How Lemon Law Works
Contrary to what you may be thinking, lemon law has nothing to do with the popular sour citrus fruit. In fact, lemon law concerns itself with vehicles and vehicle manufacturers. Lemon laws are consumer protection laws. These laws serve to protect customers that may have purchased defective products. The lemon laws protect vehicle consumers from any defect in their vehicle that is out of their control. In essence, a manufacturer must repair a customer’s car after a number of attempts. If the manufacturer fails to do so, then under the lemon laws, the customer must be refunded or replaced as the defect is deemed substantial.
What Qualifies Under the Lemon Law
The lemon laws cover products with a warranty that possesses a defect. This defect must be unrepairable after a reasonable amount of attempts by the manufacturer. Most states only allow the lemon law for new and unused vehicles, but there are some exceptions.
Lemon Law in Used Cars
California lemon law used car is for used vehicles that qualify under the set requirements only. In the state of California, used car dealers must offer a warranty for their cars. This warranty can either be a couple of months or a set amount of miles, but its implications qualify the vehicle for lemon law. Regular qualifications for the lemon law are still included, such as the defect and the number of repairs. Furthermore, only used vehicles bought from retailers are covered under the lemon laws. Private sales of used cars do not meet the qualifications.
Lemon Law: Substantial Defect
As previously mentioned, lemon law protects consumers from substantial defects in the products they purchase. It is important to note that not all defects will be deemed “substantial” by the courts. A substantial defect is one that the manufacturer’s warranty covers. In vehicles, a defect significantly affects the car’s ability to drive and its value. This defect could be faulty steering or sticky brakes. Minor defects such as a stiff side view mirror or door handle are not covered under the lemon laws.
Manufacturers must be given a chance to repair the defects in your vehicle before the customer is reimbursed. For substantial defects concerning the safety of the product, the manufacturer must repair it in one attempt. Other substantial defects that are not safety-related get three attempts before having to submit to lemon laws. Lastly, a car that has to remain in the manufacturer’s repair shop for an extended amount of time can also qualify for the lemon laws.