San Diego Lemon Law FAQ

Does the California Lemon Law Apply to Business Vehicles in San Diego?

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Does the California Lemon Law Apply to Business Vehicles in San Diego?

Small business owners may seek compensation under the state’s lemon law if the business owns five or fewer vehicles and the vehicle’s gross weight is less than 10,000 pounds. 

California lemon law requires automakers to buy back vehicles when a manufacturer can’t repair a vehicle defect after a reasonable number of attempts. While most lemon law plaintiffs are people who bought their cars for personal use, the law allows some small businesses to seek compensation under the same laws. 

California’s Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act states that lemon law applies only to vehicles “bought or used primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.” However, the law recognizes that some small businesses are closely tied to personal, family, and household tasks. 

California’s lemon law applies to business vehicles if:

  • Five or fewer vehicles are registered to the business; and
  • The gross vehicle weight of the suspected lemon vehicle is under 10,000 pounds. 

In addition, California small businesses must meet all the other requirements of the state’s lemon law. To begin a lemon law claim, a San Diego business must 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.

For businesses, it’s also essential to consider the weight requirement. Lemon law requires a business vehicle to weigh less than 10,000 pounds by itself – not to have a 10,000-pound gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). 

Navigating lemon law can be challenging. An experienced San Diego lemon law attorney like the team at Wirtz Law can help.

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