Car Defects - San Diego

Car Defects – San Diego

San Diego Car Defect Lawyer

San Diego Lemon Law Attorneys Help Vehicle Owners Obtain Compensation

Millions of San Diego residents, workers, and visitors rely on motor vehicles to transport them from one destination to another. Serious accidents can happen anytime, which is why maintaining an old or new car is crucial to preventing an unwanted accident. But what happens when a defective part causes a dangerous risk to safety? Although most drivers and passengers want to trust the safety of the car they are riding in, underlying vehicle defects can still be present. 

Vehicle defects are monitored by both state and federal law. Federal regulations require automakers to issue recall notices according to specific rules. If a vehicle defect persists while the vehicle is under warranty, California’s lemon laws may apply.

If you’re dealing with a dangerous vehicle defect, don’t wait to get help. Get the information you need to protect yourself and others who may use your vehicle by contacting Wirtz Law APC today

California’s Defective Vehicle Problem

Over 6.3 million vehicles on California roads have an unrepaired defect, according to the Consumer Federation of California. Many of these defects are the subjects of recalls. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines a “safety-related defect” as “…a problem that poses a risk to motor vehicle safety and may exist in a group of vehicles or equipment of the same design or manufacturer.” 

The NHTSA provides an online complaint form and a toll-free hotline for vehicle owners to file complaints. By collecting complaints and other data, NHTSA can also identify vehicle defects that may become the focus of a recall. 

Not all dangerous vehicle defects are the subject of a vehicle recall. Checking recall information provides a starting point for learning more about a defect and seeking repairs. 

Identifying Dangerous Vehicle Defects

A simple first step in identifying vehicle defects is to check whether your vehicle is included in a defect recall. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) publishes vehicle recall information at nhtsa.gov/recalls. Manufacturers must also list safety recall information on their websites and provide it to customers who ask. 

When a manufacturer recalls a vehicle for a specific defect, the manufacturer must cover the cost of recall-related repairs. Manufacturers must pay for these repairs for at least 15 years from the model year of the vehicle. Some manufacturers will cover the cost of these repairs for longer. Many automakers require recall-related maintenance to be completed at a licensed dealership to manage the costs and ensure that the work is done to their standards. 

California Lemon Law and Vehicle Defects

Manufacturers can quickly repair many vehicle defects, but some vehicle owners know that their car is still inoperable and consider their vehicle a lemon despite repeated repair attempts. California’s lemon law may apply when a car problem persists after several repair attempts.

According to a report by the California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG), only a tiny fraction of lemon law claims involved a vehicle recall. However, lemon law claims often involve a problem related to a particular vehicle – not just one that appears across an entire model or model year. As a result, owners of lemon vehicles may not find recall information related to the problems they have. 

California lemon law covers vehicles when:

  • The vehicle is still under a manufacturer’s original warranty or certified pre-owned (CPO) warranty.
  • The vehicle has a problem that hasn’t been fixed, even though the automaker has had a “reasonable” number of attempts to do so. 

California lemon law only requires a certain number of repair attempts for some vehicles. Instead, whether the number of repair attempts is “reasonable” depends on the defect that needed to be fixed. For example, if a defect could substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of a vehicle, a “reasonable” number of attempts to fix the problem could be as few as two attempts.

California lemon law does not cover all defective vehicles. Vehicle defects that are not addressed by the state’s lemon law include:

  • Defects in used cars purchased in private sales. 
  • Defects in a vehicle whose original or CPO warranty has expired, even if an extended service warranty is still active. 
  • Defects in many commercial vehicles. 

Owners of these vehicles may have other legal options. Speak to an experienced San Diego car defect lawyer to learn more about your rights as a consumer. 

Where to Turn for Help

Defects in vehicles can be dangerous. If you’ve tried to fix your car and nothing has changed, talk to an experienced San Diego lemon lawyer today.

At Wirtz Law APC, our lemon law lawyers ensure that each client we represent receives fair compensation under California’s lemon laws and other applicable statutes. We’ll listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and help you understand your legal rights and options. We will always seek maximum compensation for you. Contact us today to learn more.

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