When you purchase a product, and it doesn’t work, you return it. The same is true for cars that keep breaking down. The California Lemon Law protects your right to return a defective vehicle for a full refund or get a replacement from the manufacturer.
Because cars deteriorate over time, however, the California Lemon Law does not cover breakdowns caused by wear and tear, and the law only applies to cars that are still covered by the manufacturer’s original warranty.
How Many Breakdowns Is Too Many?
Your car isn’t defective if it has a simple problem that can be fixed. The manufacturer simply needs to fix the problem, so you can move on with your life. If the problem keeps happening, or you’re fixing one problem after the other, you might have a defective car, commonly referred to as a “lemon.”
In general, your car is a lemon if you have taken it in for repair 4 or more times for the same problem, and it still is not fixed. If the problem is serious enough to cause injury or death, the manufacturer only has 2 chances to repair your vehicle.
Otherwise, your vehicle may be a lemon if it has been out of service for repair for more than 30 days since you bought it. The 30 days do not have to be consecutive, so if your car spends a day in the shop for one problem, a week in the shop for another, and so on, you are eligible for protection under the California Lemon Law once your car has been out of commission for 30 days total.
Make sure you get documentation every time you take your car to the dealership, even if it’s a quick fix!
When Should You Notify the Manufacturer?
You can notify the manufacturer when you feel that you are spending an unreasonable number of times at the dealership, or your vehicle is being repaired an unreasonable number of times at the dealership.
Sometimes, manufacturers will recognize and resolve problems right away because they don’t want you to hire an attorney. If the manufacturer does not offer a more permanent solution after 2 breakdowns, and you suffer a third, call an attorney.
How Quickly Can You Get a New Car?
If the manufacturer does not solve the problem as soon as they are aware of it and make efforts to adhere to the California Lemon Law, it will not do so without a fight. Your lawyer will help you navigate through the process with the manufacturer and negotiate a settlement. You can also file a lawsuit, as it is your right.
Some cases result in a full refund, others result in a replacement, and others still can put you in a better spot than when you bought the car, financially.
Negotiating a settlement in an administrative setting can take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months but filing a lawsuit, can take anywhere from 1 to 3 years.
Your lawyer will develop a case strategy to help you meet your goals, so make sure to collect all the documents from all visits to the dealerships, and all maintenance records when you contact California Lemon Lawyers.
If you’re the original owner and you bought your vehicle new, or if you’re out of warranty now and you’re the original owner you may still qualify.
If your new car keeps breaking down, and you’re feeling exhausted by too many visits to the dealership, give us a call at (818) 960-1945 or contact us online – our chat service is available 24/7, and we will review your case for free.