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What Does The Lemon Law California Entitle?

The lemon law in California entitles car buyers to a full refund or replacement vehicle, plus registration fees, rental car costs, and towing charges should it be determined that the buyer purchased a car that is different from its warranty. Under the lemon law in California, new cars, leased cars, used cars, RV's, motor homes, motorcycles, boats and other consumer vehicles qualify for protection providing that they were accompanied by a written warranty. If a vehicle was sold under an "as-is" or "with all faults" contract, the lemon law in California may not be applicable, unless it was unscrupulously sold as a "lemon law buyback" to an unknowing customer.

The lemon law in California applies to vehicles purchased and registered within the first 18 months or 18,000 miles, or as long as its specific warranty specifies. And unlike lemon laws in other states, the lemon law in California does not require a consumer to participate in a manufacturer's arbitration program before seeking their own legal counsel.

If a dissatisfied automobile consumer suspects that their purchased automobile is a "lemon", they should contact the manufacturer within the car's warranty period. But it is not a requirement to have the questionable car evaluated by its manufacturer. The lemon law in California states that second opinions are permissible and if necessary, an independent expert may be consulted to inspect the vehicle. However, only an authorized dealer may repair the problematic vehicle, which consequently does not need to be the dealer from which the automobile was purchased. According to the lemon law in California, all authorized dealers function as manufacturer's agents, so any authorized dealership may do warranty repair work.

The lemon law in California also states that the manufacturer must be given at least two attempts to repair the vehicle. Independent mechanics are not authorized agents of the manufacturer, so warranty repair work performed by anyone other than an authorized agent of the manufacturer voids the vehicle's warranty.

Different from laws of other states, the lemon law in California allows dissatisfied automobile purchasers to sell the defective automobile, or to trade it in for a different vehicle. To preserve the consumer rights outlined in the lemon laws of California, cars with warranty defects offered for sale must be sold with a written disclosure that declares the owner is aware of the car's defects (a written statement from a professional inspector is better), and the automobile's manufacturer must be notified of the dissatisfied buyer's intention of sale or trade.

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