San Bernardino Lemon Law

San Bernardino Lemon Law Lawyers

Experienced California Lemon Lawyers Fight for San Bernardino Vehicle Owners

In San Bernardino, a reliable vehicle is a must. California's lemon law may offer a remedy when you buy a car that doesn't provide the safety or reliability you need. California lemon law addresses situations where a person buys a car at retail, only to discover the vehicle has issues that the manufacturer or dealer can't fix. Owners of lemon vehicles can seek a replacement vehicle, a refund, and compensation for other losses.

If you think you have a lemon on your hands, talk to an experienced San Bernardino lemon law attorney today. The winning team at Wirtz Law APC is here to help.

What is California’s Lemon Law?

California's Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, or lemon law, protects consumers who buy items and later discover defective items. The Act includes purchasing vehicles that turn out to be "lemons."

California lemon law protects vehicle owners when a newly-purchased or leased vehicle has a problem that “substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of the vehicle.” Lemon law applies when a manufacturer can't fix the problem after a reasonable number of attempts. The number of attempts considered "reasonable" varies depending on the defect, but at least two times can be enough.

Is My Vehicle Covered by California’s Lemon Law?

A vehicle is likely covered by California lemon law if:

  • The car is still covered by an original manufacturer's warranty or a certified pre-owned (CPO) warranty;
  • The defect or defects substantially impair the use, value or safety fo the vehicle;
  • The manufacturer or dealer has failed to keep the vehicle free from defects after a reasonable number of attempts; and
  • The owner bought or leased the vehicle for personal use or use in a small business that owns five or fewer vehicles.

For California lemon law to apply, a business vehicle must also have a total gross weight under 10,000 pounds. In other words, the car must weigh less than 10,000 pounds while empty. This weight restriction does not apply to vehicles bought for personal, household, or family use.

California’s lemon law applies to vehicles purchased or leased in California. It also applies to vehicles purchased or leased by full-time active-duty military service members stationed in California, even if they bought or registered the car in another state.

Vehicles covered by Califorina Lemon Law

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

Requirements for a lemon law case

What Types of Vehicles are not Covered?

California has one of the broadest lemon laws in the United States. Not all vehicles are covered by the state's lemon law, however. A car won't be protected by lemon law if:

  • A buyer purchased the vehicle at a private sale.
  • The damage was caused by abuse or use that falls outside regular use.
  • The repairs are done after the original or CPO warranty has expired (even if an extended warranty is still in place).
  • The defect appears in aftermarket or add-on components that aren’t covered by the original or CPO warranty.

In these situations, legal options may be available, even if California's lemon law does not apply. Talk to an experienced attorney about your case to learn more about what you can do.

Most Common Lemon Vehicles in San Bernardino

California currently has over 35 million registered vehicles for 39.3 million residents. This number includes both personal and business vehicles. About 7 million new cars are registered in the state each year.

San Bernardino County currently has about 2.1 million residents, of whom about 220,000 live in San Bernardino. As the population of both the city and county grow, so do the number of vehicles in the area.

Most motor vehicles aren't lemons. However, most of the lemon vehicles on California roads come from a handful of automakers.

Most lemon law claims do not require a courtroom trial. Instead, experienced lemon law attorneys negotiate on behalf of their clients to reach a resolution that respects their clients’ rights under state law.

According to the California Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), the top five automakers represented in lemon law cases in state courts between 2018 and 2021 were:

Some of these automakers had high rates of lemon cases per vehicle sold. For example, for every 78 cars General Motors sold in California between 2018 and 2021, the company faced one lemon law case.

On the other end of the scale are automakers who rarely face lawsuits under California's lemon law. Toyota Motor Sales faced one lemon lawsuit for every 2,029 vehicles sold in California in the past few years. Mazda Motor of America and Tesla also sold more than 1,500 new vehicles each per lemon law case.

