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3 defenses to expect if you have a lemon claim in California

Buying a new car is no small decision for most people. Oftentimes, prospective buyers conduct research, test drive different options and shop around for the best price before they decide to buy a new car. With all that goes into this process, buyers should be able to expect that the car they ultimately purchase will be in excellent shape and free from defects.

Unfortunately, purchasers of a lemon vehicle do not enjoy this outcome. Instead, they are left to deal with frustrating problems with their car or truck, and oftentimes, they face a number of defenses to claims that a vehicle is a lemon. Below are three common defenses a buyer can expect when they are considering filing a lemon claim in California.

The vehicle is not covered by The Lemon Law

A defendant could argue that the vehicle in question is not covered by state lemon laws. Understand that new or certified pre-owned personal vehicles purchased or leased and under warranty are covered by lemon laws, while off-road vehicles or vehicles used primarily for human habitation are not. 

There were not reasonable attempts to repair the vehicle

There is no fixed number of repair attempts when it comes to arguing that a vehicle is a lemon. However, you must be able to show that the attempts were "reasonable" and still failed to fix the problem. To do this, maintain records of when the vehicle was in the shop, how many attempts were made to repair the problem and how many days the vehicle was out of service.

The problem does not warrant legal action

In an effort to keep you from filing a claim, dealers or manufacturers might tell you that the problem with your vehicle is not serious enough to warrant legal action. They may say that your use of the vehicle contributed to or caused the problem. They may wrongfully claim that a certain issue is not covered by a warranty. 

Know your rights before you make any decisions

In the case of any of these defenses, it can be easy to assume all hope is lost for getting a replacement vehicle or refund. However, before you make any decisions, it can be critical to consult an attorney familiar with automotive defects and state lemon laws. With legal guidance, you can fight back and ensure your rights as a consumer are protected.


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