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California has passed multiple laws that protect consumers against unscrupulous merchants that sell inferior products and services. The California Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) covers most consumer products, from defective toasters to inoperable lawnmowers. However, the State of California has created a separate class of consumer protection laws that apply to vehicles. If you spend an inordinate amount of time waiting for your vehicle to receive repairs and maintenance service, you might have a lemon on your hands.

Lemon law in the State of California typically covers new vehicles that possess “serious defects.” The statutes that protect consumers against new vehicle malfunctions place time and mileage limits for consumers to pursue cases under California lemon law.

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The Song-Beverly Warranty Act classifies a vehicle as a lemon within 18 months of the vehicle’s delivery to a consumer or if the vehicle has less than 18,000 miles displayed on the odometer.

Here are some other qualifications for vehicle lemons:

  • The vehicle has not run for 30 days or more because of repair issues
  • Vehicle defects not caused by owner
  • The manufacturer has tried to make repairs to a warranty issue at least four times
  • The manufacturer has attempted at least two times to make repairs on a warranty-covered problem that could result in the owner suffering from a serious injury or death

California consumers that own a lemon can ether request that the manufacturer replace the lemon vehicle or give a refund for the price of the purchase of the lemon.


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