Used Car Lemons

Used Car Lemons

Lemon Law Attorney Serving California

The California Used Car Lemon Law provides legal protections for consumers who purchase or lease a used car, or any other used vehicle covered under the manufacturer's warranty, from being stuck with a lemon. Although many people mistakenly believe that used cars are not protected by California’s lemon laws, this is simply not the case. Even if you purchased a used car, your rights as a consumer are still protected. If your car is under warranty and you have been experiencing issues that cannot be readily repaired, now is the time to talk to a lawyer about your options and rights. Depending on the circumstances, you may have a claim to compensation in the form of a refund, vehicle replacement, or cash.

To get started, call (424) 262-1000. When you work with The Bravo Law Firm, APC, it’s personal.

Manufacturers Have a Duty to Repair

Under California's Used Car Lemon Law, auto manufacturers and dealers are provided a reasonable number of attempts to repair defects or nonconformities in used vehicles covered by a warranty before they are required to buy the vehicle back or compensate the owner. In other words, you must give a manufacturer the chance to remedy the issue with your car before filing a lemon law claim.

Guidelines on Attempts to Repair Your Vehicle

The "reasonable number of opportunities" may be exceeded if:

  • 1 or 2 attempts have been made to fix a serious safety defect, such as faulty brakes
  • 2 or more failed attempts have been made to fix a defect which poses a serious risk of bodily injury or death if the vehicle is continued to be driven
  • 4 or more failed attempts have been made to fix the same nonconformity or defect
  • The vehicle is in for repairs for any number of defects or nonconformities for 30 days or more

There are certain exceptions to this rule. Manufacturers do not have to issue a refund or replacement for a vehicle if the issues were caused by abuse after the vehicle was delivered to the consumer or if the terms of the vehicle's warranty and maintenance were not properly followed. 

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What Types of Cars are Covered Under California's Used Car Lemon Law?

California's lemon law covers used cars that fall within the following categories:

  • Used cars or vehicles purchased primarily for personal or household purposes
  • Company vehicles with gross weights below 10,000 pounds where 5 or fewer vehicles are registered to the business
  • Used cars sold with a written warranty
  • Lemon vehicles that are repurchased by manufacturers and resold to consumers

California's used car lemon law does not apply in situations where the problems that a car or vehicle is experiencing are caused by abuse, or if the terms of the vehicle's warranty for maintenance and proper use were not properly followed by the owner.

Warranties & Compensation for Used Car Lemons

If you have a used car that qualifies as a lemon under California’s consumer protection laws, you may be entitled to a refund or a replacement vehicle, plus additional compensation for any related losses.

Your used car may be covered by lemon laws if:

  • You purchased the vehicle with a warranty
  • It has been in multiple times for the same repair
  • It has been in for repairs for 30 days or more

Even if your used car does not meet the above criteria, it pays to speak with an attorney. You could still be covered. If you purchased the vehicle without a warranty, the manufacturer warranty may still be in place. This will typically apply if the vehicle is less than 3 years old and/or has less than 36,000 miles on it. Or, if the warranty provided by the used car dealership has expired, but it was misrepresented in any way, you may still have a valid case.

How Long is My Car Covered Under California's Used Car Lemon Law?

California Used Car Lemon Law applies through the duration of a vehicle's original warranty as well as any extended warranty periods. For example, if a vehicle has a 3-year original warranty and a defect is discovered 2 years after the warranty's start date, the manufacturer will be legally required to make a reasonable attempt to repair the vehicle, or if it cannot be repaired, repurchase, replace, or otherwise compensate the owner. Regardless of the circumstances, however, all breach of warranty claims must be filed within 4 years of the warranty's start date.

Helping Used Car Owners in the San Fernando Valley & Greater LA Area

The Bravo Law Firm, APC serves used car owners across the entire San Fernando Valley, including Van Nuys, Sherman Oaks, to Calabasas, and the entire greater Los Angeles area. When you come to our firm, you can expect to receive an honest assessment of your case and straightforward guidance regarding your rights as a consumer under our state’s lemon laws. We will take whatever approach aligns with your goals and offers the best opportunity at a positive result, and we will fight to win.

Contact us at (424) 262-1000 and find out how we can help.

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Whether you have questions or you’re ready to get started, our legal team is ready to help. Complete our form below or call us at 424-262-1000.

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