“I’m a military service member stationed in the state of California. I bought my car from a dealership in another state, and now my car is giving me problems and may be a lemon! What do I do?”
Does this sound like a familiar situation? You might be surprised to hear that as a member of the United States Armed Forces, you have special rights under California’s lemon law. As a member of the United States Armed Forces, even if you bought your car outside of California, you may have California lemon law rights, if you were stationed in or were a resident of California at the time, you purchased the motor vehicle, or at the time you filed an action under the California lemon law. CA Civil Code 1795.8. (Minor changes added).
California military lemon law is a term commonly used for an exception for military service members to file a lemon law or breach of vehicle warranty claim under the Song Beverly Consumer Warranty Act (the Act) in California. See lemon law. Under the Act, generally, consumers may only bring lemon law claims for vehicles (and other products under the Act) that are bought and serviced in California. Military service members, however, may bring a claim under the Act regarding their motor vehicle even if they bought their vehicle outside of California “if the service member was stationed in or was a resident of California at the time he or she purchased the motor vehicle, or at the time he or she filed an action under the Act.” CA Civil Code 1795.8.
How do I know whether I have a car that is a lemon? Generally, for a vehicle to be considered a lemon, the new or used vehicle needs to be at a vehicle manufacturer-approved service center for repairs a “reasonable number of attempts” for safety, use, or value repairs, under the vehicle manufacturer’s original warranties or pre-owned certified vehicle manufacturer extended warranties. A reasonable number of attempts is generally considered to be “at least two repair attempts.”
Protections for Members of the Armed Forces Under California’s Song Beverly Consumer Warranty Act
Protections for Members of the Armed Forces are found in the Song Beverly Consumer Warranty Act in CA Civil Code 1795.8. The law “provides that California’s lemon law covers a motor vehicle purchased by a member of the Armed Forces in the United States with a manufacturer’s express warranty regardless of the state of purchase or registration if the member purchased the motor vehicle . . . from a manufacturer who sells vehicles in California, and the member was a stationed in or a resident of California at the time he or she purchased the motor vehicle or at the time he or she filed an action pursuant to California’s lemon law.” California Senate Bill 234, Digest.
For purposes of the California lemon law, a Member of the Armed Forces is “a person on full-time active duty in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, National Guard, or Coast Guard and provides that full-time active duty also includes active military service member at a designated military service school.” California Senate Bill 234, Digest.
Is it Worth Hiring an Attorney?
Lemon laws are complicated, and there is little incentive for anyone, including members of the Armed Forces, to handle a lemon law matter on their own, considering that California lemon law provides for attorney fees and costs to be paid by the car manufacturer if the member of the Armed Forces prevails on their lemon law matter.
Luis Aguirre is a Military Veteran and Lemon Law Lawyer Fighting on Behalf of Fellow Veterans and Military Service Members
Luis Aguirre served honorably for 12 years in the United States Armed Forces as a reserve and active-duty member.
Before becoming an attorney, Luis Aguirre worked for an outside law firm that defended the lemon law claims of a major U.S. vehicle manufacturer. Once he became an attorney, Luis Aguirre founded Luis Aguirre Law, a law firm focusing on lemon law, breach of vehicle warranty, breach of vehicle contract, vehicle dealership fraud, and vehicle dealership misrepresentation.
Luis Aguirre has first-hand knowledge of how car manufacturers try to use the laws to their advantage and to the detriment of the California consumer. You can count on Luis Aguirre to fight for you not only as a top lemon law attorney but also as a fellow military veteran.
Don’t fight this fight alone! Contact us for a free no-obligation consultation.
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Luis Aguirre California Lemon Law Attorney 26060 Acero Suite 111
Mission Viejo, CA 92691 Telephone: 949.342.6199.
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