How to Address Consumer Fraud When It Involves Your Vehicle
When you have problems with your vehicle, it can be an extremely frustrating experience. Fortunately, the California lemon law protects consumers who discover a serious, unfixable flaw in a vehicle they have purchased or leased.
To address this consumer fraud issue, you must first understand what defines a “serious, unfixable flaw.”
According to California’s lemon law, this means any problem that “substantially impairs the use, value or safety” of a vehicle and that is discovered within 18 months or 18,000 miles of purchase or lease. Whether you purchased the vehicle new or used, the vehicle must also be covered by the manufacturer’s original vehicle warranty.
If you decide that your problem qualifies under these requirements, then you must take the vehicle to be repaired. The law says that the manufacturer is allowed a “reasonable” number of repair attempts before the vehicle can be classified as a lemon. In general, this means four attempts. If the problem is potentially life threatening, however, then the manufacturer is allowed only two attempts. The repairs cannot take more than 30 days to complete, although these 30 days do not have to be consecutive.
If the manufacturer is unable to fix the issue within these provisions, then the manufacturer must replace your vehicle with a “substantially identical” one or refund your money. You get to decide which one you want to pursue. Note that the manufacturer can deduct a percentage of the original price for the mileage you have put on the vehicle.
If You Have Trouble with the Manufacturer
In these types of consumer fraud cases, it can be difficult to deal with the manufacturer. Sometimes, the manufacturer wants to push back, insisting that the driver inflicted “abuse” on the vehicle.
If this is the type of experience you are having, then please reach out to the San Diego Lawyer Referral and Information Service at (619) 231-8585. Our staff is highly trained to discuss your legal situation and refer you to a consumer fraud attorney, if necessary.