Understanding the Lemon Law Presumption in California Lemon Law
When you invest in a new or used vehicle, the last thing you expect is to deal with ongoing mechanical problems. Fortunately, California has laws in place to protect consumers who find themselves stuck with a defective vehicle, commonly known as a “lemon.” One especially helpful provision is the “lemon law presumption.” This concept, embedded in the California lemon law, can expedite the process of determining that you do indeed have a lemon and are entitled to remedies under the law, including a replacement, buyback, money damages and more.
See below to learn about the lemon law presumption in California lemon law. If you believe you’ve been stuck with a lemon and need help exercising your rights, contact Nita Lemon Law Firm in Los Angeles for help statewide.
What Is the Lemon Law Presumption?
The lemon law presumption is a provision within California lemon law that helps expedite the legal process for consumers dealing with defective vehicles. This presumption sets specific criteria under which a vehicle is automatically considered a lemon, reducing the burden of proof on the consumer. In other words, if your vehicle meets the conditions outlined by the lemon law presumption, the law presumes that you are entitled to a refund or replacement vehicle. Although this presumption could still be challenged and rebutted by the manufacturer, it removes an initial hurdle in pursuing a lemon law claim that you might otherwise face.
Criteria for the Lemon Law Presumption in California
To qualify for lemon law presumption in California, a vehicle must meet one of the following conditions within the first 18 months of ownership or 18,000 miles, whichever comes first:
- Two or More Repair Attempts for a Life-Threatening Defect: The same life-threatening issue must have been repaired at least twice and still exist.
- Four or More Repair Attempts for a Non-Life-Threatening Defect: If the vehicle has a defect that isn’t life-threatening but still affects its use, value, or safety, at least four attempts must have been made to repair it.
- Out of Service for Over 30 Days: The vehicle has been at the repair shop for more than 30 days (cumulative) due to warranty-covered issues.
It is important to note that these repair attempts or days out of service must be related to defects covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.
Importance of Documentation
To benefit from the lemon law presumption, keeping meticulous records is crucial. Document every repair visit, including the dates and issues addressed. Collect invoices, repair orders, and any communication with the manufacturer or authorized repair facility. This documentation will serve as concrete evidence if you decide to pursue a lemon law claim.
What the Lemon Law Presumption Means for Consumers
If your vehicle meets the criteria for lemon law presumption, you’re in a much stronger position when negotiating a refund or replacement with the manufacturer. Typically, you would be entitled to a replacement vehicle of comparable value or a full refund, minus a reasonable allowance for the mileage driven before the first repair attempt.
However, even if your vehicle doesn’t meet the criteria to benefit from the lemon law presumption, you could still have a valid lemon law claim. California lemon law also covers cases that fall outside the lemon law presumption guidelines, although the burden of proof is higher. Work with an experienced lemon law attorney to pursue your claim to a successful resolution, even in difficult cases.
Contact Nita Lemon Law Firm for Help With California Lemon Law Claims
While the lemon law presumption is an advantageous provision for consumers, navigating through a lemon law claim can still be challenging and complex. Working with an attorney experienced in California lemon law can help ensure your claim is ultimately successful and that you get an appropriate remedy under the law. For a free consultation regarding your potential claim, contact Nita Lemon Law Firm in Los Angeles at 213-232-5055 or toll-free throughout California statewide at 877-921-5256. Get the value of the car you bought with the help of a leading California lemon law attorney.