Friday, October 2, 2009

Understanding ca Lemon Law Process

California's so-called "Lemon Law" is part of the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, which was created to protect consumers who've purchased new motor vehicles from losing money on a faulty product. The Song-Beverly act basically states that if a manufacturer or one of its representatives is unable to repair your motor vehicle so that said vehicle can meet the terms of its warranty after a "reasonable number" of repair attempts, then the manufacture is required by law to either repair the vehicle or give you your money back. The refund includes not just the purchase price but the cost of any manufacturer-installed components. It is entirely up to you, the buyer, to choose either a replacement or a refund. The manufacturer also has to pay for sales tax, registration and official fees, finance charges, repairs, towing and any other costs incurred as a result of the vehicle's faultiness.

This law protects you for the entire duration of your vehicle's warranty. If you have a four year warranty on your car, for example, and a defect shows up after three years, the manufacturer will have to replace the vehicle or reimburse you for the full amount of the purchase price, provided the manufacturer or its representatives have had the chance to perform a "reasonable number" of repair attempts without successfully fixing the problem.

But what exactly constitutes a reasonable number? The answer to this question is addressed by what is commonly referred to as the Lemon Law. California's Lemon Law states that a manufacturer has had a reasonable number of repair attempts if a serious car issue has been subject to repair to or more times, or if the same problem has been addressed four or more times and the owner has contacted the manufacturer at least once directly, or if the vehicle is out of service due to repairs for more than thirty days since the vehicle was delivered.

The California Lemon Law, however, is more of a guideline than anything else. Manufacturers and consumers are free to dispute the fine points, which is why Lemon Law cases are often rather involved and complex.

When thinking of pursuing a claim under the California Lemon Law, remember that the law does not apply if the car defect was caused by abuse or misuse of the vehicle. Also, make sure to pursue legal action as soon as the problem becomes clear. Depending on the case, the Lemon Law or parts of it might extend to certified pre-owned vehicles that are sold with their own warranties and terms.

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