Oxnard Lemon Law
Oxnard Lemon Law Attorneys
Winning Team of Consumer Rights Lawyers Pursue Fair Compensation for Owners Dealing with Repeated Vehicle Defects
Purchasing a vehicle should be an exciting time; however, if you are constantly bringing your new or used vehicle into the shop for repairs, it can turn the experience into more of a nightmare. Not only is your time consumed, but you are also being deprived of the use and value of your vehicle. The good news is that vehicle owners may have a remedy under the California Lemon Law.
If you purchased a new or used vehicle that is continually experiencing problems and is still under the original manufacturer’s warranty, the dedicated Oxnard Lemon Law attorneys at Wirtz Law APC can help. At Wirtz Law APC, our lawyers have decades of combined experience ensuring that our clients are fairly compensated for having purchased Lemon vehicles. To learn more about the services we provide and what we can do to help with your Oxnard Lemon Law claim, give us a call to schedule a free consultation at 858-259-5009.
California Lemon Law Statistics
In California, there are more than 36 million registered vehicles, 26 million of which are passenger vehicles such as cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks. In Ventura County specifically, there are more than 605,000 registered passenger vehicles. Between 2018 and 2021, 7.6 million new vehicles were registered in California, resulting in just over 34,000 Lemon Law Claims. This means that between 2018 and 2021, about .5 percent of all newly registered vehicles were lemons. Of course, this does not include Lemon Law cases that were resolved out of court, which is often the case.
What is the California Lemon Law?
The California Lemon Law is a consumer protection statute designed to safeguard the rights of individuals who purchase or lease defective vehicles in the state of California. Enacted to protect consumers from being stuck with a Lemon, which is a vehicle with substantial manufacturing defects or mechanical issues, the law ensures that buyers are entitled to remedies when they encounter persistent problems after at least two repair attempts to the vehicle (not just a particular part).
Under the California Lemon Law, if a vehicle cannot be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts or if it is out of service for an extended period due to warranty-covered repairs, the manufacturer is obligated to provide a replacement vehicle or refund the full purchase price. This law applies to new and some used vehicles that were sold with a warranty and are still covered by that warranty.
To benefit from the Lemon Law’s protections, consumers must act within specific timeframes and follow the proper procedures, which typically involve notifying the manufacturer and providing an opportunity for repairs. This California Lemon Law empowers consumers, giving them recourse and ensuring they are not trapped with a defective automobile after a significant investment.
Which Vehicles Does the CA Lemon Law Cover?
The California Lemon Law covers various types of vehicles that are sold or leased in the state and have substantial defects affecting their safety, value, or use. The vehicles covered include new and some used cars, trucks, EVs, SUVs, vans, motorcycles, and certain motorhomes. To be eligible for protection under the Lemon Law, the vehicles must be under warranty, either the original manufacturer’s warranty or an extended warranty provided by the manufacturer.
What Makes a Vehicle a Lemon under the California Law?
Under California law, a vehicle is designated as a Lemon when it has significant defects or mechanical problems that cannot be fixed after a reasonable number of repair attempts. The law aims to protect consumers who unknowingly purchase defective vehicles. Several factors are considered to determine if a vehicle qualifies as a lemon:
The vehicle must have a defect or defects that impair its use, value, or safety. This could range from severe mechanical problems to issues like persistent water leaks or defective door locks.
Reasonable Repair Attempts
The vehicle must have been taken in for repairs to the dealership or authorized repair shop multiple times for the same issue, and the problem must still exist. Under California’s lemon law, the specific criteria are:
- Two or more repairs.
- The car has been out of service for more than 30 days (not necessarily consecutively) due to repairs.
- A single defect or multiple defects must substantially impair the use, value, or safety of the vehicle (not a component)
The defect or defects must occur within the applicable manufacturer’s warranty. Defects that continue after this period are evidence that the repair was not successful. An experienced Oxnard Lemon Law attorney at Wirtz Law, APC can assist owners in determining whether they may have a Lemon Law claim.
An owner of a vehicle who believes they have a Lemon on their hands must directly notify the manufacturer of the need for the repair of the defect if the manufacturer has clearly and conspicuously disclosed to the owner, in the warranty or owner’s manual, the obligation to provide the notification.
If a vehicle meets the criteria of a lemon under California law, the owner might be entitled to a refund or a replacement vehicle. Incidental and consequential damages resulting from the delay in the repair or the defect itself may also be recovered. When the manufacturer willfully fails to follow the California lemon law, you may also recover additional damages called civil penalties, which can be an additional amount up to two times your actual damages. Additionally, the law stipulates that the manufacturer must pay for the consumer’s attorney fees if they prevail in a Lemon Law claim.
To be sure about a particular case or to get legal advice, you should always consult with an attorney who is an expert in California’s lemon law before initiating a claim. Wirtz Law APC will evaluate your case at no cost to you or obligation to you and will let you know if your vehicle qualifies and what your maximum damages might be. This ensures you have a comprehensive understanding of your rights as well as the nuances of the law.
What Remedies Can Vehicle Owners Obtain Through an Oxnard Lemon Law Claim?
