms with the manufacturer warranty, you are entitled to a replacement, refund or money damages for your costs. Call the Nita Lemon Law Firm at 213-232-5055 or toll-free at 877-921-5256 for a free consultation regarding your potential claim.