Carlsbad Lemon Law

Carlsbad, California Lemon Law Attorneys

Car Issues Already? Our Experienced Carlsbad Lemon Law Lawyers Are Here To Fight For You

Located along the coast between Los Angeles and San Diego, Carlsbad is a popular place to live and a popular place to visit. Residents and visitors in Carlsbad frequently rely on their vehicles to travel around the area. Getting to attractions like Legoland, SeaWorld, or the world-famous San Diego Zoo with your family requires a reliable and safe vehicle.

Many Californians buy or lease a vehicle because they need reliable transportation. However, when a problem arises, vehicle owners need their cars fixed quickly and correctly. Persistent or dangerous vehicle issues can disrupt routines, cause unnecessary stress and anxiety, and put people’s safety at risk. If you suspect that you have recently bought or leased a lemon, don’t wait. Talk to an experienced Carlsbad lemon lawyer today. The team at Wirtz Law APC can help determine the next best steps for your lemon law case.

Lemon Vehicle Statistics For California

In 2019, the California Department of Motor Vehicles issued over 3 million vehicle registrations for vehicles in San Diego County, including Carlsbad. This number is the second-highest total for any California county after Los Angeles County.

Many of these registrations were renewals for vehicles that were already on the road or were registrations for vehicles purchased used. Others, however, represented registrations for cars purchased new from an auto manufacturer or dealership.

Most new vehicle purchases don’t result in lemon law claims. According to the California Public Interest Research Group, only about one-half of one percent (0.5%) of all new vehicle registrations end up in a lemon law legal claim. In most cases, a lemon law claim is settled before trial.

Manufactures with the Most Lemon Law Claims

Automakers are not equally represented in lemon law claims. The five automakers named most frequently in California lemon law filings include:

Automakers whose names appear relatively rarely in lemon law claims include Toyota Motor SalesMazda Motor of America, and Mitsubishi Motors North America. Even these automakers, however, have faced claims from consumers seeking compensation under California’s lemon laws.

Manufacturers with the most California lemon law claims
Vehicles covered by Califorina Lemon Law

When Do California Lemon Laws Apply?

California lemon law applies to vehicles purchased or leased “at retail” from an auto dealership, distributor, or manufacturer. The law covers the following:

  • Cars, pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles (SUVs), electric vehicles, (EVs) and vans.
  • Certain motorhome parts, including the drive train, chassis, and chassis cab.
  • Dealer-owned vehicles, including demonstration vehicles.
  • Cars bought or leased for personal use, and some small business uses.

In California, a small business may bring a lemon law claim if:

  • The company owns five or fewer vehicles total (including the suspected lemon); and
  • The suspected lemon vehicle weighs less than 10,000 pounds empty (its gross vehicle weight).

A “reasonable number” of attempts can be as few as two times and it can be for the same or different defects in the vehicle. The question is whether the number or attempts was reasonable based on the nature of the defects. 

Exceptions to California Lemon Laws

A Carlsbad consumer purchased the vehicle in a private sale

California’s lemon laws don’t apply to all vehicles or vehicle problems. For example, a used vehicle purchased from a friend, colleague, or used car ad doesn’t qualify for protection under California’s lemon laws. Talk to an attorney to learn about any other options you may have.

The business does not meet legal requirements

The owner may not meet the business requirements, or the vehicle may be a business vehicle that doesn’t meet the criteria. The lemon law does not cover companies that own more than five vehicles. Any business vehicle with a gross weight over 10,000 pounds is also not protected by the lemon law.

The manufacturer’s original or certified pre-owned (CPO) warranty has expired

The lemon law covers only vehicle defects presented during a manufacturer’s warranty. Defects presented after the expiration of a manufacturer’s warranty will not count towards the reasonable number of repairs attempted during the warranty under the lemon law.  An extended warranty, also known as an extended service contract, does not qualify a car for lemon law protection.

The vehicle’s issues occurred because the car was abused or improperly used

If the problems happened because the owner pushed the car beyond its manufacturer’s intended limits, California’s lemon law would not apply. Lemon laws cover only vehicles that develop problems under ordinary, expected use conditions, even if those uses were for business.

If an exception applies in your situation, you may not be able to claim protection under the lemon law. However, you may have other legal options. Talk to an experienced Carlsbad lemon lawyer to learn more.

