Lemon law question, Can I file a lemon law on my car and what should I do in my current situation?

Asked about 1 year ago - Los Angeles, CA

I purchased this vehicle last november and within my 30 day warranty, the car broke down at least 8 times for different issues, supposedly they fixed the issues but a month later, I had to have some things fixed that they had just fixed. They didn't give me any paperwork for their repairs and actually denied the problems. I was mostly having issues where I would step on the gas and the vehicle wouldnt accelerate-including on the freeway where I'd already be going 70 and it would suddenly drop down to 50 or below almost causing accidents. The car recently broke down again and it is over 2000 to fix, I literally just lost my job and I'm still making payments on the car but I cannot pick it up so now the mechanic is doing a lien sale. I have contacted the dealership but they r not responsive.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Suren Naradha Weerasuriya

    Contributor Level 3

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If I understand correctly, your vehicle came with a written thirty-day warranty. If that is the case, and the repairs were ultimately not successful, you may have claims of breach of express and implied warranties under the California Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act and the (Federal) Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, both of which allow you to bring civil claims for damages, attorney's fees and costs. Depending on the types and seriousness of the issues involved, how often they were specifically addressed and/or duplicated, and their current status are all elements so to speak. But again, there are much more specifics under Song-Beverly, Magnuson-Moss, and the California Uniform Commercial Code as to which circumstances trigger a valid and reasonable opportunity to seek legal remedies. In certain scenarios, a repurchase or replacement of your vehicle may be an option; in others, a cash remedy is an option to compensate you for the diminished value of your vehicle (due to the issues with the vehicle specifically), a remedy often but not always measured by the difference between the value of the vehicle as sold, and the true value of the vehicle at the time it was sold/ Sometimes, you can get an expert opinion on this as well, depending on whether a lawsuit has been filed and an expert opinion is necessary. Please keep in mind again that these are some general overviews, and you should not rely on my comments as legal advice. Best of Luck!

    Please keep in mind that the purpose of my commentary is solely to answer questions on AVVO for individuals... more
  2. Scott Richard Kaufman

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . generally California does not have lemon law protection for used cars. But in your instance you were given a 30 day warranty. That may give you some coverage under California's lemon law. In addition sometimes the dealer makes errors in your paperwork. If that happened and I would say it does about 50 percent of the time then you may have some other claims which could still get you the results you are seeking. Feel free to get in touch with my office for a free case review.

  3. Ronald Lee Burdge

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . That warranty can make all the difference in what your rights are. And if problems come back after the dealer did repairs on them, then they were not fixed right in the first place and the dealer is likely to be liable for that. California has some special laws that govern used car sales. California has a special Car Buyer’s Bill of Rights law that you can read about on this web page (http://tinyurl.com/9q6yh99) that gives the buyer the right to buy a 2 day contract cancellation option with their used car. But in a used car sale, your legal rights are mostly determined by the paperwork that you sign and the promises the dealer makes to you and whether or not the dealer hid anything from you during the sale. Look to see if anything was written down about any kind of warranty or guarantee or right to cancel the deal. If so, then that may be binding on both you and the dealer. When you bought it can matter too. If you bought it very recently, then you may have more legal rights (again, depending on your paperwork and what representations were made to you when you bought it). But that’s still not the end of it. If the vehicle has hidden damage the dealer knew about and didn’t tell you then that could be fraud too. There’s also a federal law that requires all car dealers to post on the window of all used cars they are selling a special “Buyer Guide” form (it’s often called a Used Car Window Sticker) that discloses whether or not a warranty comes with the car. Many small lot car dealers don’t comply with the law. If they don’t, then you may end up with a warranty after all and you may even have the right to cancel the sale. The back side of the form has to be completely filled out and many car lots, big and small, fail to do that too and that can also trigger your right to cancel the deal. You can see what the Buyer Guide form looks like on this web site page (http://tinyurl.com/9ram9hb). You need to talk to a local Lemon Law attorney in California near you. For a Free Online 50 State National List of Lemon Law Lawyers, go to www.USLemonLawyers.com and find one near you (lawyers don’t pay to get listed here and most of them are members of the only national association for Consumer Law lawyers, NACA.net). Scott Kaufman and Brett Shainfeld and Douglas Sohn are just a couple that frequently answer California questions at Avvo.com. You can call your local attorney's Bar Association and ask for a referral to a Lemon Law attorney near you. But act quickly because for every legal right you have, there is only a limited amount of time to actually file a lawsuit in court or your rights expire (it's called the statute of limitations), so don't waste your time getting to a Consumer Law attorney and finding out what your rights are. If this answer was helpful, please give a “Vote UP” review below. And please be sure to indicate the best answer to your question so we can all be sure we are being helpful. Thanks for asking and Good Luck. Ron Burdge, www.BurdgeLaw.com

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    This answer is for general purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. The law in your... more

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