Lemon Law California: Holding Auto Manufacturers Accountable

A lemon car is a vehicle with unusual defects that can affect its worth, use, and safety. In short, the last thing any vehicle owner wants is a lemon. However, lemon cars aren’t always avoidable. Some vehicles come with defects that you only find out about after regular use. Even brand-new cars can be lemons! In order to protect the unlucky individuals who purchase these defective cars, we have the California lemon law.

Of all the states in the US, California has one of the best and most comprehensive lemon law for cars around. The legal immunity it provides is extensive, giving drivers protection whenever they unknowingly buy a defective vehicle.


Tired of constant repairs for your 2017+ #lemon ? Call a #lemonlawlawyer at (855) 955-4147 and get back on the road! #lemonlaw #carproblems

♬ original sound – Quill and Arrow Law

At the same time, we found that many vehicle owners in California don’t know how to utilize the power of CA Lemon law. This article will explain the law, the qualifications required, and how it’s often used. Read on and learn!

What is the Lemon Law?

So, what is a lemon law and what counts as a lemon? It is a law put in place to protect and compensate owners of highly defective vehicles. Its regulations focus on defects that dealers and manufacturers are unable to address. Essentially, the law allows these dealers to compensate owners in a few different ways:

  1. Refund: As the name implies, the manufacturers offer to buy back the vehicle from the owner as a form of ‘refund.’ If you use a good lemon law attorney like those at Quill and Arrow, you may get more than just a refund. They often also get extra compensation for the other complications and costs caused by the vehicle (especially if you spent money on repairs).
  2. Exchange: Here, the manufacturers offer to give you another vehicle in exchange for yours (may be a newer model). This comes as a form of replacement for your lemon vehicle.
  3. Cash and keep: If for some reason you are attached to the vehicle, this option is for you. In this case, the manufacturers don’t take the vehicle off your hands. Instead, they offer you cash as a form of apology. In exchange, you agree that you keep the vehicle as is with its current issues. With this option the warranty is still intact, and if you decide to sell it, you don’t have to declare it a lemon to the next owner.

What is Lemon Law California?

Now that you know what lemon car law is, you may be asking how does the lemon law work in California? The thing is that lemon laws vary between different regions, so different areas in the US have slight variations in their lemon laws. Take our word for it when we say that California has one of the best, consumer friendly lemon laws you can find!

Car lemon law California is found in both the Song-Beverly Act and the Tanner Act. The Song-Beverly Act covers both California lemon law new car and used vehicles and offers the most protection to consumers. The Tanner Act, on the other hand, mainly protects buyers of new cars. Under the Song Beverly Act, the manufacturer, dealer, or seller must repair, replace, or refund the vehicle if it has persistent defects.

How Does Lemon Law Work in California?

lemon law california

Source: Pexels.com

For lemon law California, you must give your manufacturer a ‘chance’ before taking legal action. This implies that you must have taken the vehicle to the dealership for repairs a significant number of times. Also, these visits must be within the vehicle’s warranty period, allowing your dealership to have more than enough time to attempt to repair the vehicle.

According to the law, if the dealer or manufacturer is unable to repair the vehicle within these visits (within the warranty period), your vehicle qualifies. You can then proceed to take legal action.

If you are unsure whether your vehicle qualifies or not, you can book a free consultation with Quill and Arrow. An attorney will reach out to you and review the qualification status of your vehicle.

Lemon Law On Used Cars

Contrary to common belief, lemon law also covers used cars in California. If you recently bought a used car, and have reasons to believe it is a lemon, the lemon law for used cars may cover you. 

There are three major lemon law requirements your used car must meet for it to qualify:

  1. It must have a major issue covered under the warranty. Most importantly, this issue should pose a threat to your safety, affect comfortability, and reduce the value of the vehicle.
  2. This problem must have arisen within 18 months of purchase.
  3. The vehicle must have less than 18,000 miles on it.

Although there is more to used car lemon law, these three are the most important.

How to File a Lemon Law Claim in California

Filing a lemon law claim in California can be a very delicate process, so you need to be meticulous about it. This is because manufacturers don’t want to give you compensation, so they also come prepared. That’s why you need to follow the correct procedure from the start.

First is what we mentioned earlier, where you must have a significant number of dealership visits to give the manufacturers a chance at repairs within the warranty period. If they are unable to provied a solution, it is time to file a vehicle lemon law claim.

When filing your claims, you need to be very specific about the details you provide. Such details include:

  • Problems you are encountering with the vehicle
  • Efforts made to seek repairs
  • Evidence of dealership visits
  • Repair bills
  • Warranty documents

So, it is important to document all your dealership visits alongside any other things that may be useful in winning your claim.

Final Thoughts

Although the lemon law in California is consumer-friendly, it doesn’t change the fact that the legal system is quite complex for ordinary individuals. So, the way to guarantee your success in a lemon law claim is to seek legal assistance. 

Luckily, you have the best in the business—Quill and Arrow, at your service. With the best attorneys in the industry for both used and new car lemon law, they critically examine your case, offer guidance, and even help to get extra compensation when it is necessary. What more could a lemon owner ask for? Don’t hesitate to reach out today.

California Lemon Law FAQs

What Are Lemon Laws?

Lemon laws are laws that provide a remedy for buyers of defective cars and other consumer goods. It allows for compensation for products that repeatedly fail to meet standards of quality and performance.

Is There A Lemon Law For Used Cars?

Yes, there is a lemon law for used cars. You can file 30 day lemon law used cars or vehicles with problems within 18 months of purchase.

How Does Lemon Law Work?

Under the law, those that fail to repair defects after an unreasonable number of attempts must provide the consumer with a refund or replacement vehicle.

What Is The Lemon Law For Cars?

Lemon laws for cars apply to vehicles with defects that affect the use, safety, or value.

What Is The Lemon Law In California?

The California Lemon Law (Civ. Code, § 1793.2 et seq.) protects you when your vehicle is defective and cannot be repaired after a “reasonable” number of attempts.

Media Contact: 

Carlo V. DeFalco


eCustom Solutions

Skip to content