Lemon law protections are not always easy to get

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Most major purchases come with some sort of warranty. These warranties promise that the product will function as it is meant to, and if it is defective, the manufacturer will repair or replace it. Motor vehicles come with similar warranties. Vehicles with defects that cannot be repaired, even after numerous attempts by a manufacturer's mechanics, may fall under the lemon law. California consumers should know it is not always easy to get a manufacturer to honor the protections that law affords, and obtaining satisfaction may require legal assistance.

According to the federal lemon law, car owners must allow the manufacturer of their vehicles a reasonable opportunity to repair any defects. However, if a driver has the same issue multiple times without remedy or if the vehicle has numerous issues that make it unusable, the law may consider the vehicle to be a lemon. Such complaints must occur within the first year or two of owning the vehicle.

A consumer who is having trouble with a car repair is advised to keep careful documentation. Recording the types of trouble the car is having as well as the times and results of repair attempts with dates, times and circumstances will be helpful to a mechanic, but it will also demonstrate to the court the course of action the car owner has taken to seek a resolution. If a manufacturer's mechanic is unable to fix the defect, some consumers attempt to enact the lemon law by contacting the manufacturer directly.

Sending a certified letter with details about the car's issues and outlining the response one expects from the manufacturer may be an effective way to handle the problem. However, if the manufacturer receives such a letter from an attorney, he or she may be more likely to act in the consumer's favor. If not, a California lemon law attorney will be ready to step in and represent the consumer in civil court.

Source: cars.usnews.com, "How Does the Lemon Law Work for Cars?", Eric C. Evarts, Accessed on April 28, 2018

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