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Do Transmission Issues Qualify as a Lemon?

Law Offices of Kevin Faulk May 15, 2023

Transmission issues can be a headache for vehicle owners. Fortunately, California provides lemon law protections to those who purchase or lease defective vehicles. If you are experiencing transmission problems with your car and believe your vehicle meets the criteria of a lemon, reach out to the Law Offices of Kevin Faulk to get help.  

Our lemon law attorney in Sunnyvale, California, can assist you with filing a lemon law claim, seeking to prove that your car qualifies as a lemon, and helping you obtain a vehicle replacement or the refund you deserve. With an office in San Jose, our attorney helps individuals who have experienced lemon law issues throughout the state of California.  

Common Transmission Issues in a Lemon

Lemon laws exist to protect consumers from faulty vehicles, and transmission issues are one of the most common reasons why people file lemon law claims. Some of the common transmission issues that may warrant a lemon law claim include: 

1. Overheating/Burning of Transmission 

Overheating is one of the most common issues with a car’s transmission. It can cause the fluid to break down and oxidize, resulting in a burning smell. If your car’s transmission is overheating, it might be due to a malfunctioning cooling system, low fluid levels, or worn-out transmission parts.  

2. Leaking Transmission Fluids 

Leaking transmission fluids are a nightmare for vehicle owners. It can be caused by damaged gaskets, seals, or fluid lines. When the fluid levels drop, it can cause the transmission to fail, resulting in expensive repairs. Moreover, if you ignore the problem, it can lead to other issues such as overheating. 

3. Corrosion in the Transmission System 

Corrosion can occur in different parts of the transmission system, such as the torque converter, causing it to malfunction. It can be caused by rust, moisture, or damage. If left unchecked, it can cause extensive damage to the entire transmission system. 

4. Electrical Issues 

Transmission issues can also stem from electric problems. Modern cars rely heavily on electronic sensors, and any issues can cause severe damage. Electrical issues can result from faulty sensors, damaged wires, or damaged computer modules. 

5. Software Issues 

Many modern cars have complex software that controls the transmission system. If there is a problem with the software, your car’s transmission can act up. It can cause the transmission to shift gears improperly or fail to shift at all. 

6. Issues Shifting Gears 

Problems with shifting gears are common in lemon cars. It can be caused by worn-out gears, low fluid levels, or broken linkage. It can be frustrating, risky, and even dangerous, especially if the car suddenly stops in the middle of the road. 

7. Unrepairable Transmission Issues 

In some cases, transmission issues can be unrepairable. If the damage is extensive, the cost of repairs may exceed the value of the car. In such cases, the car may be deemed a total loss, and you will need to file a lemon law claim to get a refund or a replacement. 

Lemon Law Under California Law

According to the State of California Department of Justice, the state’s lemon law is designed to protect consumers who purchase or lease new or used vehicles that have significant defects that cannot be repaired by the manufacturer. Under California law, a car is considered a “lemon” if it meets the following criteria: 

  • The car has a substantial defect, or a combination of defects, covered by the warranty. 

  • The defect(s) must be covered by the warranty.  

  • The defect(s) is not the result of unreasonable or unauthorized use of the vehicle by the owner or third parties.  

  • The manufacturer has been given a reasonable opportunity to repair the defect. 

If your car meets these criteria, then you may be eligible for compensation under California’s lemon law in the form of replacement or refund.  

Filing a Lemon Law Claim for Transmission Issues

If you are experiencing transmission issues with your car, it is crucial to document everything. Keep records of all the repairs and any communication you have with the dealership or manufacturer. Reach out to a lemon law attorney to assist you throughout the process and improve your chances of a successful outcome.  

If your claim is successful, then you may be entitled to a refund or replacement vehicle. The manufacturer may also be responsible for covering your attorney fees and other related costs. If your vehicle shows signs of transmission issues, you need to act quickly because there is a limited amount of time to pursue a lemon law claim. California law gives vehicle owners four years from the date the defect was discovered to file a lemon law claim.  

Get Strong & Reliable Legal Help

If you have purchased or leased a vehicle with transmission issues that qualify as a lemon, you may be entitled to a replacement or refund under California law. Our lemon law attorney at Law Offices of Kevin Faulk can provide you with strong and reliable legal help to assist you with your claim and help strive for a positive outcome. Reach out to our office to request a free consultation.