Newport Beach Lemon Law

Newport Beach Lemon Law Lawyers

SUV or Luxury Car Problems? Our Newport Beach Lemon Law Attorneys Will Fight For You

If you recently bought a car from a Newport Beach dealership and have substantial problems, you can pursue a lemon law claim against the vehicle’s manufacturer or distributor. Federal and state consumer protection laws allow Southern California car buyers who have bought or leased a defective vehicle to pursue a legal claim. The type of compensation that can be rewarded is case-specific. Claimants must meet strict evidentiary and procedural rules. A Newport Beach lemon car lawyer can explain your legal rights and the possible outcomes for your lemon law case.

The attorneys at Wirtz Law APC understand that dealing with a defective vehicle can be time-consuming and costly. Our attorneys are leading advocates for car owners in Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Redondo Beach, Long Beach, and other nearby cities. Call the experienced Newport Beach lemon law attorneys at Wirtz Law APC at (858) 357-9549 to discuss your defective luxury car, EV, SUV, hybrid, truck, or car.

California Consumer Protection Laws Explained

Most dealerships that sell used vehicles must comply with various federal and state rules and regulations. These regulations govern the rights and responsibilities of car dealers and consumers. California’s “lemon law” falls primarily under its consumer protection statutes, called the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act.

California’s Song-Beverly Act applies to the sale of consumer goods in the state. The Song-Beverly Act acts as a mechanism to ensure that those who purchase consumer goods secure the benefits of an express warranty given with the goods. The law requires every retail sale in the state to be accompanied by specific implied warranties and strictly limits whether those warranties are disclaimed. Further, it provides remedies for consumers who experience losses by a seller’s failure to comply with the Act. Under the Act, consumers can seek damages, equitable relief, civil penalties, and litigation costs and expenses.

How Do I Know If My Car is Considered a “Lemon?”

Many people use the term “lemon” to describe their cars; however, the word has a particular meaning under California law. A vehicle must meet specific requirements in California to be deemed a “lemon.” A “lemon” vehicle is generally purchased from a retailer in California. It has a defect covered by an original manufacturer or extended manufacturer’s warranty that substantially impairs or compromises the vehicle’s use, value, or safety. Further, to prevail under the law, an owner must establish that they have taken their car into the dealership for a “reasonable number of attempts.” However, car issues are still prevalent.

Some things that may qualify as “compromised use” include defects with windows, mirrors, acceleration, or other issues that make using the vehicle difficult. Factors that can “substantially impair” a vehicle’s use include stalling, no-starts, suspension issues, and broken HVAC systems. Defects causing compromised safety issues, such as faulty brakes, defective airbags, missing seat belts, and other defective parts, can make a vehicle unsafe to drive.

Requirements for a lemon law case

At Wirtz Law, we will never voluntarily forfeit your constitutional right to a jury trial and will fight for your maximum recovery.

How Do I Know if My Vehicle is a Lemon?

The Song-Beverly Act can help individuals get their vehicles repurchased by their distributor or manufacturer if they keep experiencing substantial car problems. In most cases, Southern California car owners can secure refunds for:

  • Any down payment or trade-in equity value;
  • Monthly payments;
  • Future payments owed;
  • Interest;
  • Registration fees; and
  • Attorney’s fees and costs.

In some cases, you may also be entitled to an award of civil penalties for any willful decision to refuse to buy back or replace your vehicle. This can be as much as two times other damages in the case.

However, there are many stipulations to this coverage:

  • Mileage Offsets

    The refunds are subject to a mileage offset formula.

  • Severity of Defect

    To be covered by lemon law, the defect cannot be caused by "unauthorized or unreasonable use of the vehicle" once it is sold. However, defects that persist under regular vehicle use may fall under California's lemon law.

  • Aftermarket Changes

    The lemon’s owner will not recover compensation for any aftermarket parts or accessories on their vehicle.

Mileage Offset Fees

Mileage offset fees are rarely exorbitant; however, consumers should understand how the vehicle’s mileage can impact what they can recover. The mileage offset addresses the fact that the consumer could use the car without any problems until they realized the issue and took it to the dealership for repairs. Thus, the formula is based on the mileage at the first repair attempt for a qualifying defect. The calculation is the miles driven until the first repair attempt divided by 120,000 miles multiplied by the price of the vehicle.

In these cases, the manufacturer pays the attorney’s fees and costs. You don’t have to worry about paying fees up-front at Wirtz Law APC. We will fight for a favorable settlement on your behalf.

Cases under the Song Beverly Act require a nuanced understanding of complex laws. In addition, lemon car buyers often need to submit significant evidence that their cars meet the requirements. A Newport Beach lemon car attorney can help purchasers establish these requirements and refute any defenses that a manufacturer may purport. For instance, some manufacturers try to claim that the defects were not related to the same defect.

Statute of Limitations

Under California law, those who have purchased lemons have a time limit to file their claims. The lemon law statute of limitations in California is four years and correctly construed to run from the expiration of the warranty, which is the last moment in which the vehicle could have actually been repaired.

Although the law provides four years, it is advisable to file these claims sooner. Delays in the filing are more likely to result in adverse outcomes. An attorney can help lemon car buyers understand their legal rights and ensure they meet the procedural requirements.

Typical Vehicle Defects include:

  • Airbag defects
  • Brake problems
  • Engine malfunctions
  • Electrical problems
  • Exhaust system defects
  • Faulty coolant systems or dashboard lights
  • Fuel system problems
  • Navigation malfunctions
  • Power equipment defects
  • Suspension and transmission problems
  • Leaks of coolant, fluid, and oil
Uniform Commercial Code

The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) applies to any product sold in the United States and governs contracts for the sale of goods. The UCC provides remedies if there is an issue with the tender, acceptance, rejection, or revocation of the vehicle. However, the UCC does not explicitly define a “lemon.” In some places, the Song Beverly Act incorporates the UCC damages.

For example, incidental and consequential damages, or damages related to the defects in the car or the delay in buying back the car, or amounts spent on a replacement car while the defective car is not being repurchased, may be available through the UCC damages provisions.

A History of Results

Wirtz Law has successfully obtained recoveries for our clients in excess of $40 million.

$632,141.03

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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$204,824.91

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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$130,373.37

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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Client Testimonials

Are You Dissatisfied With Your Newport Beach Car Purchase? Wirtz Law APC is Here To Help

If you recently bought a new car—or a vehicle under the original manufacturer’s warranty—and you continue to experience unexpected problems with the car, you may be able to pursue a lemon law claim against the seller or manufacturer. At Wirtz Law APC, our Newport Beach lemon law attorneys have extensive experience helping our clients seek relief from sellers and manufacturers. We have over a 97 percent success rate among the cases we’ve handled and have recovered more than $40 million on behalf of our clients. To learn more and schedule a free consultation with a Newport Beach lemon law attorney at Wirtz Law APC, call (858) 357-9549 today. You can also reach us through our secure online contact form, and one of our attorneys will contact you shortly.

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