lemons car laws in california
In general, new motor vehicles (and in some cases even the used motor vehicles) in California are covered under Song-Beverly Warranty Rights or its special provision – the Lemon Law, A new motor vehicles is one sold with a manufacturer's new car warranty. For example a 3 years old car with sold with the remaining one-year portion of a manufacturer's four-year new car warranty is a new car under this.
Song-Beverly Warranty Rights for New Auto Vehicles
Under this the manufacturer has to, after a reasonable number of repair attempts to repair a new motor vehicle unsuccessfully under its express written warranty, has to promptly either replace the vehicle or refund the price with usage deduction. The deduction is based on 120,000 miles usage. As an example suppose the consumer buys a car with a 5-year written warranty and discovers a serious problem after she had driven for 90,000 miles in 4 years. If the manufacturer cannot fix the car, since one-fourth of the use was still left, it has to reimburse the owner for one fourth of the price paid.
Lemon Law and Reasonable Number of Repair Attempts
While Song-Beverly Warranty Rights covers the entire warranty period and not just the first year or so, reasonable number of repair attempts can be a term of contention. To repair this, the Lemon Law gives guidance on number of reasonable repair attempts while restricting itself to coverage for 18,000 miles or 18 months, whichever occurs first. For serious problems that can be potentially death or serious bodily injury causing, 2 attempts, and 4 for the rest is considered to be reasonable. Moreover, cumulative total of more than 30 non-service days would suffice too.
NOTE: Above is a layman's abstract of California lemon and auto warranty law. The original source is California Motor Vehicle Warranty and Lemon Law. It and the lawyers (lemon law) have more complete information.
CREDIT: The states picture on left is modified from a US map by U.S. Geographical Survey. Try parent directory for more info.