California’s Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act was passed in order to protect buyers from defective new motor vehicle purchases. The act states that a manufacturer must replace a defective vehicle or give buyers a full refund for the price of the original purchase if the manufacturer (or its representative) has been unable to fix the problem after a “reasonable number of repair attempts”. The Lemon Law is the part of the Song-Beverly law that deals with what exactly is meant by “reasonable number”.
If the buyer succeeds in his Lemon Law claim, he or she can choose either to get a refund or a replacement. Refunds must include not just the purchase price, but also sales tax, registration fees, finance charges, repairs, towing and any other expense that was incurred because of the car being defective.
The California Lemon Law protects car buyers for as long as their new car warranty’s last. As for the issue of defining “reasonable number”, the law gives more of a general guideline than a strictly concrete set of rules and regulations. It is often up to the courts to decide whether a case falls under the Lemon Law statutes. Basically, though, the Lemon Law states that manufactures (or their representatives) have had the chance of performing a reasonable number of repairs if a serious problem still persists even after 2 or more repair attempts. Factors like whether or not the buyer contacted the manufacturer directly can affect the outcome of a case.
The law also states that if a vehicle is out of service for more than thirty days because of repairs, the owner is entitled to a refund or replacement by the manufacturer. The nuances of the California Lemon Law make many cases rather complex and involved. This is why it is very important that you consult with your lawyer before pursuing a particular course of legal action in the case of a lemon purchase. Remember that defects cause by misuse do not constitute a viable case under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act. The best time to look into filing a lemon law claim is as soon as the problem becomes obvious.
See how the San Diego Lemon Law can help you with a bad car or appliance purchase.
Ryan Frank is a 23 year writer and blogger living in San Diego, CA