Lemon Law

Many people have the misconception of what a “lemon law” claim is. Essentially, a lemon law claim is a breach of contract claim against the manufacturer of a vehicle. In California, lemon law derives from the Song Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, which was enacted by the California State Legislature some time ago and it can be found in the California Civil Code. When you buy a car from a dealership, the manufacturer of the vehicle gives the buyer “promises” in the form of an expressed warranty, and an implied warranty of merchantability that the car would “conform” to these promises. If the car does not conform to these promises, and these “non-conformities” would substantially impair the vehicle’s use, value, or safety, the manufacturer may have breached the contract. These two warranties are said to run concurrently, or at the same time. An expressed warranty is explicit - for example in a brochure or advertisement the manufacturer makes certain promises that he car would do certain things, etc. The implied warranty of merchantability is an implied promise by the manufacturer that the car would function as a car would, for example, run as a car would. The job of a good attorney is to ascertain where these warranties, or set of promises, are breached by the manufacturer and then match these breaches up against the Song Beverly Consumer Warranty Act.
Many people have the misconception of what a “lemon law” claim is. Essentially, a lemon law claim is a breach of contract claim against the manufacturer of a vehicle. In California, lemon law derives from the Song Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, which was enacted by the California State Legislature some time ago and it can be found in the California Civil Code. When you buy a car from a dealership, the manufacturer of the vehicle gives the buyer “promises” in the form of an expressed warranty, and an implied warranty of merchantability that the car would “conform” to these promises. If the car does not conform to these promises, and these “non-conformities” would substantially impair the vehicle’s use, value, or safety, the manufacturer may have breached the contract. These two warranties are said to run concurrently, or at the same time. An expressed warranty is explicit - for example in a brochure or advertisement the manufacturer makes certain promises that he car would do certain things, etc. The implied warranty of merchantability is an implied promise by the manufacturer that the car would function as a car would, for example, run as a car would. The job of a good attorney is to ascertain where these warranties, or set of promises, are breached by the manufacturer and then match these breaches up against the Song Beverly Consumer Warranty Act.

Lemon Law Presumption Period

You may be presumed to have a lemon if within 18 months or 18,000 miles, whichever occurs first, one or more of the following occurs: “The same nonconformity results in a condition that is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury if the vehicle is driven and the nonconformity has been subject to repair two or more times by the manufacturer or its agents, and the buyer or lessee has at least once directly notified the manufacturer of the need for the repair of the nonconformity.

(2) The same nonconformity has been subject to repair four or more times by the manufacturer or its agents and the buyer has at least once directly notified the manufacturer of the need for the repair of the nonconformity.

(3) The vehicle is out of service by reason of repair of nonconformities by the manufacturer or its agents for a cumulative total of more than 30 calendar days since delivery of the vehicle to the buyer.” CA Civil Code Section 1793.22.

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