The California Lemon Law provides several remedies to consumers who find themselves stuck with a defective vehicle. These remedies are aimed at compensating the buyer for their inconvenience, ensuring they get a working vehicle, or receiving a refund for their purchase. Below is a brief description of the main remedies provided by the California Lemon Law:
The primary remedy is a refund. Consumers have the right to request a refund of the full purchase price, including any taxes, licensing fees, and finance charges, minus an offset for the usage of the vehicle before the defect first occurred. The refund amount is calculated based on the number of miles the consumer has driven the vehicle before experiencing the problem.
As an alternative remedy, if a vehicle is deemed a lemon, the manufacturer is required to offer a comparable replacement vehicle to the consumer. The replacement vehicle should be of a similar make and model with substantially the same features and options as the original vehicle. This remedy aims to provide the consumer with a functioning car without the defects that plagued the original one.
Incidental and Consequential Damages
In addition to the main remedies, the California Lemon Law also allows consumers to seek compensation for incidental and consequential damages resulting from the defects. Incidental damages include expenses directly related to attempting to repair the vehicle, such as towing fees and rental car costs. Consequential damages refer to losses incurred as a result of the defects, such as missed work or other financial losses.
One of the greatest benefits of the California lemon law is the availability of civil penalties. Because the California lawmakers who wrote the law knew that automakers would likely not follow the law, they imposed a penalty provision for the automakers willful failure to comply with the law. When an automaker refuses to buy back your lemon, it may have to pay civil penalties, or additional damages up to two times the amount of your actual damages.
Attorney’s Fees and Costs
California’s lemon law also protects you from paying attorney’s fees and costs. If you win your case, the automaker must pay your attorney’s fees, costs, and expenses. If you lose, you are protected from paying the carmakers’ attorney’s fees. And, an experienced attorney taking your case will most likely do so on a contingency. So if you don’t win you don’t have any obligation to pay your attorney.
To effectively pursue these remedies, consumers simply need to make the vehicle available for repair a reasonable number of times, which can be as few as two times. Consulting with an experienced Oxnard Lemon Law attorney at Wirtz Law APC, will help you navigate the process and ensure the best possible outcome in your case.
What is the Difference Between an Oxnard Lemon Law Claim and a Product Recall?
From an owner’s perspective, recalls and defective vehicles can feel like the same thing. However, while both recalls and lemon laws relate to vehicles, they address different concerns and are initiated for different reasons. Here’s a closer look at how they differ:
The Nature and Purpose of the Claim
A recall is initiated by a vehicle manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) when a particular model or batch of vehicles is found to have a defect that poses a safety risk or fails to meet a minimum safety standard. The purpose of a recall is to correct the defect. This often involves the manufacturer providing free repairs, replacements, or sometimes even repurchasing the vehicle. Sometimes, a recall can be as simple as a new software monitoring program to notify you that your car has a defect, but it does not actually provide a repair.
Lemon laws are state laws that protect consumers who have purchased vehicles that have chronic problems, rendering them unreliable or unsafe. If a vehicle is deemed a Lemon because it has been in for repairs multiple times for the same issue or has been out of service for an extended period within a certain timeframe, the owner may be entitled to a replacement or refund.
Bringing a Claim
Recalls are typically initiated by the manufacturer or NHTSA after discovering a widespread issue affecting many vehicles. Consumers might be notified by mail, or they can check online databases using their Vehicle Identification Number (“VIN”) to see if their car has been recalled.
Lemon Law Claims are initiated by individual vehicle owners when they face repeated issues with their vehicles. The consumer must usually make a certain number of attempts to have the defect fixed before they can qualify for Lemon Law protections.
Number of Vehicles Involved in the Claim
Recalls can affect thousands or even millions of vehicles, spanning various makes, models, and production years. However, Lemon Law claims are specific to an individual’s vehicle and their personal experience with it.
The Goal of the Claim
The goal of a recall is to address the defect. This might mean replacing a faulty part or making adjustments to the vehicle or just putting monitoring software on the vehicle. On the other hand, if a vehicle is deemed a lemon, the manufacturer will be required to replace the vehicle or refund the purchase price.
In summary, while both recalls and lemon law claims pertain to issues with vehicles, they differ fundamentally in their purpose, initiation, scope, and outcome. Recalls address widespread defects in a particular model or batch, while lemon laws help individual consumers who’ve had ongoing problems with their specific vehicle. With a recall, you continue to own the vehicle and drive it with the recall remedy. With a lemon law, you can get a refund so you can buy a different vehicle.
Are You Constantly Dealing with Vehicle Defects?
If you recently purchased a new vehicle, or a certified pre owned used vehicle that was still under the manufacturer’s original warranty, the dedicated Oxnard Lemon Law lawyers at Wirtz Law APC, are here to help. At Wirtz Law APC, we handle lemon law cases on behalf of vehicle owners. Over the years, we’ve handled countless cases, connecting our clients with over $45 million in compensation. With our comprehensive and dedicated approach to handling these cases, we’ve secured compensation on over 97 percent of the Lemon Law cases we’ve handled. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with an Oxnard Lemon Law attorney today, give us a call at 858-259-5009. You can also connect with us through our online contact form.
Over 97% Success Rate
In Lemon Law Claims
Wirtz Law was handed my 3-year-old automobile case by another firm with only 1 month to prepare for trial. They put all of their expertise into their preparation for my case. Richard Wirtz is not only a brilliant lawyer he is a wonderful human being. Jessica Underwood was there anytime I had a concern and…