California’s Lemon Law aims to protect its consumers by ensuring they have the right to receive a refund or replacement when buying a vehicle with serious mechanical defects. This means that car dealers or manufacturers who are unable to repair the deficiencies after a “reasonable” number of repair attempts result in a car being a lemon, which must be either refunded or replaced.
This begs the question for consumers: what are reasonable repair attempts, and how many repairs can the manufacturer make before a car is a lemon? The guide below should clue you in on the basics.
What is a Repair Attempt?
When a consumer buys a vehicle with severe dysfunctions in its engine and performance, the manufacturers or car dealers are given a chance to repair or adjust the component to correct any defects. It would be best if you documented each repair attempts by getting a copy of all the repair orders for every visit.
California Lemon Law Requires a Minimum of Two Repair Attempts
Now that you know the definition of a repair attempt, each state has set its minimum efforts for repair. With that in mind, California’s appellate courts require a minimum of two repair attempts before the consumer is eligible to move forward with a lemon law case. Other factors that are deemed part of the reasonable repair attempts include the following occurrences:
1. There have been two or more repair attempts over a mechanical problem that is highly likely to become a life-threatening hazard in the streets within the vehicle’s first 18,000 miles. This includes being under ownership with the consumer for 18 months, wherein the said consumer has directly introduced the malfunction to the manufacturer.
2. There have been four or more repair attempts for the same defect within the vehicle’s first 18,000 miles or 18 months of ownership.
3. The car has been under repair or out of service for 30 days or more during the automobile’s first 18 months of purchase or the first 18,000 miles.
The Bottom Line: The Importance of Repair Order Receipts
Every time you take in your vehicle for repair, you need to ensure there are documents to organize the complete repair history of all the found defects in your car to prove your claim. This demonstrates that you have undergone a reasonable number of repair attempts before proceeding with what the lemon law entails for the consumer.
These repair order receipts will also serve as proof in a court proceeding that your vehicle is considered a “lemon.” Keep in mind that the mileage or time of ownership will impact your eligibility, so the repair order receipt will also help prove your mileage.
If you want to learn more about the steps you need to follow to get proper compensation, if your vehicle is considered eligible for Lemon Law, we’re your best option. We are attornies that specialize in Lemon Laws in California, get in touch with us today to see if we can help you make claims against car dealerships and manufacturers.