Riverside Lemon Law: Steps To Take When Your Car Is A Lemon

Let’s imagine a situation where you went to the dealership to buy a car, or maybe you got a brand-new vehicle as a gift. It’s an exciting time, but not long after, your new four-fendered friend starts showing signs that it’s not the reliable form of transportation you thought it was. What would you do in such a situation? Do you cross your fingers and hope things get better, or do you take matters into your own hands and find a way to make things work? 

This is how car owners in Riverside feel when they buy or lease a new or used vehicle that ends up being a lemon. By “Lemon,” we mean that the car displays notable defects that affect its use, value, or safety. In these cases, the Riverside Lemon Law protects the affected consumers. 

If you ever find yourself in this predicament, you must understand the steps to take to resolve the issue effectively. Here, we’ll outline the steps, showing you how to avoid the common pitfalls when trying to get rid of your lemon. 


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Step 1: Know What the Lemon Law Says

First, you should learn what the Riverside Lemon Law has to say about your car. According to the language, if your vehicle is plagued by certain defects that can’t be repaired, you can file a lawsuit. First, you must be sure that your car’s issues affect its use, value, and safety. If so, the manufacturer must fix it or compensate you for your lemon. This compensation can come in the form of a refund, a replacement car, or even a cash settlement. 

Note that the Lemon Law varies in each state and every case is different. Your goal is to enlist the help of the best Lemon Law attorney Riverside CA offers so you can be confident in the handling of your specific case. 

Step 2: Confirm Your Vehicle is a Lemon, as stated by the Song-Beverly Act

Keep in mind that not every defective vehicle in California qualifies as a lemon. The car must meet certain conditions as stated by the Song-Beverly Act to confirm that it is indeed a lemon. These criteria include: 

  • Notable Defect: The defect(s) must be substantial and recurrent. In other words, it must impair the car’s use or value, even to the point where it affects the safety of the occupants. Other minor issues or cosmetic defects may not qualify. Note that your car must still be within the original manufacturer’s warranty when the defects occurred. 
  • Repair Attempts: To prove the vehicle is a lemon, you must give the manufacturer a chance to fix the issue. This means giving them 2 to 4 repair attempts for the same issue without success. However, for issues relating to the safety of the occupants, a single attempt can be enough. 

Ensuring your vehicle meets these conditions is essential before filing a claim. This is why consulting a Lemon Law attorney Riverside County firm like Quill & Arrow can save a lot of time and frustration. 

Step 3: Understand Your Rights as a Lemon Owner

Once you’ve proven that your car meets the criteria to be deemed a lemon, you’ll want to brush up on your rights as a lemon owner. You have the right to repairs covered by the manufacturer. If repairs fail to fix the problem, you can choose a replacement vehicle or a refund as your preferred compensation option. In simple terms, they can’t force you to pick an option you don’t want. 

You also have the right to file a complaint in court if they don’t offer you a reasonable settlement. If you hire legal counsel, you aren’t responsible for paying the attorney’s fees; the manufacturer must pay on your behalf. 

As stated by the Lemon Law, these are your rights as a lemon owner. Don’t get cheated out of these; hire the best Lemon Law Lawyer Riverside CA has to offer and enforce your rights as a lemon owner. 

Step 4: Document, Document, Document!

This is the point where things become more serious. This is considered the most crucial step because it provides the evidence supporting your claim of owning a lemon. Documenting your vehicle issues is the foundation of your Lemon Lawsuit, so you need to be diligent about it. Keep a detailed record of the following:

  1. Description of the Problem: Take note of every problem you’ve encountered and the nature of each issue. Be sure to note down the dates each defect popped up. 
  2. Repair Attempts, Orders, and Invoices: Document every attempt at repair done to address the problem. Add the dates, what form of repairs were done, and whether they were successful. Also, keep records of the repair orders, receipts, and invoices given to you after each repair. 
  3. Communication with the Dealer or Manufacturer: You may have communicated about the repairs with the manufacturer or dealer via phone, text, or written. If so, include a record of these communications in your paperwork. 

Step 5: Enlist the Help of a Lemon Lawyer

Get the help of an experienced Riverside Lemon Law attorney to guide you throughout the litigation process. Make sure the lawyer specializes in Lemon Law consumer protections and has a deep understanding of the law and its nuances. 

Having an expert attorney by your side gives you an advantage when navigating the legal process. You get firsthand information about every step and requirement involved when filing a claim. It also helps increase your chances of success, as a Riverside Lemon Law Lawyer from Quill & Arrow will negotiate effectively on your behalf, ensuring you get the best compensation possible. 

Step 6: Contact the Manufacturer

Send a formal letter to the manufacturer detailing your car troubles, repair attempts, and intention to seek a lemon law resolution. Include your name, address, phone number, and Vehicle Identification Number. Make sure you clearly state what settlement offer you’d prefer under the Lemon Law. 

This step is crucial because it officially notifies the manufacturer of the issue and your intent to seek relief under the law. Due to its importance, it’s best to let a competent Riverside Lemon Law attorney handle this notice on your behalf. 

Step 7: File a Claim and Begin Negotiations

After notifying the automaker, you can file a claim and begin negotiations with the dealer. The goal of these negotiations is to get you an offer that best reflects the value of your car and the inconveniences you experienced. 

Sometimes, the manufacturer may downplay your vehicle troubles and offer you a lesser deal. Your Riverside County Lemon Law Lawyer should be experienced enough to know when the manufacturer is making a subpar offer. They will argue for a satisfactory resolution, which is typically faster and less formal than the alternative—litigation. 

If the negotiations do not result in a satisfactory outcome, your attorney may seek justice in court. This is known as litigation, where the judge and jury decide if your case is well-proven and give a final verdict on the appropriate remedy your case deserves. Unlike negotiations, this can be a very time-consuming process. 

Let the Lemon Law Take Its Due Course

Now you know the steps to take if you discover you have a lemon car in your hands. Yes, it may be discouraging and disappointing at first, but don’t wallow too long in the frustration. Take charge of your situation and let the Riverside Lemon Law do what it was instituted to do—get you the compensation you deserve. 

When taking charge, remember that the Quill & Arrow legal team is always ready to take up your case and fight for your rights. Don’t hesitate to contact us, because you could soon be on your way to a lemon free ride!

Media Contact: 

Carlo V. DeFalco


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