Get Help from a Qualified California Lemon Law Firm

Under California’s Lemon Law, consumers who purchase a defective vehicle are entitled to a refund, a replacement vehicle, or cash compensation. And if a manufacturer willfully violates the law, they may need to pay civil penalties to the consumer, too.

Compensation for your lemon is designed to make you whole for spending your hard-earned money on a defective vehicle. Additionally, civil penalties may be double the amount of your underlying recovery if the automobile manufacturer willfully violated California’s Lemon Law. In total, you may be owed as much as three times what you paid for the vehicle.

Here at Krohn & Moss, Ltd., we’ve helped over 50,000 consumers hold automobile manufacturers responsible for the lemons they sold. If you have a lemon, touch base with us today so our California Lemon lawyers can get you the compensation you deserve!

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Vehicles Covered

  • Vehicles purchased or leased in California
  • New and used vehicles weighing less than 10,000 lbs
  • Excludes vehicles belonging to a business or individual with MORE than 5 vehicles registered in CA

Number of Required Repair Attempts

  • Four repair attempts for the same defect
  • Two repair attempts for the same significant safety defect
  • 30 days out of service for repairs, regardless of the number of repair attempts

When Repair Attempts Must Occur

Within 18 months or 18,000 miles of the original purchase, whichever comes first

Don’t worry if your car doesn’t meet these requirements, you may still be able to file a claim under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

What Does the Lemon Law in California Cover?

California has one of the most consumer-friendly Lemon Laws in the country. The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act (California’s Lemon Law), covers cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, and even parts of RVs.

To qualify for compensation under the law, vehicles must have a defect that substantially impairs their use, value, or safety. And the defect must persist after you’ve provided the manufacturer with a reasonable number of attempts to repair it.

Questions about California Lemon Law? Check out our
California Lemon Law FAQ

Protected Vehicles

Vehicles protected under this law must:

  • be leased or purchased in a retail transaction within California (exceptions available for active members of the military)
  • be a passenger vehicle, the gross weight of which is less than 10,000 lbs
  • NOT belong to a business or individual with MORE than 5 vehicles registered in CA.

Vehicles must also be covered by the manufacturer’s written warranty at the time of the first repair attempt. However, it’s important to note that the manufacturer’s warranty is transferable. As a result, the California Lemon Law can apply to both new and used vehicles.

That said, if you purchased a used vehicle that ends up being a Lemon, we highly recommend acting as soon as possible. Under the California Lemon Law, protections end 18 months or 18,000 miles after the original owner took possession of the vehicle.

After this window closes, we can still file Lemon Law cases under the federal Lemon Law. But whichever law we turn to, the sooner you act, the greater your chance of success.

Protected Defects

California’s Lemon Law also includes guidelines about the kinds of vehicle defects that it protects consumers against. To qualify for compensation the vehicle’s defect(s) must

  • be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty
  • substantially impair the vehicle’s use, value, or safety
  • persist after a “reasonable number of repair attempts” by the manufacturer.

Repair attempts include any time you’ve brought the vehicle to the dealer for the defect. This holds true even if the dealer forgets to address the issue during the visit.

Required Repair Attempts

The California Lemon Law presumes that a motor vehicle is a Lemon if it meets any of the following three conditions:

  • The vehicle is brought to the dealership four times (or more) because of a single defect.
  • The vehicle is brought to the dealer twice (or more) because of the same significant safety defect.
  • The vehicle is out of service for repairs for a cumulative total of 30+ days.

If your vehicle satisfies even one of these conditions within 18 months or 18,000 miles of ownership, it’s a Lemon. Manufacturers may still try to prove otherwise, but our California Lemon Law lawyers know precisely how to discredit such arguments. In fact, we can even help you file a Lemon Law claim after the 18-month/18,000-mile window expires.

But don’t let too much time pass. The sooner you act, the greater your chances of a successful recovery. So if you think you have a Lemon, contact us today for a FREE consultation.

Compensation: How Much Might You Collect?

If you have a Lemon, you might be entitled to as much as three times what you paid for it. But because each case is unique, it doesn’t make sense to suggest that you might collect any specific dollar amount. Instead, we’ll explain how compensation for Lemons in California gets calculated.

