Riverside Lemon Law FAQ

Does the California Lemon Law Apply to Business Vehicles in Riverside?

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Does the California Lemon Law Apply to Business Vehicles in Riverside?

California lemon law applies to vehicles owned by Riverside businesses, but only in some instances. 

Specifically, a small business may seek compensation under California lemon law if:

  • The company owns five or fewer vehicles; and
  • The vehicle’s gross weight (when empty) is less than 10,000 pounds. 

Examples of vehicles with a gross weight under 10,000 pounds include most passenger cars, pickup trucks, EV, SUVs, cargo vans, and box trucks. To bring a lemon law claim for one of its vehicles, a Riverside small business must also show that:

  • The vehicle’s defects are covered by the manufacturer’s original warranty or a certified pre-owned (CPO) warranty, not merely an extended or service warranty,
  • The defect or defects substantially impair the use, value or safety of the vehicle to the owner
  • The manufacturer made a “reasonable” number of attempts to repair the defect, which can be a few as two time
  • If the vehicle has been out of service for 30 days, it may not need to be repaired multiple times.
  • The vehicle, not any particular defect, was not repaired within a reasonable number or attempts to be free of defects in workmanship and materials.

How many attempts is “reasonable”? The California courts have held that more than one time can be a reasonable number.  The exact number depends on the circumstances of your case.  The number of reasonable repair attempts is not for each defect, but for the vehicle as a whole.  The automaker must keep the vehicle, not just a particular defect, free of defects, after a reasonable number of repair attempts.  

Courts will also consider the total number of days that the vehicle has been in the shop for repairs. If all of a vehicle’s repair visits add up to 30 or more days, a court will likely agree that the manufacturer has had a “reasonable” amount of time to fix the problem. 

California lemon law requires automakers to pay for refunds, related damages, and attorney’s fees, costs, and expenses, if you prevail against the automaker. Experienced Riverside lemon lawyers like the team at Wirtz Law APC can help small businesses seek compensation under California lemon laws. 

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