Any car that you purchase or lease in the State of California might be protected by the California Lemon Law. The applicable laws are based on the Song-Beverly consumer warranty act that basically states that if the vehicle manufacturer or the manufacturer’s representative cannot repair a defect after being given a number of opportunities to do so then the consumer has the right to demand a replacement or a refund. There are numerous stipulations that must be adhered to for this recourse to be applicable.
The vehicle has to have been purchased or leased in the State of California; it must have been purchased for personal, family or business purposes. The Song-Beverly act continues to be in effect as long as the vehicle is still covered by the factory warranty, this is why the California Lemon Law also applies to used cars; any time left on the new car warranty automatically provides protection for the new owner. Any vehicles deemed to be a lemon and bought back by the manufacturer for subsequent resale must include the statement that it is a lemon law buyback on the amended title and it must be given a full one year factory warranty to cover any potential defects.
Of course not every defect makes the vehicle a lemon, to qualify as a lemon under California law the vehicle must have a defect or suffer from a condition that impacts the vehicles use, value or safety and the vehicle must still be under warranty.
Under the California Lemon Law the defective vehicle is presumed to be a lemon if problems occurred in the first 18 months of ownership or within the first 18,000 miles on the odometer. During this time you must have taken the car in for repair a “reasonable” number of times. What is considered to be reasonable has a lot to do with how serious the defect is:
* If the defect is such that death or serious injury may result you have to give the manufacturer two opportunities to repair it.
* If the problem is one that impacts the use, value or safety the dealer has four opportunities to rectify the problem
* The vehicle is out of commission and not available to the owner for a total of 30 days.
It is impossible to know if a car will turn out to be a lemon when you first buy it, this is why keeping records and copies of all service orders and correspondence is important; this will be needed when you seek redress.
For complete information on the California Lemon Law and how it affects you, you are invited to visit the web site of Lemon Law America; the trusted source for information on your states Lemon law.