California Lemon Law Buybacks and Replacement Vehicles

When your vehicle is ruled to be a Lemon, the manufacturer must allow you to return it. In exchange, the manufacturer must provide you with a refund or a replacement vehicle. The law even allows you to choose which option you would prefer.

Refunds (Buybacks)

If you choose to collect a refund for your Lemon, it will include everything you’ve paid. Sales tax, license and registration costs, financing charges, and all other fees related to the purchase must be refunded.

However, the manufacturer may deduct a limited amount for the time you drove the vehicle before issues arose. This deduction is referred to as a mileage offset or usage fee. To calculate this offset, you’ll need to know the mileage at the time of the first repair attempt and the purchase price.

(Mileage at the time of the first repair attempt / 120,000) ✖ Purchase Price = Mileage Offset

So, if you paid $50,000 for your vehicle and drove it 3,000 miles before the first repair attempt, your mileage offset would amount to $1,250. Thus, you would receive $48,750 ($50,000 – $1,250) for the buyback. You might also be entitled to additional compensation via Civil Penalties, which we’ll discuss in a moment.

Replacement Vehicles

If you like your car (other than its defects), you can choose to receive a replacement vehicle rather than a refund. The new vehicle must be substantially similar to the old one. And the manufacturer must pay all taxes and fees related to the sale. If you financed your Lemon, in most cases you’ll simply continue to pay off your loan as if you never received a new vehicle.

Unfortunately, replacement vehicles are not always available. Manufacturers commonly discontinue models, and recent supply chain issues have made it difficult to meet growing demand. So, replacement vehicles might not be an option for some consumers. However, if you would prefer a replacement over a refund, we’ll do everything in our power to deliver one.

Civil Penalties

In addition to the refund or replacement vehicle you receive, you might also be entitled to payments from Civil Penalties against the manufacturer. These penalties can be up to twice the size of your refund. Thus, if your refund after the mileage offset amounts to $48,750, you could receive an additional $97,500 in Civil Penalties.

These penalties are only applicable in cases where the manufacturer willfully broke the CA Lemon Law. Proving as much can be difficult, but the sooner you reach out to an attorney, the better. At Krohn & Moss, Ltd. we always aim to secure the maximum recovery for our clients. So we’ll jump at any chance that we can find to add Civil Penalties to your payout.

Attorney’s Fees

When you win a Lemon Law case in California, the manufacturer is required to pay your attorney’s fees. Thus, consumers seeking representation for their Lemon should never have to pay for an attorney out-of-pocket. In fact, we don’t charge any fees unless we win your case. So, our livelihood depends on making manufacturers pay you what you deserve.

And when we win your case, the manufacturer pays our fees in addition to your compensation. With that in mind, there really is no downside to hiring a Lemon lawyer here in California.

Reach out to us today so we can get started on your case!

Why Choose Us as Your California Lemon Law Firm?

  • 25+ Years of Experience Turning “Lemons” into “Lemon-Aid”
  • Over 50,000 Success Stories Nationwide
  • Over 10,000 Success Stories in California alone
  • Accomplished, Trustworthy Attorneys
  • Responds to All Inquiries within 24 Hours
  • No Fees Unless We Win Your Case
  • We Always Seek Maximum Compensation for Clients

At Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center®, we’re committed to standing up for consumers’ rights. We know that car companies will do anything they can to avoid paying for their mistakes. And we know how frustrating it can be for consumers to navigate the roadblocks that manufacturers put in the way of legitimate Lemon Law claims.

With this in mind, we represent consumers without charging a penny for our services upfront. In fact, we don’t get paid unless you do. Plus, if we win your case, the California Lemon Law requires the manufacturer to pay your attorneys’ fees. Thus, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain from reaching out to our experienced CA Lemon lawyers.

Did You Purchase or Lease a Lemon in California?

Contact us today so we can help you secure the compensation you’re owed! Not sure if you have a Lemon? Learn more about the California Lemon Law by visiting our other pages on the topic:

You can also take our 60-second Lemon Test to find out almost instantly whether you have a winnable case. Or, for input from one of our California Lemon Law attorneys, reach out to us for a FREE CASE REVIEW. We’ve dedicated our careers to sticking up for people like you.

Contact us today so we can defend your rights and get you paid!
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