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FAQs: Lemon Law 

From 2018 to 2021, new vehicle registrations in California hit 7.6 million. Also during that period, more than 34,000 cases were filed in the state’s courts under California’s lemon law. Although that represents less than one-half of a percent of all newly registered vehicles, those who ended up with lemons were forced to spend time and money to force manufacturers to do the right thing.  

Fortunately, lemon laws are designed to protect consumers from uncooperative sellers of all types of products. Pursuing a claim under the law, however, is not always an easy task. If you bought a lemon, you should talk to an experienced lemon law attorney.  

At Law Offices of Kevin Faulk, we help consumers get what they deserve, what they bought. We fight for clients from Sunnyvale and throughout the state of California. If you think you have ended up with a defective vehicle, here are the answers to a few FAQs about cars that are lemons. 

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What Is a Lemon? 

The use of “lemon” to describe something subpar is quite an old reference in the English language. A vehicle that is a lemon is one that has manufacturing defects that render the vehicle unsafe, unusable, and worth less than the price paid.  

When Does a Vehicle Qualify as a Lemon? 

California observes a “Lemon Law Presumption” if: 

  • The problem makes the vehicle less safe, less reliable, and worth less than what you paid; 

  • The problem did not result from your abuse or misuse of the vehicle; 

  • The problem with the car is covered by the manufacturer’s warranty; 

  • The problem presented within the first 18 months or 18,000 miles; 

  • You reported the problem to the manufacturer if that is a requirement of the warranty; 

  • You have had the same problem repaired at least four times and it is still not resolved, or at least two times if the problem could cause death or serious injury; and,  

  • The vehicle has collectively spent 30 days or more in the shop for repair attempts.  

What Is Covered Under California Lemon Law? 

California lemon law covers new cars, SUVs, vans, and pickup trucks and used ones if the manufacturer’s warranty still applies. The law also covers the chassis, drive train, and chassis cab of motor homes under manufacturer’s warranty, but not after-market parts for vehicle conversions. 

In addition, the law applies to vehicles purchased or leased for family or personal use and some purchased or leased for business use. Vehicles owned by dealers are also covered.  

What Is a Lemon Law Buyback? 

Under the lemon law, if the vehicle can’t be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts to do so, the manufacturer must either buy back the vehicle for the purchase price you paid or replace it. Both parties must agree on a replacement. If they can't agree, there must be a repurchase.  

How Long Will It Take to Go Through the Process? 

The duration of the process will depend on many factors, including how often you take the car to the shop and how willing the manufacturer is to buy back or replace the vehicle. It could take as little as 30 days if your car is in the shop that long and multiple unsuccessful attempts have been made to repair it. However, you can probably count on it taking at least a few months, even with a cooperative manufacturer.  

If you attempt arbitration or if you need to hire a lemon law attorney to represent you in a civil suit, it can take longer. Because we realize that a lawsuit likely means you are without a vehicle, our team at Law Offices of Kevin Faulk will work aggressively to resolve your case.  

Will I Have to Go to Trial? 

Remember that more than 34,000 lemon law cases were filed in California during a three-year period. Some cases do settle once suit is filed and the discovery process begins. Others don’t settle, which means you may need to go to trial to resolve your case. Choose an attorney with solid trial experience like Law Offices of Kevin Faulk. We aren’t afraid of going to trial.  

How Can an Attorney Help? 

Lemon law cases are like other cases that force individuals to stand up to big companies and their attorneys. To make it a fair fight, consumers need to hire reliable legal advocacy that knows how corporations attempt to defend themselves even when they’re in the wrong.  

Reach Out to Law Offices of Kevin Faulk 

If you have ended up with a lemon in Sunnyvale or anywhere else in the state of California, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. However, you don’t need to go through the process alone. Put Law Offices of Kevin Faulk in your corner. We know how to strive for what is fair for our clients. Call Law Offices of Kevin Faulk today to schedule a simple one-on-one consultation.