Consumers’ Guide To Lemon Law

California's lemon law is designed to protect you, the consumer. Here are answers to commonly asked questions about your rights as a consumer:

Q: When does a recurring problem turn into a "lemon?"

  • A: If you purchased or leased a car and required as few as two repair visits to fix a defect, you may be eligible. At least one of the repair attempts must be during the warranty period.

Q: Can a dealership take as long as it likes to make repairs?

  • A: No. After 30 total days in repair (consecutive or not), your vehicle may be considered a lemon under California's lemon law.

Q: Is there a time limit for filing a lemon law case?

  • A: You can file a lemon law case up to four years after the warranty expires by mileage or years. You do not even have to own the car anymore.

Q: Does the lemon law apply only to domestic car brands?

  • A: No, the law applies to all car brands, foreign and domestic.

Q: Does the lemon law apply only to cars?

  • A: The law applies to all consumer products, including trucks, motorcycles, SUVs, motor homes, RVs, trailers, boats and watercraft.

Q: Does the lemon law apply only to new vehicles?

  • A: The law also applies to used cars.

Q: Can I really afford to file a lemon law case?

  • A: Yes. There is no cost to you because the manufacturer must pay attorney's fees in a prevailing claim. You may also be entitled to more money than you think.

Q: Does the manufacturer ever have to pay more than the value of the car?

  • A: In some cases of misconduct, the manufacturer may be ordered to pay a civil penalty up to three times the value of your car. A potential scenario might be when the consumer asked the manufacturer to repurchase their vehicle and the manufacturer refused to do so.

Q: Will I have to go to trial?

  • A: In our experience, most lemon law cases are resolved before trial, typically with a buyback. The car owner's involvement is minimal.

Contact The Lemon Law Guys

At Johnson & Buxton — The Lemon Law Guys, we fight for your rights as an auto consumer. If you think you have a lemon on your hands, schedule a free initial consultation with us. Our lawyers have the experience to evaluate your case and give you a practical bottom line. Call 800-349-3319 or contact us online. From our law office in Ventura, we handle cases in the Los Angeles area and throughout California.