When you purchase a car, may it be brand new or used, your expectation is more or less the same—you want it to be in good working condition. Sometimes, however, manufacturers or dealers can sell you a dud. No matter how many times you bring it to a repair shop, it never runs the way you want it to, thereby failing to meet your expectations. This type of vehicle is known by law as a “lemon,” and each state has different rules on how they approach filing a claim for buying lemons.

No matter what the regulations are in your state, there are misconceptions about the Lemon Law out there that may deter you from rightfully filing a claim. Don’t let these myths fool you into not making an effort to get your money back. Below are some of the most Lemon Law myths you should be wary about:


Lemon law litigations can take forever

While a lemon law case can’t be resolved overnight, most claims can be processed within a reasonable time frame, typically in a matter of weeks. If you suspect that you’ve been sold a lemon, the easiest way to speed up your claim is to keep as much as documentation as possible. 

Ideally, you should have the paperwork at the time of purchase and the records of service and repair work performed as it relates to the issue specified in the case. You can’t expect the dealership and the shop to keep and retrieve records for you. You also have to make sure that the write-ups and notes are in full detail as it can help prove that the dealership failed to correct the issues. 


You cannot get back the full amount 

Many buyers are under the impression that the lemon will be repurchased at much lower market value, resulting in them bleeding out money. However, the calculation of the buyback amount is more complicated than you think. The amount is usually based on a formula that involves the mileage driven prior to the issues happening with the vehicle, which is often an advantageous figure for the buyer.

Additionally, you may also be entitled to reimbursements for other fees, including service costs, insurance costs, rental vehicle costs, and financing and registration fees associated with the vehicle. The only things you will not be compensated for are aftermarket parts and service costs from outside your dealership while under warranty. 


Used vehicles aren’t covered by the Lemon Law

In the state of California, used vehicles can still be considered lemons and are eligible for a buyback or replacement. It’s typically determined whether it’s under a factory or dealership warranty. In the event that it is, it will be seen as a new vehicle. If not, and you signed paperwork that you’re purchasing it “as is,” then it’s possible that you may be on the hook for the dud. In cases like this, however, you may still be protected under the “implied warranty of merchantability,” which is also covered by the Lemon Law. It’s a clause that protects consumers from unsafe vehicles. 


You don’t need an attorney when filing a claim

You’re more than welcome not to hire an attorney for the arbitration process, but you should be prepared for an emotional rollercoaster. Most automobile manufacturers employ the toughest litigators that are dead set on beating your case. They’ll make sure that they build a strong case against you, faulting you for vehicle neglect or abuse. To avoid the headache, hire a lawyer that can represent you and serve your best interests.



When you purchase a car, you want it to be in great working condition. Unfortunately, there are people who would take advantage and sell you problematic vehicles. When that happens, you may file a claim under the Lemon Law.

If you’re looking for the best-rated lemon law attorney in San Diego, get in touch with us to see how we can help.