Did you lease or purchase a Lemon in Los Angeles? Has the dealership tried and repeatedly failed to repair your vehicle? Nothing is more frustrating than a vehicle with defects. The defect can be an air conditioning system that simply doesn’t function that impairs your enjoyment and use of the vehicle. Worse, the defect can be a dangerous condition such as a defective fuel pump that could cause the vehicle to stall while operating at high speeds and potentially result in serious bodily harm or even death.
Consumers in LA rely heavily on their vehicles to safely transport their families. When you buy or lease a new vehicle, you should expect that your vehicle will perform as designed. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. When one is stuck with a “lemon,” it can often feel overwhelming.
Fortunately, the Los Angeles, CA lemon law is a consumer friendly law that requires manufacturers who manufacture a “lemon” to make it right. If your vehicle qualifies as a lemon, the manufacturer will refund your payments towards the vehicle (with an appropriate mileage offset), pay off the balance owed on the vehicle directly pay your attorney’s fees, and reimburse you for other related damages (rental, towing, etc).
In 1970, California enacted the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act (“Song Beverly”) found at California Civil Code Section 1790 et. seq. requiring manufacturers to replace a defective product or reimburse the buyer if the product cannot be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts.
If a consumer experiences substantial impairment to the use, value or safety of the vehicle the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act applies. Some typical examples of defects that warrant an actionable claim under the Los Angeles, California lemon law include (but are not limited to) the following:
Failure to Start
Recurring check engine light warning
Recurring airbag warning light
Malfunctioning air conditioning and heating
Malfunctioning locking system
Malfunctioning fuel gauge
Malfunctioning electrical system
Malfunctioning seats/seat belts
Malfunctioning side mirrors and windshield wipers
Malfunctioning headlights, brake lights
Malfunctioning brakes/ABS brake failure
Defective Fuel Pump
Paint and/or other defects on the body of the Vehicle
Steering wheel issues
Issues concerning the cooling system
Oil leaks and oil consumption
Recurring and consistent issues with Bluetooth/navigation system
The mileage offset is calculated by taking the purchase price of the vehicle and multiplying it by the miles driven by the consumer at the first repair attempt that qualifies the vehicle as a lemon and dividing it by 120,000 miles (the average life span of a vehicle in lemon law).
A vehicle manufacturer must repurchase or replace a vehicle if the manufacturer is unable to repair a vehicle to conform to the manufacturer’s express warranty after a reasonable number of repair attempts. Hence, the Los Angeles, California Lemon Law does not specify a specific number for “reasonable repair attempts.” Generally, if a defect could foreseeably cause serious bodily injury or death, even two repair attempts may warrant a repurchase under the Los Angeles, California lemon law. On the other hand, if the defect is relatively less serious, perhaps impacting only the value or use of the vehicle, three or more attempts may warrant a repurchase.
In sum, there is no golden number to determine if a vehicle qualifies as a lemon. In fact, in one case, after a manufacturing defect resulted in a fire that damaged a vehicle beyond reasonable repair, the vehicle was deemed a lemon even though no prior complaints were made. Bishop v. Hyundai Motor America (1996) 44 Cal. App. 4th 750.
In addition, to the “reasonable repair attempts” criteria above, within the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, there is also a presumption guideline wherein it is presumed that a vehicle is a “lemon” if the following criteria are met:
If these conditions are met, there is a presumption that the vehicle qualifies as a lemon under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act. This rebuttable presumption shifts the burden to the manufacturer to establish that despite the presumption, the consumer is not entitled to a replacement or refund (for instance the manufacturer may argue that the problem was not substantial).
While you may feel helpless in this situation, we understand what you are going through and are here to help. We have helped consumers like you get the full compensation they are entitled to after purchasing a lemon. If you are looking for a Los Angeles, California Lemon Law firm “near me”, look no further than the Law Office of Alisa Goukasian.
If your vehicle qualifies as a lemon, the manufacturer will pay all your attorney’s fees and reimburse you for your out of pocket costs.
At the Law Office of Alisa Goukasian, most of our cases that qualify for repurchase under the Los Angeles, California lemon law resolve in just a few months and without filing a lawsuit. Our goal is to get you out of the lemon and into a safe and reliable car as quickly as possible.