Are you starting the new year with a vehicle that you think is a lemon? According to the consumer advocate group, Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS), automobile manufacturers repurchase approximately 50,000 vehicles a year under the lemon law.

The California Lemon Law provides rights for consumers who buy or lease defective new and used automobiles that are repeatedly returned to the dealership for repairs. The law tries to protect the consumer from substantial defects affecting the safety, value and use of their vehicle by providing that the manufacturer replace or buy back a vehicle that qualifies as a lemon. California consumers are provided the extra protection of requiring that the automobile manufacturer pay the legal fees of the consumer. This allows the consumer to to pursue their lemon law claim without additional financial burdens, and allows them to return to approximately the same position they were in before acquiring their lemon. The manufacturer is allowed, however, to deduct a “usage fee” based on California’s statutory mileage formula. The amount that may be charged for use is determined by multiplying the actual price of the new vehicle by a fraction having as its denominator 120,000 and as its numerator the number of miles traveled by the vehicle before it was first brought in for correction of the problem.

How do you know if your vehicle qualifies under the California lemon law? The lemon law applies to all new vehicles, whether purchased or leased, for personal and most small business use. Used vehicles are also covered if the vehicle was purchased while the manufacturer’s original, new car warranty was still in effect. In 2008, the California Lemon Law was revised to offer extra protections to military personnel stationed in the state. The California Military Lemon Law allows active duty military personnel to pursue a lemon law case even if the vehicle was not purchased in California.

The manufacturer must be allowed a reasonable amount of repair attempts. This includes a minimum of four (4) repairs for the same problem, or two (2) repairs for life threatening problems. A vehicle could also qualify as a lemon if it has been out of service for more than 30 days for any combination of problems within the first 18 months or 18,000 miles. Because each situation is unique, and different manufacturers may interpret their obligations differently, these presumptions are not necessary, nor is it a guarantee that the manufacturer will repurchase your car, truck, or motorcycle.

While a consumer is not required to hire a lemon law lawyer in order to pursue a lemon law case, the help of an experienced lawyer can be invaluable. They know the law, will work to avoid delays and expenses associated with litigation, and will show the manufacturer that you are serious about your case. Manufacturers know they will be responsible for your attorney’s fees, and are more likely to settle before litigation even begins. A good California lemon lawyer will work to get the compensation to which you’re entitled — typically in the form of a refund, a replacement vehicle, or a cash settlement.

Take the next step! Call the Lemon Law Specialists at 888 EX Lemon (888-395-3666) or go to and get rid of your lemon today.

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If you think you have a lemon please complete the form at the top of this page or call 1-888-395-3666 today for a 100% free California Lemon Law evaluation.