California’s Lemon Law presumption is a provision that helps expedite the legal process for consumers dealing with defective vehicles. This presumption sets specific criteria under which a vehicle is automatically considered a lemon, reducing the burden of proof on the owner.
In this blog post, we will discuss the burden of proof, “rebuttable presumption,” and types of defects related to the California Lemon Law presumption and if you still qualify for a California Lemon Law claim if your vehicle doesn’t fit the presumption criteria.
How Does the Lemon Law Presumption Affect the Burden of Proof?
The California Lemon Law presumption shifts the burden of proof onto the manufacturer or dealer to show that the vehicle is not a lemon. In this context, the term “burden of proof” refers to the responsibility of proving that a vehicle is a lemon. If a consumer can demonstrate any of the following scenarios within the first 18 months or 18,000 miles after the purchase or lease of the new vehicle, the vehicle is presumed to be a lemon:
- The vehicle has been repaired at least two times for a serious safety defect that can cause serious bodily injury or death.
- The vehicle has been repaired at least four times for the same non-substantial safety defect.
- The vehicle has been out of service for a total of more than 30 days for any combination of defects.
If the vehicle remains unfixable after numerous repair attempts within the first 18 months or 18,000 miles, the burden of proof shifts to the manufacturer or dealer. They must then prove that they did not sell the consumer a lemon. This shift in the burden of proof provides additional protection for the consumer under California’s Lemon Law.
A rebuttable presumption is a conclusion based on facts, combined with logic, reasoning, individual rights, and established laws. It allows a court to assume a fact is true based on the available evidence until there is sufficient evidence to rebut this presumption. In the context of California Lemon Law, the manufacturer has the opportunity to present contradictory evidence to disprove the presumption that the vehicle is a lemon.
What Types of Defects Does California’s Lemon Law Cover
The types of defects that qualify for coverage under California’s Lemon Law depend on whether they significantly impair the vehicle’s use, value, or safety and the manufacturer or authorized dealer must have been given a reasonable opportunity to repair the defect. Some common types of defects that qualify for Lemon Law protection in California include:
- Engine and transmission problems
- Electrical system issues
- Suspension and steering issues
- Brake problems
- Air conditioning and heating system defects
- Fuel system problems
- Water leaks
- Defective paint or bodywork
- Inoperative or malfunctioning safety equipment, such as airbags or seat belts
- Persistent issues with the vehicle’s audio or navigation systems
However, defects that arise due to the actions of the car owner or parties other than the auto manufacturer, such as those caused by car accidents, are not covered by the California Lemon Law.
What If Your Vehicle Doesn’t Fit the Lemon Law Presumption Criteria?
It’s important to note that even if a vehicle does not meet the criteria for presumption, consumers may still be eligible for California Lemon Law protection if their vehicle has been subject to multiple repairs for the same issue while under the manufacturer’s warranty. Therefore, it’s recommended to consult with an experienced Lemon Law attorney at The Barry Law Firm to understand your rights and potential remedies under the California Lemon Law. Phone us now at 877-536-6603 for a FAST and FREE case review!