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Lemons: A Common Occurrence

Auto defects are a common occurrence.  Each year, car manufacturers buy back an estimated 100,000 lemons.  

It is important to note, however, that in the vast majority of those buybacks, the consumers pursued his/her lemon law claims by retaining an attorney. 

As such, to get the compensation you deserve, you should consult with an experienced Lemon Law attorney.

Common Defects

California Lemon Law provides for refund or replacement of vehicles with problems that substantially impair the use, value, or safety of the vehicle.  Whether the defect actually impairs the use, value or safety is an objective test.

“Use” as used above generally means that the vehicle’s components must do what they are supposed to do.  For example, the door locks must secure access to the vehicle. 

The temperature control settings must allow control over cooling/heating in the car.

“Value” as used above generally covers any value-impairing defects.  This could be, for example, problems with the paint on the body of the car.

“Safety” as used above generally means that the vehicle’s stated safety measures/components must work as intended.  

There is no requirement under Lemon Law that a defect actually put the owner in danger.  Rather, it is sufficient that, as a result of the defect, the foreseeable use of the vehicle would be unsafe.

For example, if the safety measures/components perform in an unpredictable manner that could cause an accident, this could be considered a “safety” defect.

Some examples of defects that have been shown to substantially impair the use, value, or safety of vehicles are provided below:

  • Stalling
  • Failing to start
  • Repeated check engine light warnings
  • Steering problems
  • Brake defects (other than squeaking)
  • Malfunctioning mirrors and windshield wipers
  • Malfunctioning speedometers and fuel gauges
  • Headlight malfunctions
  • Brake light malfunctions
  • Malfunctioning door locks
  • Diminished acceleration
  • Heating/cooling problems
  • Batteries that repeatedly die
  • Transmissions that lurch when starting or stopping
  • Paint that bubbles of strips away
  • Other engine issues (vibrations, noises, overheating, etc.)

Contact A Lemon Law Attorney Today!

If your motor vehicle suffers from one or more of these issues, you should contact one of our attorneys to find out about your legal rights.

Author Photo

Joseph Farzam

Mr. Farzam attended Santa Monica high school and worked at McDonald’s and local coffee shops to support himself. Although he worked 2 or 3 jobs, he valued education greatly and earned a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Northridge in biology, and attended the prestigious Pepperdine University School of Law. He graduated with high marks and passed the California bar exam on the first try. Mr. Farzam has received the coveted titles of Super Lawyer, Los Angeles Magazine’s Top Lawyers, and has received The Litigator Awards.  He is a proud member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA) and California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA).

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