What to Do If You Have a Lemon Vehicle

If your vehicle is a lemon, California lemon law allows you to seek four different types of remedies:

  • A replacement vehicle of your choice or refund;
  • Incidental and consequential damages;
  • Civil penalties; and
  • Attorney’s fees and costs.

Most lemon law cases focus on the vehicle owner’s right to a replacement vehicle or a refund. As the vehicle owner, you may choose which one you prefer.

Vehicle Refund / Buyback

refund is also known as a "buyback." Buybacks are calculated with a formula stated in California lemon law.

To ensure you receive the total buyback amount you are owed, work with an experienced attorney. Your lawyer will know if the automaker tries to offer you less than the appropriate buyback amount.

Incidental & Consequential Damages

These damages cover losses you wouldn't have if your vehicle hadn't been a lemon. For example, many lemon owners have to pay out of pocket to cover transportation expenses while their car is in the shop. If you had to rent a vehicle, pay rideshare or taxi fees, or buy a bus pass, these costs might be compensated with incidental and consequential damages.

Civil Penalties & Attorney Fees

Civil penalties are additional damages, which can be up to two times the amount of your actual damages. When an automaker willfully fails to follow the lemon law, it may have to pay you civil penalties.

California's lemon law also allows vehicle owners to recover the cost of hiring an attorney to help with their claims.

Who Pays For Your CA Lemon Law Attorney

If you suspect you have a lemon, talk to an experienced San Bernardino lemon law attorney immediately. During this initial consultation, you can ask questions and learn more about your legal rights and options. A lemon law settlement can recover attorney's fees, litigation costs and expenses in addition to the buyback amount and other damages.

Experienced lemon law attorneys will negotiate the recovery of attorney's fees and costs as part of their representation. These attorneys often take cases on "contingency." When they win, the automaker covers their fees and expenses; if they lose, they do not receive payment from either the automaker or their client.

Contingency arrangements encourage these lawyers to take claims they can win and fight aggressively on their client's behalf. They also help protect vehicle owners, who might otherwise find that attorney fees strain their budget during stressful times.

The experienced San Bernardino lemon law team at Wirtz Law APC is dedicated to helping clients receive the compensation they deserve. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation. We're here to answer questions and help you take the next step.

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…

Read More

What if the automaker wants me to arbitrate?

Many automakers encourage lemon owners to resolve their claims through arbitration. Arbitration is a less formal process than a courtroom trial. It can sound appealing to vehicle owners due to its lower costs.

Arbitration can help solve legal disputes. However, it may not be the right choice for lemon law claims. Many arbitration decisions favor automakers, even when the vehicle owner is entitled to compensation under California lemon law. Always speak to an experienced California lemon law attorney before you agree to arbitration or begin the arbitration process. Your lawyer can help you determine the best course of action.

Arbitration in Lemon Law Claims

San Bernardino Lemon Law Frequently Asked Questions

Client Testimonials

Contact an Experienced San Bernardino Lemon Law Lawyer To Discuss Next Steps

If your EV, hybrid, truck, car, or SUV is experiencing substantial or repeated issues, you should speak with one of our San Bernardino lemon law attorneys at the Wirtz Law APC. Our firm focuses on helping Southern California consumers get the compensation they deserve after purchasing a lemon. Our team has a well-earned and well-deserved reputation as motor vehicle consumer advocates. Our San Bernardino County lemon law team has a proven track record. We fight for our clients so that they receive the compensation they deserve. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation and learn more about your legal options.

If you are looking for a San Bernardino Lemon Law firm, look no further than Wirtz Law APC. If you have had enough, are fed up, and think your car is a lemon, call us at (858) 879-3557 for a free no obligation evaluation. If your vehicle is a lemon, we will take your case at no charge to you on a contingency fee basis. Wirtz Law APC provides one of the best Lemon Law attorney services everywhere in California, including Southern California, Northern California, Central California, and Eastern California.

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