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Having issues with a new car? It may be a lemon

Every car comes with its share of problems, quirks, and frustrations. Even if the car is new, buyers can learn pretty quickly that it may not operate or function exactly as they hoped. While it can be easy to think that these issues make the car a lemon, this is not always the case. Just because you are having mechanical issues with your car does not necessarily mean that it is a lemon. A lemon refers to a car that continues to have mechanical issues even after a “reasonable number” of repair attempts.

The difference between a flawed car and a lemon comes down to whether the issue or defect is substantial and is not fixed after a reasonable number of repairs. There is no set number of repair attempts used when defining what a “reasonable number” is. One guideline typically used is if the car continues to have the same issue after four repair attempts, it may be a lemon. Another indicator is if the car is in the garage for at least 30 days for an issue that is covered by the warranty.

Common Sources of Lemon Law Claims

To give you a better idea of the difference between a lemon issue and one that is simply unfortunate, we will examine some common sources of Lemon Law claims:

  • Transmission problems, like over-revving or slipping
  • Unexplained stalling
  • Automatic locks that lock or unlock when they shouldn't
  • Headlight failures
  • Persistent electrical issues
  • Problems with suspension
  • Bad ignition timing
  • Defective airbags

These should not be issues in new cars, and any car under warranty should be able to be repaired. If this is not the case and the problems are persistent, then you may have a lemon.

As noted in this article from Consumer Reports, there are some signs you can look for before purchasing a vehicle in order to spot any potential problems with a vehicle. However, even the savviest car shopper can be unprepared for or unaware of the problems mentioned above, especially when purchasing a brand new car.

What to Look Out For When Purchasing a Car

The best way to guard against driving home with a lemon is to look for the warning signs while you are still in the sales lot. Here is what to look for during your next purchase.

Rear bumper

Suspension issues can be a major headache for car owners. Because these repairs can be expensive, it is important to make sure it is in working order before you make your purchase. If you push down on the bumper, it should feel bouncy. If the bumper is stiff and doesn’t feel like it is bouncing, it could be a sign of more serious suspension issues with the car.

Open the Hood

Don’t be afraid to look under the hood of the car. Check for signs of corrosion to potentially spot any cracks or leaks. Look at the oil and ensure that there are no particles and that it has a rich brown or black color. If there strong smells coming from the hood after the test drive, that is also an indicator of a serious mechanical issue.

Drive at Quicker Speeds

During the test drive, it is a good idea to take the car out on a highway and drive at a faster speed. Driving more quickly will help you identify whether there are any steering or alignment issues with the car. When you’re on the highway, check that the steering wheel feels steady and is not rattling. If the car has a tendency to drift in one direction, the car may be misaligned.

Don't Be Hard On Yourself

Even the most diligent of car buyers can still fall victim to purchasing a lemon. If you’re having consistent mechanical issues with a car that is still under warranty, it may be time to take the necessary actions to ensure you’re fairly compensated for your troubles. You should not feel embarrassed or hopeless if you find yourself dealing with the same issue over and over. You can talk to a Los Angeles lemon law attorney who understands how frustrating this situation is and how to build a claim under California's Lemon Law. With legal support and guidance, you can seek the refund or replacement you deserve!

Contact us or call (800) 561-8627 for a free initial consultation with a Los Angeles lemon lawyer at The Office of Robert Starr, APC. We are backed by more than 20 years of experience and are ready to protect your rights.


Hear from Happy Clients

  • Ailin F.

    Wow, completely speechless! Best lawyers hands down.

  • Kristen P.

    What a great experience I had with Robert and his staff.

  • Abran H.

    They were able to get my money back from the dealer and I couldn't be any happier.

  • Jay B.

    After speaking to attorney Robert he assured me of the process and was able to get me very favorable results!

  • Brian H.

    BMW forced us to go to trial, which we won and were even able to recover a $30,000 civil penalty.

  • Lucero G.

    I really recommend the Law Office of Robert L. Starr. They helped me with the repurchase of my car just recently.

  • Bella M.

    I have had two separate lemon law issues that they represented me on. Both with positive outcomes.

  • Rita S.

    They were able to get my car returned as a lemon, even though it had 92,000 miles on it.

  • Kari

    The law offices of Robert Starr helped me get my car bought back from a very difficult car company.

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    If you feel you have been wronged legally, Adam brings justice into your life when injustice is overflowing in this city.

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    They handled the case well and provided me realistic expectations. I will definitely recommend them!

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    They don't stop fighting for you until they win for you. They give you timely updates, and if you are as needy as I am, they will go the extra mile to make sure you are at peace of mind.

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    I highly recommend Robert Starr Law Office for Legal matters regarding Lemon Law buybacks.

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    Robert gave me his advice and I listened to every word...winning the case.

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    Despite all odds, Robert was able to win my case and get my money returned!

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    He took my difficult, albeit honest, case and after many months of battle was able to get me a fair and amazing outcome.

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    Tever & Natalia from Robert Starr kept me up to do date on all their dealings with Ford, and just a couple of months later I had a 5-figure check and a drop-off date for my vehicle.

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    The entire staff was responsive and knowledgeable.

  • Former Client

    The process was pretty effortless and they took care of basically everything.

  • Former Client

    Robert Star is extremely professional kind and patient and understanding with all his customers.

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