How to File a Lemon Law Claim in California

Filing a Lemon Law Claim in CA: What You Need to Know

If you are having issues with your new or used car, truck or SUV, you may want to consider how to file a lemon law claim in California. If you have owned your vehicle for less than 18 months or driven it for less than 18,000 miles and discovered a problem with how it operates, you may be eligible. In the state of California you may be able to request a buyback of the remaining value of the vehicle or a full replacement, including any options or packages that are on yours.

However, there are several steps that must be followed in order to establish a legal basis for those remedies. Before you get started, know that the key components of a claim involve allowing the manufacturer or dealership the opportunity to fix the vehicle’s problems and to create a paper trail that will demonstrate the issues and the lack of resolution.

1. Dealership Repair: See If They Can Fix the Problem

While rare, it’s possible that a problem with a vehicle caused by a significant defect can be fixed. Sometimes a manufacturer will issue a recall and replacing a part or changing a certain system will resolve the issue. So, California lemon law requires that you give the car maker or the dealership at least one or two times to fix the problem.

The reason that the number is not set in stone is because defects vary. A mechanic may decide that the vehicle is unsafe to operate after just one inspection if it involves the suspension or engine, for example. On the other hand, an issue in the cargo bay may not be critical for safety and state law dictates that a dealership could have up to four chances to fix the malfunctioning part or come up with another solution.

2. Collect All Documentation for Your CA Lemon Law Claim

No matter how many visits you take to a dealership, always be sure to get a copy of the service center mechanic’s appraisal of the issue that they found, whether it is the same as the one that you reported and the repair that they attempted.  Where possible, try to get documents that are time- or date-stamped so that you can keep track of exactly how long you were without your vehicle.

You’ll also want to make sure that you have a copy of the bill of sale and any warranty information that you were provided when you either purchased the vehicle or began the leasing process. When you combine those two sets of information, it begins the foundation of any potential lemon law claim.

If you have also racked up charges pertaining to transportation, or the lack thereof, you should also try to collect those records. This could include emailed receipts from rideshare apps like Uber or Lyft, hotel bills, towing fees, or anything along those lines. You may be able to receive compensation for those costs as well.

3. File Your Lemon Law Claim As Soon As Possible

Filing your Lemon Law claim as soon as possible is crucial to protect your rights as a consumer and seek resolution for a defective vehicle. Acting promptly ensures that you meet the statute of limitations and avoid potential complications in proving your case. Moreover, an early claim submission prompts a quicker resolution, allowing you to regain peace.

In California, you generally have a limited period within which you can file a lemon law claim. The California Lemon Law gives you a four-year window for filing a lemon claim. This period begins from the moment the consumer first encounters warrantable issues with their vehicle.

4. Hire a California Lemon law Lawyer

It can be hard to know the intricacies of the lemon law, and using the state arbitrators doesn’t put anyone on your side to get the maximum compensation for your defective vehicle and pain and suffering. In fact, the California lemon law attorney team at the Law Office of Jacob K. Kashani has faced car makers and new or used car dealerships that engage in deceptive practices, including:

  1. Non-Disclosure of Previous Accidents and/or Frame Damage – Vehicle history reports only include accidents or damage that is reported, for example by an insurance company. A shady dealership that inspects an incoming vehicle may not mention what is uncovered in an inspection.
  2. Non-Disclosure of Real Condition and Mileage Fraud – In addition to significant damage, you may have purchased a vehicle from a dealership where a mechanic changed the value of the odemoter or didn’t disclose other information. This can significantly decrease the value of a vehicle.
  3. Non-Disclosure of Previous Rentals – Anyone who has rented a car or seen taxis and police cars knows that they are subject to hard usage. This can wear down many components more quickly than would be seen if they were used by someone who owned or leased the vehicle.

Just like with any defective vehicle that could qualify for lemon law protections, these types of omissions can drastically affect the value of your vehicle or make it hard to assess where defects came from.  And these are just some of the practices that people who are trying to file a lemon law claim face.

In addition, even if you have collected the documentation listed above, a car maker may try to pay as little as possible. An experienced lemon law attorney will fight to get you the maximum compensation for car payments, taxes and fees as well as costs you faced while your vehicle was in the shop.

To learn more about how to protect your legal rights when you think your car is a lemon, contact the Law Office of Jacob K. Kashani today for a no-cost consultation. We’ll review your records and discuss your options to ensure that you can get back on the road safely and in a car that you can trust.

What Our Clients Are Saying!

We have a proven track record winning California Lemon Law Cases. Look at what our clients have to say about our top-leading California RV Lemon Law Attorneys.

Jonathan K. Los Angeles, CA

Thanks guys! Our company car was in service so many times for Warrenty recalls and random dangerous issues / Jacob was able to get it sorted out. Thanks again. Yes that was our company car!

Stephanie P. Huntington Park, CA

I had a problem with my AC on my Honda 2018, starting a week after signing on the vehicle. I kept hoping they would fix it and went to repairs close to 10 times. When I was finally fed up, I decided to look through YELP. I am beyond grateful I found Jacob. I was definitely skeptical because the yelp seemed too good to be true. I am glad I took the chance. He responded to my messages within a couple of minutes. After I explained my car situation, he immediately called me and he instantly explained my options and kept me reassured the entire process. I was updated via phone and email throughout the time it took to complete the process. His front desk staff was amazing! (Special shoutout to Stefany that also was answering my many questions). Jacob and his staff went above and beyond for me and got my $$ back! To which, he even called up a friend to help me out with my next car purchase. I recommend this business to all of my friends and family who may need Jacob.

Carly B. Moorpark, CA

Jacob has been amazing through the whole process of my lemon. He is always available, responsive and follows up promptly. He was very easy to work with and I would highly recommend his practice. He definitely got the job done!

Sean A. Central LA, West Hollywood, CA

Jacob Kashani is a knowledgeable, hard working and fierce attorney. I've called Jacob at least 6 times through the last 5 years and he's always had the right answers, as well as creative solutions whether it was pertaining to vehicles or even areas of law outside of his expertise. The three things you want in your attorney is knowledge, creativity, and hard work. Jacob has that!

Ardy H. Central LA, Los Angeles, CA

Jacob thank you so much for taking the time to guide and support me through a challenging time with BMW. Their unprofessionalism and unethical behavior speaks for itself. You are great and I look forward to sending clients that may need this service your way!!

Contact a california lemon law attorney for a free consultation

Get in touch with a California Lemon Law attorney at the Law Office of Jacob K. Kashani today. We look forward to working with you to get the maximum compensation for the facts of your case merit.