California consumers have certain protections when they purchase a new vehicle. The lemon law is one of those protections. This law allows a car owner a refund or replacement vehicle if a new vehicle has defects that cannot be repaired. In some cases, consumers need to fight for their rights under this law.
One woman in another state leased a new model Mercedes in Sept. 2013. The vehicle soon began having trouble with its transmission, resulting in numerous trips to the dealership for repairs. After 10 months of frustration and no resolution to the transmission issues, the woman asked for a refund, which the state's lemon law allows.
The woman had already made $7,058 in lease payments. Instead of refunding the full amount, the manufacturer of the car sent the woman $527 and demanded the return of the car. The woman disputed the amount, and the two sides haggled. During this time, the deadline for the lemon law claim passed. Mercedes then filed a lawsuit against the woman, asking the court to force her to accept the smaller amount or nothing because she had not complied with the lemon law to return the vehicle before the deadline.
The vehicle owner, however, filed her own claim, and the court combined them into one. The judge presiding over the case ruled that Mercedes had not complied with the law, and that law now allowed the judge to double the award the woman could receive. Including her legal fees, Mercedes now owes the woman over $400,000. The lemon law in each state is different, and California consumers can fight for their rights with the assistance of an experienced attorney.