The Song Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, also known as the California lemon law, states that in order for a vehicle to be considered a lemon, the vehicle has to have a “non-conformity that substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of the vehicle.” As the case in Lundy v. Ford Motor Co. (2001) 87 Cal.App.4th 472 mentions, not every impairment is sufficient to satisfy the statute and there is an element of degree involved.
The Lundy case was a very technical case. In that case, the consumer bought a new car that gave him a myriad of problems, from “crackling noises from during turns to sticking windows . . . [to] odor emanating from the air conditioning system and transmission-related problems . . . [S]hortly after the last repair attempt was made, and the odor and transmission-related complaints were not corrected to [consumer’s] satisfaction, [consumer] requested a replacement or repurchase of his vehicle from Ford. His request was refused. [Consumer] then brought an action for breach of implied and express warranty under the Act. The jury rendered a verdict in favor of [consumer], and judgment was entered on the verdict. Defendants filed . . . [an] appeal.” Id.
There were various issues the court had to contend in Lundy. The one relevant issue here has to do with the term “substantial” in the statute. The Lundy court said that “[W]hether the impairment is substantial is determined by an objective test, based on what a reasonable person would understand to be a defect. This test is applied . . . within specific circumstances of the buyer . . . [T]he most analogous definition of ‘substantially’ [is] found in a context similar to its usage . . . in the Uniform Commercial Code, section 2-608. [U]nder it, the trier of fact may consider: ‘the nature of the defects; the cost and length of time required for repair; whether past repair attempts have been successful; the degree to which the goods can be used while repairs are attempted; [inconvenience to buyer]; and the availability and cost of alternative goods pending repair . . .” Id.
A good way to find out whether the issues you are having with your vehicle are “substantial” is to contact a knowledgeable California Lemon Law attorney.
Because the California Lemon Law provides for attorney’s fees and costs, there is no cost to you if you hire us as your attorneys.
Our Mission Viejo lemon law firm provide free consultations. If we take your case, you are not responsible for paying us any fees under California’s Song Beverly Consumer Warranty Act.