What is California Lemon Law?

Every state has its own lemon law. In the State of California, consumers are protected by both federal and state protection laws that provide remedies to owners and lessees of defective consumer products, which largely include vehicles. A vehicle or consumer good is a lemon if it has not been repaired after a reasonable number of repair attempts while under the manufacturer warranty. The Lemon Laws offer several remedies including obtaining a refund for the lemon, getting a replacement, or getting money damages for the diminished value of the product but still keeping it.

The most common remedy is a refund. If you get a lemon law refund, you will be reimbursed for all money you have spent on the vehicle or consumer product including your down payment, monthly payments, pro-rated registration, and any incidental or consequential damages. The manufacturer will also be required to pay off the loan and make a reasonable contribution towards your attorney’s fees and costs. You should be aware that the manufacturer will be entitled to deduct a usage fee – this is a value for when you drove the vehicle or used the product, trouble-free.

Other remedies include the replacement which is where the manufacturer will replace the lemon with a product that is substantially similar or cash and keep. This is where you retain possession of the product and receive cash compensation for its diminished value as a result of its defects.

It!s a common misconception that California!s Lemon Law only applies to vehicles that are purchased new.  The reality is that many defective used vehicles still apply for all of the protections under the Song-Beverly Act.  In fact, used vehicles can sometimes be very strong cases where the manufacturer had notice of issues with a vehicle from the prior owner.

It is important to note that the safe use or value of the vehicle must be impaired by the problems in order for the vehicle to qualify as a lemon.

Whether it!s a car, truck, or SUV…a Chevy, Chrysler, or Ford…a Mercedes, Volkswagen, or BMW…Toyota, Honda, or Kia…even a Ferrari, Bentley, or Maserati. Regardless of the manufacturer, if you have had repeated problems with your car during the warranty period, you may have a lemon.

Tips for Starting Your Lemon Law Claim

If you believe your product is a lemon, there are some tips you should be mindful of…

(1) If you think there is something wrong with your consumer good, take it in for service or repair work and make sure it!s documented;

(2) Be sure to accurately report any and all of your concerns to the service advisors – take care that they document all the issues you report;

(3) Keep all your documentation for all repairs – your lemon law attorney will need to review these to evaluate and support your claim;

(4) Make note of the names of the people who worked on your vehicle – this includes the service advisors, technicians, and/or any mechanics;

(5) Finally, if you have had repeated repairs during the warranty period you should contact an attorney to discuss your matter.

How Should I Select an Attorney?

The most important decision a client makes is the choice of lawyer. There are many attorneys out there that take on lemon law cases but do not specifically practice lemon law. It’s important to find an attorney who specializes in this area. Many lemon law attorneys will settle cases early.

It’s best to find an attorney who will work hard to maximize your recovery and aggressively pursue your case. This attorney should have a proven track record and history and be respected in the community.

At the Lemon Law Experts, we are about fighting to the end and taking on the challenge to advocate for our client’s rights in an effort to get them what they deserve. The defense attorneys know who we are, the manufacturers know who we are, and the judges know who we are. Additionally, we do not get paid unless you do, and none of the costs will come out of your pocket.

You should seek an attorney as soon as you begin experiencing repetitive issues with your vehicle. This will ensure that you receive the proper guidance throughout your lemon law experience.

Vehicles with Known Defective Components

It’s very possible that any vehicle can qualify as a lemon. Having said that, there are a few vehicles that have been manufactured with known defective components. Consumers across the nation have dealt with these issues, so we’ve compiled a list of some of the most frequently noted defective vehicles below.

Nissan Automatic Braking Defect

  • 2017-Current Nissan Altima
  • 2017-Current Nissan Armada
  • 2017-Current Nissan Leaf
  • 2017-Current Nissan Maxima
  • 2017-Current Nissan Murano
  • 2017-Current Nissan Pathfinder
  • 2017-Current Nissan Rogue
  • 2017-Current Nissan Rogue Sport
  • 2017-Current Nissan Sentra

Infiniti and Nissan CVT Transmission Defect

  • 2015-Current Infiniti QX50
  • 2015-Current Infiniti QX60
  • 2017-Current Nissan Altima
  • 2018-Current Nissan Armada
  • 2018-Current Nissan Juke
  • 2018-Current Nissan Leaf
  • 2018-Current Nissan Maxima
  • 2018-Current Nissan Murano
  • 2015-Current Nissan Pathfinder
  • 2015-2017 Nissan Quest
  • 2014-Current Nissan Rogue
  • 2018-Current Nissan Sentra
  • 2018-Current Nissan Versa
  • 2018-2021 Nissan Versa Note

General Motors Transmission Defect: Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC

  • 2016-2019 Cadillac ATS
  • 2016-2019 Cadillac ATS-V
  • 2016-2019 Cadillac CTS
  • 2016-2019 Cadillac CT6
  • 2016-2019 Cadillac CTS-V
  • 2015-2020 Cadillac Escalade
  • 2015-2020 Cadillac Escalade ESV
  • 2016-2019 Chevrolet Camaro
  • 2017-2019 Chevrolet Colorado
  • 2015-2019 Chevrolet Corvette
  • 2014-2019 Chevrolet Silverado
  • 2015-2020 Chevrolet Suburban
  • 2015-2020 Chevrolet Tahoe
  • 2017-2019 GMC Canyon
  • 2014-2017 GMC Denali XL
  • 2014-2019 GMC Sierra
  • 2015-2020 GMC Yukon
  • 2015-2020 GMC Yukon Denali
  • 2015-2017 GMC Denali XL

While there are many vehicles with known defects, the ones listed above are some of the most common. If you have experienced these issues, make sure to contact a lemon law attorney as soon as you can. If you have one of these vehicles and have not experienced these issues, pay attention! We hope that your vehicle does not qualify as a lemon, but regardless it’s best to stay informed.

Jessica Anvar is the Founder and Managing Partner of the Lemon Law Experts, a Lemon Law Firm based in California. She has considerable experience with both Federal and State Lemon Laws and uses this expertise to defend the rights of consumers who have leased or purchased a defective vehicle or consumer good. Ms. Anvar has been involved in several prominent cases against powerful vehicle manufacturers. Aside from being an attorney, Jessica is an entrepreneur and philanthropist who is very active in the legal community.