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California's Lemon Law

Posted by attorney Steven Simons
Filed under: Lemon law

California's Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, also known as the "Lemon Law", was enacted by the California Legislature to provide help for buyers of vehicles, and other products with recurring or un-repairable problems. Generally, the Lemon Law is applicable to cars and other products where the authorized repair facility (often the selling dealer) has been unable to repair the car or other product within the stated warranty period. The Law requires that the manufacturer be given a "reasonable number of opportunities". Often time what you believe is reasonable and what the manufacturer believes is reasonable is what creates the issue. For qualifying vehicles and products, the manufacturer must give you, the buyer, your money back. Often the law will require that the manufacturer pay off the outstanding loan balance or replace the car or other product with a comparable model. There is a provision that allows the manufacturer an "offset" for your use of the car. Where a true "lemon" exists, the California Lemon Law requires that the manufacturer of a car or other product pay for the consumer's hourly attorneys fees. This "fee shifting" provision allows you, the consumer, to have the same economic clout as the manufacturer and opens the courthouse for those who would otherwise not be in a position to hire an attorney to pursue their claims.

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