What is the lemon law?

When Californians talk about the “lemon law” what they are usually referring to is the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, Civil Code Section 1790, et seq. Under Song-Beverly, warrantors (usually manufacturers) have to comply with their written warranty. If they can’t fix a covered product after a reasonable opportunity, then they have to buy it back or offer a replacement. If they don’t comply with their warranty obligations, you can bring a “lemon law lawsuit.”

What does California’s lemon law cover?

The Song-Beverly Act covers more than just cars. The attorneys at Conn Law, PC have brought “lemon law” cases for motorcycles, boats, RVs, and even defective faucets. Almost any consumer product that comes with a warranty is covered by the lemon law.

Is my car a lemon?

Under the Song-Beverly Act, there are three basic requirements before you can bring a lemon law claim:

There has to be a “substantial” nonconformity. That means, a defect that substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of the vehicle to you.

You have to give the manufacturer or its representatives a “reasonable opportunity” to repair the vehicle. You almost always need to give them at least two tries, sometimes, at least four.

The manufacturer has to be unable to fix the defect after a “reasonable number of attempts”

If all three requirements apply to you, your car could be lemon and you may have a claim. Give us a call.

Does the lemon law cover cars that are out of warranty?

It depends on the circumstances. If the problem was a latent defect that existed during the warranty period, you might be able to bring a claim. And if you took your vehicle in for the same problem during the warranty period and it was not fixed, the warranty may be extended to cover that defect.

How many times do I have to take my car in for repair before it is a lemon?

Almost always, you have to take the vehicle in at least two times. And if the problem is not safety related, more repair attempts might be required. It really depends on the circumstances.

Does the dealership have to verify the problem before my car becomes a “lemon”?

No. Often time we will bring cases where the repair orders read “problem not verified.” The consumer’s only obligation is to give the manufacturer a reasonable opportunity to repair the vehicle. Even if there is “no problem found,” it still counts as a repair opportunity. However, if no defect is ever verified, we may need you to take the vehicle to an independent expert before we can file a case.