Lemon Law Attorney in California

Understanding Your Rights with Leased Vehicles: A Comprehensive Guide to the California Lemon Law

Understanding Your Rights with Leased Vehicles: A Comprehensive Guide to the California Lemon Law

Leasing, an attractive alternative to buying, provides an affordable route to drive the latest models. But what happens if your leased vehicle starts showing defects or mechanical issues? The California Lemon Law, officially known as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, has got you covered. We’ll delve into the law’s applicability to leased vehicles and explain the claim process while referencing relevant California case law and government resources.

Exploring Lease Vehicles under California Lemon Law

California Civil Code § 1790 et seq., known as the California Lemon Law, safeguards consumers who have leased or bought a new vehicle that exhibits significant defects unresolvable after multiple repair attempts. This law also shields leased vehicles, provided they remain under the manufacturer’s warranty.

If the manufacturer or its designated repair service fails to rectify the defect following several attempts, the law obligates the manufacturer to either replace the vehicle or refund the lease payments, subtracting a reasonable usage fee. Importantly, the law applies to both new and used leased vehicles under warranty.

Pursuit of a Lemon Law Claim for Lease Vehicles

If your leased vehicle may be a lemon under California law, follow these steps:

  1. Record Your Vehicle’s Deficiencies: Keep comprehensive records of your vehicle’s issues, including dates, issue descriptions, and correspondence with the manufacturer or its authorized repair services.
  2. Allow Manufacturer Multiple Repair Attempts: The law requires you to give the manufacturer a reasonable chance to repair the vehicle. Usually, a vehicle qualifies as a lemon after four unsuccessful repair attempts or after being out of service for a total of 30 days due to repairs.
  3. Notify Manufacturer in Writing: If the defect continues despite multiple repair attempts, send a written notice to the manufacturer. This final chance allows the manufacturer to address the issue.
  4. Seek Legal Consultation: If the manufacturer still fails to fix the defect, consult an experienced lemon law attorney, like Michael Humphries, to guide you through the process and help you secure your rights and remedies under the California Lemon Law.

California Case Law

A key case, Jensen v. BMW of North America, Inc. (1995) 35 Cal.App.4th 112, illustrates that California’s Lemon Law extends to leased vehicles. Here, the court ruled that the lessee was entitled to a lease payment refund, deducting a reasonable usage fee due to the manufacturer’s failure to rectify the vehicle’s defects after multiple attempts.

Official Resources

The California Department of Consumer Affairs offers useful resources concerning the California Lemon Law, such as consumer guides and frequently asked questions, accessible on their official website (https://www.dca.ca.gov/consumers/warranty.shtml).

Conclusion & Next Steps

Leasing a vehicle doesn’t deprive you of your rights and protections under the California Lemon Law. If you’ve leased a vehicle that continues to be defective despite multiple repair attempts, you may be eligible for a replacement vehicle or lease payment refund. Navigating these complexities can be challenging, but with appropriate support, you can successfully file a claim.

Recognizing your rights under the California Lemon Law is essential, and there’s no harm in seeking help from an experienced attorney. Michael Humphries, a dedicated lemon law attorney, can provide the necessary assistance, ensuring your rights are protected throughout the claim process.

If you suspect your leased vehicle might qualify as a lemon under California Lemon Law, or you have questions about your rights and the claim process, don’t hesitate to contact Michael Humphries. With his vast experience in lemon law cases, Michael can provide expert advice, empowering you as a consumer, and reinstating your confidence on the road.

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