Common Questions for Los Angeles Lemon Law

Realizing that your vehicle is a lemon is stressful. Not only might it prevent you from using it, but it might also be unsafe when driving. Owning a lemon is not your fault. You can be refunded for your purchase or have the vehicle replaced by the dealership that sold it to you. Below, you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Los Angeles lemon law by our Lemon Law 123 attorneys.

What is the Lemon Law in California?

Under the lemon law in California, a vehicle manufacturer is required to refund the purchase price of the vehicle or replace the vehicle if an issue cannot be repaired back to the original warranty status after a reasonable number of attempts to make the repair. All types of vehicles are covered under the lemon law, including cars, SUVs, motorcycles, vans, and pickup trucks.

Who is Protected by the Lemon Law in Los Angeles?

The Los Angeles lemon law protects any consumer who purchases or leases a new or used vehicle that is still under the original warranty from the manufacturer.

How Many Repair Attempts Are Reasonable?

There is no number placed on this under the law, however, most will consider two repair attempts as reasonable when labeling a vehicle as a lemon.

How Long am I Protected by the Lemon Law?

Vehicle owners are protected for the life of the vehicle’s manufacturer warranty under the lemon law. You have up to six months from the expiration of the original manufacturer’s warranty to file for arbitration if you believe you have a lemon and the dealer and/or manufacturer refuses to replace the vehicle or refund the purchase price.

When is it Time to Go to Arbitration?

A third party will hear the arbitration case related to your lemon. You can take your case to arbitration when the manufacturer fails to refund you the purchase price or will not offer you a replacement vehicle for the one you have.

What Does it Cost to Go to Arbitration?

The arbitration will not cost you a dime when it involves the lemon law of California.

How Long Will Arbitration Take?

For the most part, arbitration can take up to 40 days to complete. However, most lemon law cases are resolved much sooner than 40 days.

Should I Hire a Los Angeles Lemon Law Attorney?

You are not required to have a Los Angeles lemon law attorney represent you at arbitration, but doing so will help your chances of winning the case and receiving compensation. Please note that attorney’s fees are not decided by the arbitrator unless the vehicle manufacturer has allowed attorney’s fees to be included in the arbitrator’s decision.

How Will a Lemon Law Attorney Help Me?

If you decide to hire a lemon law attorney, you will not have to worry about anything during the legal process if you decide to bypass arbitration. An attorney will collect evidence, investigate your claim, and provide you with an honest assessment of the situation. If you want to negotiate a settlement, a lawyer can do that for you. If your case has to go to trial, a lemon law attorney can argue for your rights in front of a judge.

Can I Choose a Replacement Vehicle?

If you win your case, you can choose to be refunded or given a replacement vehicle. The replacement vehicle must be almost identical to the vehicle you had which was a lemon. If you want upgraded features, you must pay for them out of your own pocket.

Call a Los Angeles Lemon Law Attorney Today

If you or a loved one purchased a lemon from a Los Angeles car dealer, you deserve to be compensated for your financial losses. Costly repairs, inability to use the vehicle, and unsafe conditions should not be acceptable when the lemon law is there to protect your purchase.

Valerie has been focusing on lemon law for her entire career since graduating from UCLA School of Law. After spending a lot of time working on defending car manufacturers she founded to help people who feel unsafe in their vehicle or frustrated with the process of repeatedly taking their vehicle to the dealer for the same concerns.

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.