Dealing with a defective vehicle can be frustrating, especially when dealerships fail to repair your vehicle and manufactures do not provide the proper remedy. Thankfully, California has well established lemon laws in place to protect the rights of consumers like yourself.
At The Barry Law Firm, our experienced lemon law attorneys demand that manufacturers and dealers do right by our clients. We have helped thousands of California consumers deal with their defective vehicles. We understand how aggravating it can be to own a lemon, and we are committed to helping car buyers seek the justice they deserve. Our firm focuses exclusively on lemon law, which means we have the inside knowledge, skills, and resources to handle your claim from start to finish.
Rest assured, our law firm will neither bill you for our legal services or nor take a penny from your damages (actual damages may include down payments, monthly payments, sales taxes, finance charges, out of pocket repair costs and registration fees) as our fees and costs are paid by manufacturers. We will completely handle your lemon law claim at no cost to you. That means you can get the aggressive advocacy, outstanding customer service, and deep legal knowledge without risking a dime of your own money.
Contact The Barry Law Firm for help if you believe you have a lemon on your hands. For your FAST and FREE case review, call us today or contact us online.
How to file a lemon law claim
Step 1: Start by reviewing your warranty booklet
If you need to know how to qualify a car as a lemon in California, the first step is to review your warranty booklet. You will need to ensure you have a written manufacturer’s warranty that covers your vehicle. When you purchased or leased your car, you should have received copies of any warranties. These documents should list how long the warranty lasts and what it covers. Manufacturers’ warranties almost always cover new cars, and your used car may be covered as well.
Step 2: Attempt to resolve the problem with the dealer
When you have a defective vehicle on your hands, you may be tempted to get rid of it right away. However, do not do that without checking with a lemon law attorney first. Dealers and manufacturers must take reasonable steps to repair your vehicle’s problems before the car can be called a lemon. The number of times that a dealer or manufacturer must attempt to fix your car varies from case to case. However, they will usually have two or more opportunities to fix the defects. If the problem cannot be repaired, you may be able to move forward with a lemon law claim.
Step 3: Save all documentation
As part of your lemon law claim, you will need to provide us with different types of documents for your case. These documents may include:
- Repair orders
- Purchase agreement (or lease agreement)
- Current registration
- Correspondence with manufacturers or dealers
- Any other documentation or records related to the problem
Hang on to all documents and communications about the problems you have had with the vehicle. These records can be vital to your claim. They will also help you show a pattern of problems that the dealer or manufacturer could not resolve.
Step 4: Consult with an Attorney
A defective vehicle can disrupt your life, leave you stranded, and take up your precious time and energy. An attorney can help you understand your options and help you move towards a solution. A lemon law attorney can help you by:
- Advising you on your rights under California law and helping you determine whether your car is a lemon
- Explaining how to file a lemon law claim in California and what your next steps should be
- Managing all the details of your lemon law claim from start to finish
- Providing outstanding customer service and taking the burden of a lemon law claim off you
- Taking care of all the paperwork and court filings that your case needs
- Aggressively advocating for you in any settlement discussions and in court if needed
- Handling your case with absolutely no costs to you, instead forcing manufacturers to pay any legal fees
Step 5: File Your Lemon Law Complaint
When you file your lemon law claim with a court, you must follow court procedures and make sure you understand how California lemon law may affect your case. An attorney can draft the appropriate filings, advise you on how long the process will take, and ensure that the court has the documents that it needs.
What happens after the lemon law claim is filed?
Go Through the Discovery Process
After your case is filed with the court, you will go through a legal process known as discovery. During discovery, you will provide evidence for your claims and seek documents from the other side. You will need documents such as repair orders, your registration, communications with the dealer or manufacturer, and any other paperwork or statements that support your case. An attorney can let you know exactly what documents you need and what documents you should get from the dealer or manufacturer. An attorney can also handle any communication with the court or the other side about your case.
Negotiate a Settlement or Go to Trial
Before trial, you and your attorney can negotiate with the other side for a settlement. In many lemon law cases, the dealers or manufacturers will provide a settlement offer. They may offer to repurchase your vehicle and provide you with reimbursement for what you paid, along with your costs. If you accept the settlement, there will be no need to go to trial. If the settlement is too low, or the other side refuses to settle, your case may need to go to trial. If that happens, your attorney will aggressively argue your case during trial.