Types of Compensation for Carlsbad Lemon Law Cases

California lemon law also outlines the compensation vehicle owners may receive if their vehicle is a lemon. This compensation falls into at least three categories:

  • Payment for the vehicle
  • Related losses called incidental and consequential damages; and
  • Payment for attorneys’ fees.

Compensation for the vehicle itself includes either a replacement vehicle or a refund. The vehicle owner may choose which they prefer. Lemon law requires that a replacement vehicle be substantially similar to the car in the lemon law claim.

Damages in Lemon Law Claims

To help protect your interests, keep records. Collect copies of repair bills, towing bills, and other losses related to your vehicle, and keep them together in a safe place. These records can help establish exactly what you’ve lost from your lemon. 

Additional Compensaion

Compensation for related losses is also known as “incidental and consequential damages.” These are losses caused by the fact that the vehicle was a lemon. Common examples of incidental and consequential damages include towing fees after a vehicle breakdown or transportation expenses like a rental car or bus passes because you could not rely on your vehicle for transportation.

California’s lemon law also requires automakers to pay attorneys’ fees and costs if the vehicle owner wins their lemon law claim. This amount is paid in addition to damages for the vehicle and any other related losses.

You may also be entitled to an award of civil penalties, which are additional damages above and beyond your actual damages.  If the manufacturer or distributor of your vehicle willfully failed to buy back your vehicle, you may be able to get civil penalties up to two times your actual damages.

The best way to boost your compensation is to hire an experienced lemon law attorney.

California’s lemon law protects vehicle owners when their newly purchased or leased vehicle has a dangerous or persistent defect. Lemon car owners may seek a replacement vehicle, a refund, and other compensation for their losses.

Why You Should Hire a Carlsbad Lemon Law Attorney

Under California’s lemon laws, a vehicle owner does not have to hire a lawyer.  claims. However, hiring a lawyer offers several benefits – and it will cost you nothing. Reasons to hire an experienced California lemon lawyer include:

  • Knowledge and Experience

    You may have many questions about your situation, starting with “Does the lemon law even apply to me?” An experienced lawyer has seen many lemon law cases, including cases similar to yours. An attorney can answer your questions and explain key legal points so you can proceed confidently. They also know all the tricks that the defense lawyers will attempt.

  • A Burden off Your Shoulders

    Vehicle issues can be stressful. You need reliable, safe transportation, yet your vehicle refuses to give you that peace of mind – and the automaker, the supposed expert on your car, is no help. Your attorney can shoulder the work of fighting for the compensation you deserve so that you can focus on your work, household, family, and other commitments. 

  • California Lemon Law Provides the Opportunity to Resolve Claims

    Not every lemon law case goes to trial.  An experienced lemon law attorney will guide you through a successful resolution which may be a settlement.  If a settlement cannot be reached, a trial attorney who knows lemon law can take your case through a jury trial and won’t settle your case for too little just to avoid trial.  While arbitration may also available, it often is not in your best interest.  A lemon law attorney can evaluate your case and advise you appropriately so you can make the decision that is best for you.

  • Experienced Representation at no Cost

    California’s lemon law requires automakers to pay a vehicle owner’s attorney fees and expenses if the vehicle owner succeeds in their claim. In addition, the best lemon lawyers work on contingency, which means they receive no payment if they lose. 

A History of Results

Wirtz Law has successfully obtained recoveries for our clients in excess of $45 million.


Our client, the plaintiff, purchased a brand new 2014 Focus for $40,007, including add-ons and financing. Within three days, the transmission began to slip and…

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Our client, Sam P. purchased a new 2010 BMW X5, as a premium luxury SUV to enjoy in his retirement and to use for safe…

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Matthew J. and Marisa J. bought a used 2011 Dodge Durango to be their primary family vehicle, to be used to drive to and from…

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Experiencing Significant Car Problems in Carlsbad? Contact Wirtz Law APC Today

Even if you suspect your vehicle isn’t covered by California lemon law, a free consultation with a lemon lawyer is valuable. An attorney can help you determine whether your suspicions are correct. If the lemon law doesn’t apply in your case, a lawyer can help you identify other options you may have under other state or federal laws.

If you’re struggling with a problem vehicle, talk to the experienced Carlsbad lemon law team at Wirtz Law APC today. We will help you understand your options under California lemon law. Contact us today to schedule a free, no obligation, confidential consultation.

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