Orange County Lemon Law FAQ

Does the California Lemon Law Apply to Business Vehicles in Orange County?

Does the California Lemon Law Apply to Business Vehicles in Orange County?

California’s lemon laws may cover some Orange County business vehicles – but not all of them. In California, a business can seek protection under the state’s lemon law if:

  • The company owns five or fewer vehicles, including the suspected lemon; and
  • The suspected lemon vehicle has a gross vehicle weight lower than 10,000 pounds. 

Distinguishing between a gross vehicle weight (GVW) and a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is crucial when determining if a business car is considered a lemon. Under California lemon law, only the GVW is used when determining if a business vehicle is covered. 

The gross vehicle weight, also known as the “curb weight,” is the total weight of the vehicle when the vehicle is empty. By contrast, the gross vehicle weight rating is the total weight the vehicle chassis can safely carry – both its equipment and the load it bears. 

Typically, the gross vehicle weight rating will be higher than the gross vehicle weight since vehicles are intended to carry loads. For example, a work truck may have a gross vehicle weight rating of 9,000 pounds but a gross vehicle weight of 4,000 pounds, making the truck’s payload capacity 5,000. 

Businesses covered by California lemon law may seek the same remedies as people who own their cars for personal use. For instance, California lemon law allows lemon owners to choose between a replacement vehicle or receiving a refund. Also, attorney fees may also be included in the final compensation package. A business owner may even be entitled to civil penalties up to two times the amount of actual damages.

Orange County businesses who own six or more vehicles cannot seek protection under the state’s lemon law. However, these businesses may have other options to protect their rights and seek compensation. Speaking to an experienced Orange County auto defect attorney is the next best step. If you or someone you know has questions about a specific business vehicle, give us a call today at (858) 259-5009.

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